MIAMI — With one defensive tackle and their middle linebacker already out, the Bengals lost the heart-and-soul of their front seven for the game late in the second quarter when two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle
But Cincinnati's bid for a fifth straight victory blew up when Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake blew past Bengals right guard
After the Bengals held the Dolphins on their opening possession of overtime, the Cincinnati offense drove to the Miami 38, where on third-and-eight Dalton couldn't connect with wide receiver
Rather than attempt a 57-yard field goal, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis opted for field position and a
The defense came up with a huge stop by
Dalton threw over 50 passes for the first time in his career, hitting 32 of 53, but none went for a touchdown and three got intercepted. His 116.8 passer rating in the four-game winning streak crashed to 55.4, and Green had a career-high 11 catches for 128 yards in his fourth straight 100-yard game during what looked to be another thrilling victory.
For the second time in three weeks
After Green converted Cincinnati's fifth third down of at least nine yards on a spin move that left cornerback Brent Grimes in the dust on third-and-16 for a 21-yard gain, the Bengals had a golden chance to take the lead. But Sanu dropped a ball over the middle at the Dolphins 14 and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe picked off the deflection with 4:56 left in the game for the fourth Bengals turnover. At that point the Bengals had more yards than the 402 they had in last Sunday's 49-9 win over the Jets but the four turnovers killed them.
Bernard, a Boca Raton, Fla., resident making a Halloween night homecoming, tied the game with 12:32 left on a play it appeared he was going to lose five yards on a sweep right. But the more ground he gave up, the more he gained. Bernard spun out of tackles in the backfield by Grimes, right end Olivier Vernon and linebacker Phillip Wheeler as he cut it back to the left sideline behind blocks by Dalton and tight end
As if to underscore the adversity the Bengals had to face all night, Bernard wasn't on the field late in the game because of a rib injury after a career-high 79 yards rushing on nine carries.
What an odd game. The Bengals held the ball for all but 2:50 of the third quarter in a gritty, resourceful stretch in the second half and they ended up keeoing the ball 12 more minutes than Miami while outgaining the Dolphins by 80 yards.
Moments after Bengals wide receiver
But the Bengals responded with another 80-yard touchdown drive and Bernard was at the center of it with an 11-yard run, a 10-yarder and a three-yard run for the touchdown that cut it to 17-10 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
In the first half the Dolphins buried the proud Bengals defense with their running game and used a terrible turnover in the last minute to take a 10-3 halftime lead.
Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson wrestled a sideline pass out of the arms of Green with 28 seconds left in the first half and Tannehill threw a couple of out routes to set up Sturgis's 36-yard field goal with six seconds left in the half.
The team that looked so powerful just four days ago in a 49-9 victory for its fourth straight victory blinked on the national stage as its defensive injuries kept piling and the offense couldn't score a touchdown after three straight games of 400 yards of offense in first half.
Dalton finished the half far off his AFC Offensive Player of the Month numbers with 13-of-22 passing for 121 yards and the interception for a 55.3 passer rating. The Dolphins played a bunch of zone defenses and the front seven still held up, stoning the Bengals on 35 rush yards on 10 tries.
Miami was already having its way with the Bengals front seven that came into the game missing its top two middle linebackers with injuries before Atkins had his right knee fallen on during a tackle. The devastating turn of events left Cincinnati with just two tackles in
Atkins, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product, left on a cart and wave to a group of about 40 family members and friends.
And to make matters worse, the Bengals briefly lost another linebacker when Harrison left with a thumb injury late in the first half but he was supposed to return. If he didn't, rookie free agent
The defense went into halftime knowing one of its two best defensive players is gone for the season with cornerback
The Dolphins ran it eight times on the 11-play drive as they gouged the Bengals for an unthinkable 142 yards on 22 carries. It was the most the Bengals have given up in a game except for the 182 they allowed the Packers as Lamar Miller went for 89 yards on 11 carries and Daniel Thomas added nine carries for 39 yards. The strategy was pretty clear. The Dolphins only threw it 12 times.
The big play in the touchdown drive was a pass, a 40-yarder to Wallace running through a gap down the middle working on Newman as Tannehill beat a blitz by WLL backer
And the biggest run ended up not hurting the Bengals as Miller zig-zagged for 41 yards to put the ball on the Bengals 10, but left end
And the Bengals looked to be rolling with Green wide open on the sideline in Miami territory on third down and he dropped it. It was symbolic of the perplexing punchless offense after such a hot streak.
After scoring on all five red-zone trips last Sunday against the Jets, the Bengals settled for Nugent's 31-yard field goal three minutes into the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead.
Bernard spun out of a tackle for five yards to get the Bengals into the red zone.
But Dalton got some heat up the middle on first and second down and he took an ill-advised sack in the red zone when Wake chased him out of the pocket and Dalton didn't throw it away.
Dalton hit six of his first 11 throws for 63 yards and four of them were to Green for 47 yards. Green, the AFC leader in receiving yards, set up the field goal converting two third-and-10s against Grimes. Grimes fell down on the first one, which went for 17, and then Green made a leaping catch over Grimes over the middle for 19.
It was Tannehill who was supposed to fumble the ball in the pocket Thursday night since he came into the game with eight of them. But it was Dalton who put the ball on the deck first when Wake beat right tackle
But the Bengals defense, which didn't let the Jets into the red zone on Sunday, didn't let the Dolphins here, and Sturgis missed his fifth field goal in six tries when he hooked a 34-yarder with 2:53 left in the first quarter.
Atkins wasted no time on the first series making himself right at home near his home. On second down he beat left guard Richie Incognito for his sixth sack of the season and on third down he forced the punt when he chased down Miller on a screen.
But the Bengals couldn't convert on three runs and uncharacteristically failed to cash a third-and-one. Running back
Not expected was head coach Marvin Lewis dressing all seven wide receivers with the activation of
The Bengals had the same captains they have had most of the streaks without Whitworth: quarterback Andy Dalton for the offense, defensive tackle Domata Peko and safety