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The Cincinnati Bengals third down issues continue and there were three areas that the Cincinnati Bengals needed to take advantage against the Miami Dolphins.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott left the stadium on crutches after a knee injury cut his afternoon short against the Miami Dolphins.
The Cincinnati Bengals defense showed up, largely containing the Miami Dolphins but the offense was simply outplayed during Cincinnati's second loss of the season.
Fortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins don't quite understand the concept of killing the clock, throwing an incomplete pass and Jovorskie Lane going out of bounds during a third down reception, leaving 1:45 remaining in the game when the Bengals took the field from their own 20-yard line.
Following a Jermaine Gresham tight-rope reception for 13 yards, the Bengals offense played to a similar tune that they've hummed all afternoon. An incomplete to Armon Binns, followed by an offensive hold on Jeff Faine leaves second and 20.
Dalton throw the football deep down the middle of the field, overshooting Andrew Hawkins, where Reshad Jones intercepted the football. The Dolphins take a knee to score the win.
The Cincinnati Bengals clearly found some mojo. A brilliantly needed screen was called from the Bengals 20-yard line, where Brian Leonard hauled in the reception and scampered 20 yards. Following a 12-yard reception by Armon Binns, Dalton finds an open Andrew Hawkins over the middle, juggling the football but securing the pass as he landed at the Dolphins 28-yard line.
Eventually the Bengals have fourth and five from the Dolphins 28-yard line with 3:05 remaining in the game. Instead of taking a chance down by four points with over three minutes remaining, Marvin Lewis sends Mike Nugent out to convert the 41-yard field goal. The usually dependable place kicker pushes the football wide right, leaving the field with no points and less time to make their comeback.
Despite Miami starting from their own three-yard line and generating 39 yards, the Bengals defense ratcheted up the violence a little, with a jaw-jarring hits from Rey Maualuga and Adam Jones, which forced the Miami Dolphins to punt the football into the endzone with over six minutes remaining.
The collision between Mauauga and running back Daniel Thomas with 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, stalled the running back's porgression not unlike slamming into a brick wall.
Rey Maualuga pulled himself out of the game, being evaluated for a possible concussion.
Can you feel it? I can' feel, momentum shifting for the first time this afternoon. Following a defensive three and out, punt returner Adam Jones fields the put at Cincinnati's 33-yard line, returning it 15 yards to the 48 with 12:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Eventually the Bengals setup with third and five from the Dolphins 35-yard line with over 11 minutes remaining in the third. Dalton takes the snap, looks downfield and finds his receivers are well covered. Dalton takes the quarterback sack, losing seven yards and forcing Cincinnati out of field goal range.
Kevin Huber punted the football 39 yards, downed at the three-yard line thanks in part to a great effort by Jeremy Miles, Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Mays. At least we had hoped it was. The play was overturned after Miami challenged the play, concluding that Miles had touched the goalline.
It began with the Bengals defense, forcing the Dolphins to convert a 53-yard field goal, largely thanks in part to Geno Atkins that forced Miami into a third and 19 situation. The Bengals offense on the other hand, have more work to do to break away from a mundane Sunday afternoon against Miami's impressive defense.
Thankfully the missed field goal gave Cincinnati possession from their own 43-yard line. And Andy Dalton used a combination of A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins, completing passes of 11, 3, 10, 18 setting up a six-yard scramble on first and ten from Miami's 12-yard line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis violently picked up three yards on second down as the third quarter expired.
Third and and one from the Dolphins three-yard line with the entire fourth quarter remaining during an 11-point deficit. Dalton sneaks the football and converts the first down, at the two-yard line.
Dalton arches the first down football to A.J. Green, how boxed out the defender, hauling in the touchdown to reduce Cincinnati's deficit to four points.
The Cincinnati Bengals defense almost convinced the frustrated fans at Paul Brown Stadium that they were going to reestablish some momentum. Following consecutive minimal gains, setting up a third and four, Tannehill takes the drop and scrambles. Wide receiver Hartline ran a quick out, noticed that Tannehill was scrambling and took off down field for a 30-yard gain to Cincinnati's 37-yard line.
Geno Atkins had had enough, fighting through a second down block and sacking Tannehill for a nine-yard loss to Cincinnati's 46-yard line. Despite an 11-yard reception by tight end Anthony Fasano, field goal kicker Dan Carpenter failed to convert the 53-yard field goal.
After a critical possession that the Bengals failed to do anything with, the Dolphins continued to make some big plays at big moments. Ryan Tannehill continued his efficient day with some short passes and it has plagued the Bengals defense all afternoon.
