Could have, would have, should have – it’s what the Cincinnati Bengals fans will be thinking for the rest of week 9.
This was a game where they could have won, should have won, and frankly would have won, if not for the timely mistakes made throughout the game. The Cincinnati Bengals lost a heart breaker in Miami against the Dolphins in heartbreaking fashion, as they lost in overtime as a result of a safety. Yes, you heard me correctly – a bloody safety.
The scoring in this game started off with the Bengals kicking a field goal in the second quarter, after those three points earned the Dolphins kicked it into gear and scored ten points before the half. Things went worse for the Bengals when they made it down the field in the red zone only to have Andy Dalton throw an interception to Brent Grimes who returned it for a 94-yard TD. So painful.
With a 17-3 lead for the Dolphins the game looked to be in their hands, but the Bengals didn’t back down. Giovanni Bernard would score two rushing touchdowns; one of them was a fantastic highlight reel 35-yard run. With the scored tied at 17 with two minutes left, the Bengals took the lead with a 54-yard field goal kicked by Mike Nugent, one of the longest FGs he has kicked. All the Bengals had to do was hold the Dolphins back with 1:24 left on the clock and Miami only had one timeout. Unfortunately with eleven seconds left the Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis kicked a 44-yard field goal to tie the game.
With the scored tied 20-20 the game went into overtime, the Dolphins had the ball first, but were forced to punt it away. The Bengals in possession of the Ball tried to march down the field and made it to the Miami 39 yard line, but they didn’t attempt a deep field goal, they punted it instead. The Bengals would hold back the Dolphins again and Miami would be forced to punt it again. With the ball on the eight yard line in the Bengals territory the unthinkable happened: Andy Dalton was sacked in the end zone by Cam Wake, which resulted in a safety and the Dolphins would go on to win the game 22-20 as mentioned above.
After three weeks of some really exciting games, two of them where the Bengals just won them by an FG, this game hurt. Losing by a safety is almost as bad as losing to a pick-6 return. I think the Bengals would have been happier with the tie at this point.
This was a bad game for Andy Dalton. He did throw 338 passing yards, but he didn’t land a single TD pass and was intercepted 3 times in the game and of course one of them was the INT TD return. AJ Green had a career high 11 catches with 128 yards receiving, Marvin Jones the hero of week 8 had four receptions and 66 receiving yards, but had no TDs. Giovanni Bernard had a great game for the Bengals with 79 rushing yards and two TDs with 25 receiving yards.
The Bengals still lead the AFC North with a 6-3 record, but much of that is due to a weak division. The Dolphins are tied for second with the New York Jets in the AFC East. Of course this was the Thursday night game and we have a bunch of games this Sunday, so the standings could change for Miami. The Bengals are now 2-3 on the road and still have 3 more road games on the season; the next one is week 10 against the division rival Baltimore Ravens. They do have four more home games and they are 4-0 so far at home, but a few more road wins could help Cincy clinch the AFC North.
The bad news for the Bengals in this game aside the loss is defensive tackle Geno Atkins was sidelined during the game with a knee injury. Add in the fact that Rey Maualuga and Taylor Mays were out of this game due to injuries sustained in the game against the Jets. They have two more games before their bye week, but their next game is November 10th so there will be time to heal, lets hope Atkins and the rest will be able to return soon, these guys are big factors when it comes to the Bengals defense.
As I said before, that game hurt – a lot – but no matter what happens Sunday the Bengals will still be in first place. They still have a great game and they will pick it up against the Ravens, so there is something to look forward to. For now let’s all relax and have some leftover Halloween Candy and prepare for the battle against Baltimore.
Happy belated Halloween everyone and have a great weekend.
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