Before we dive into the winners and losers from the Cincinnati Bengals' win over the Miami Dolphins, I want to just send good vibes Tua Tagovailoa's way. Football is a violent sport and that truly was a scary moment. We're all thinking about ya, Tua.
It's hard to segue from that considering the severity of the moment.
The Bengals did win the ball game though despite the offense not looking all that great and the defense having to do their part to keep the team in the game.
With that said, let's check out the winners and losers from the Thursday night matchup.
As mentioned in the title, Bell was arguably the biggest winner in the game, notching two interceptions with the massive one coming in the final minutes to essentially seal the game. Bell is in the final year of his contract and is someone the Bengals really need to try to keep this offseason.
The former second-round pick out of Clemson finished the game with seven catches for 124 yards and a touchdown while averaging 17.7 yards per carry. While Higgins won't hit free agency until the 2024 offseason, it's going to be really hard to keep him. We saw all of the action with star wide receivers this past offseason so don't be surprised if some drama occurs with Higgins.
The Bengals linebacker sniffed out a couple of big plays, including one big one on 3rd-and-1 that forced the Dolphins to punt. It got Miami's offense off the field after just three plays.
For all of the crap this unit has received (and rightfully so) in the first quarter of the season, they played well on Thursday so they deserve their due diligence. The new-look o-line allowed just one sack on Joe Burrow and three hits on the quarterback. They're slowly starting to figure things out and that's good news for a team on the rise.
Something's not right with the Bengals starting running back. He might have finished the game with over 60 yards on the ground and scored his first touchdown of the season but he averaged a mere 2.5 yards per carry and looked flustered throughout the game.
The Bengals might have won the game but Mixon isn't looking any better and this is definitely a cause for concern. Is it a Bengals running issue or is it a Mixon issue?
Despite the team winning the game, it felt like this one could have been iced a lot sooner had Zac Taylor not made some mind-boggling calls. The field goal on 4th-and-goal didn't bother me since it allowed the Bengals to retake the lead but he continued to stick with the run in that situation when it clearly wasn't working. At some point, Taylor has to relinquish the play-calling duties because it hasn't been pretty this season.
To be perfectly honest, it was hard to celebrate too much considering the situation with Tua Tagovailoa. That was a horrible moment and really made the rest of the game difficult for me to watch.
Keep Tua in your thoughts please.