After an illegal shift penalty by the Dolphins, Tannehill connected on a pass to Daniel Thomas for a nine-yard gain to set the Dolphins up for field goal range. Miami kicker Dan Carpenter connected on a 46-yard field goal, extending the Dolphins lead 17-6. Miami has scored 17 unanswered points and the Bengals responded with another three-and-out on offense.
The Cincinnati Bengals have come out flat in the second half whereas the Miami Dolphins adjustments have clearly established a form of dominance early in the third quarter. After Randy Starks' interception to the Bengals 36-yard line, the Miami Dolphins went on a four-play touchdown drive, highlighted on Davone Bess 28-yard second and 15 throw to Cincinnati's 13-yard line.
With 12:27 remaining in the third, Bush easily wraps around the left edge, neutralizing and avoiding a flat defensive effort to give the Dolphins a 14-6 lead on the 13-yard touchdown run.
The Bengals had a golden opportunity to get things back on track and regain control of the football game coming into the second half. They began the half at the 20-yard line on a touchback and began to get to work.
Quarterback Andy Dalton completed two consecutive passes to Armon Binns and Jermaine Gresham, respectively and things looked up. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis kept up his one-yard per carry pace and the Bengals had a manageable third down situation. Dalton dropped back and threw a pass directly to defensive lineman Randy Starks and the Dolphins are in business.
The Cincinnati Bengals open the second half with a one-point deficit and possession.
Sunday's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins isn't for the weak of heart, if you're fandom is generated from the offensive side of the football. The Dolphins (132) have a four-yard advantage against the Bengals (128) on total offense and a 7-6 lead at half time.
It's a frustrating Bengals offense with a failed redzone effort and only one of eight conversions on third down. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has only generated seven yards on five carries and Andy Dalton's passing average is a mediocre 4.6 yards per attempt. Armon Binns fumbled the football, but it didn't hurt Cincinnati as the defense prevented Miami from converting on third and fourth and one. Yet Cincinnati's rushing defense, ranked No. 24 entering Sunday's game, has only allowed 34 yards rushing and a 1.8 yard/rush average. That being said Ryan Tannehill has found open tight ends and backs out of the backfield, completing seven of 10 passes for 101 yards passing.
The Bengals, who recovered two first half Miami fumbles, will open the second half with possession after winning the opening coin toss and deferring.
After the Miami Dolphins established a 7-6 lead following a 63-yard drive that spanned nine plays, Andy Dalton eases the first down pass to A.J. Green near the right sidelines, where he scampers and then fights through a Cameron Wake tackle. However during the process A.J. Green lost the football, which Miami recovered at Cincinnati's 38-yard line with under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter. After an official review, which showed Green recovering while his knee was down and officially tackled, the Bengals keep possession.
That was close.
Yet the Cincinnati Bengals were unable to capitalized from the sighed relief. Andy Dalton was sacked on first down, once again putting the possession behind schedule. A jet sweep to Andrew Hawkins on second and 13 picked up a modest five yards, setting up third down when the Bengals called a timeout.
On third and eight, Armon Binns is forced to slide to haul in the low pass, quickly standing and trying to generate a first down. Unfortunately the second-effort wasn't rewarded when the football was knocked out of Binn's possession by linebacker Koa Misi, which the Dolphins recovered at midfield.
The Cincinnati Bengals forced a four and out, following a stuffed tackle by the Bengals defensive line on Jorvorskie Lane.
After a poor Kevin Huber punt of 25 yards (we're not sure if it was grazed or if he just shanked it), Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tennehill delivered on some big throws, but the targets weren't who you figured they would be. Fullbacks and tight ends were Tannehill's go-to receivers on the drive where they employed the no-huddle offense yet again.
Javorskie Lane atoned his fumble with a nice 15-yard reception and William Clay had a huge 25-yard reception on a third and ten to put Miami in the red zone. Running back Daniel Thomas capped the nine-play, 63-yard drive with a touchdown. After Thomas scored, many Bengals defenders were seen breathing hard with their hands on their hips, tired from the Dolphins' no-huddle attack. Hopefully they find a remedy for that attack soon. Dolphins lead 7-6 in the second quarter.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott surprisingly cut through the Miami Dolphins defense for a 29-yard gain with under six minutes remaining in the first quarter. During the possession Scott generated 40 yards rushing on five carries, which eventually led to Mike Nugent's second field goal of the afternoon.
However during his last attempt, Scott limped to the sidelines and is listed as questionable with a knee injury. This will be his third injury this season, following a hand earlier this year and an ankle more recently.
Cincinnati's offensive continued struggling against one of the better defensive teams in the NFL. Following a quick flair to A.J. Green near the left sidelines that picked up two yards, followed by a mistimed connection between the Dalton and Green, the Bengals pick up the first down on a defensive hold following an incomplete to Andrew Hawkins.
Andy Dalton pitches to the right on first down where Bernard Scott hauls in the football, squeezes through the line of scrimmage, shedding tackles (at least three), picking up 29 yards on his biggest play of this young season and the most allowed by the Dolphins rushing offense.
Eventually the Bengals have third and two from the Dolphins 35-yard line where BenJarvus Green-Ellis is stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no-gain. Three third down opportunities, none converted. Dalton faked to Green-Ellis on fourth down and slung the football near the right harshmark where Jermaine Gresham, who cleanly released off the line of scrimmage into a crossing route, catches the football for a 20-yard gain.
One second and five from the Dolphins 10-yard line with 1:54 remaining in the first quarter, Bernard Scott takes the handoff and splits the line of scrimmage for a six-yard gain and the first down.
Following a three-yard loss on first and goal from the Dolphins four-yard line and incomplete pass through the back of the endzone, the Bengals setup third and goal from the seven-yard line. Dalton takes the shotgun snap and nearly completes the touchdown pass to Andrew Hawkins, but deflected by the Dolphins defense.
Mike Nugent converts the 24-yard field goal, taking a 6-0 lead.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill moved his offense methodically down the field after the Bengals took a 3-0 lead. The drive looked promising for Miami, capped by two big receptions by Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush and they were running the no-huddle offense to perfection.
Then, Javorski Lane was given an opportunity and the 1-3 Dolphins showed their inexperience. Marching for a touchdown, Lane fumbled the football and it was picked up by cornerback Terence Newman, who brought the ball up to the Dolphins' 21-yard line. Nate Clements forced the fumble and the Bengals currently have the ball.
The Cincinnati Bengals quickly went off-schedule following Vontaze Burfict's punt recovery at Cincinnati's 26-yard line, much like their first possession. Andre Smith was called for a false start and BenJarvus Green-Ellis went no-gain on first down, setting up a second and 15 with 11:54 in the first quarter.
Armon Binns picked up a chuck on second, during a crossing route that Dalton hit in stride withstanding a decent pass rush to Miami's 24-yard line. Third and eight, Dalton overthrows Andrew Hawkins over the middle, forcing Mike Nugent to convert a 42-yard field goal, giving the Bengals a 3-0 lead.
After the Cincinnati Bengals went three and out, thanks in part to a first down quarterback sack that forced Cincinnati into a second and 16, Kevin Huber punted the football. As the ball hit the turf and bounced, it hit Reshad Jones while he was making the block.
Vontaze Burfict alertly dove on the ball and the Cincinnati Bengals recovered at Miami's 26-yard line.
The Cincinnati Bengals defense is breathing with fire Sunday afternoon.
On second down and eight from the Dolphins 22-yard line, Reggie Bush takes the handoff and tries to beat the right edge. Defensive end Robert Geathers forced Bush to stretch out, giving Terence Newman time to sprint into the running back for the two-yard loss.
On third down Michael Johnson was one of two parts during a stunt, waiting for Geno Atkins to cross his body and looping around to sack quarterback Ryan Tannehill forcing the three and out.
This weekend's captains head to midfield, win the coin toss and elect to defer. The Dolphins will receive the opening kickoff.
The Cincinnati Bengals host the Miami Dolphins for their week five meeting.
Heading into last weekend's contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cincinnati Bengals rushing defense was ranked last in the AFC and No. 31 in the NFL, allowing 155.0 yards rushing per game. Yet for the first time this season, the Bengals rushing defense held an opposing offense below 100 yards, dusting Jacksonville's 10th-ranked rushing offense for only 69 yards last weekend.
The performance improved Cincinnati's defensive rushing ranking from No. 31 with a 155.0 yards rushing average, to No. 24 in the NFL allowing 130.8 yards rushing. So let's say that the Bengals are trending upward.
On Sunday the Bengals will take that No. 24 ranking against the Miami Dolphins, currently ranked No. 5 in the NFL, averaging 153.2 yards rushing per game. Four Miami Dolphins running backs have scored at least one touchdown (not including Ryan Tannehill's rushing TD), giving the team seven rushing touchdowns, which ranks No. 2 in the league.
Reggie Bush is the team's rushing leader with 369 yards rushing and a 5.5 yard/rush average. Rookie Lamar Miller, 5.5 yard/rush average on 23 carries, and Daniel Thomas (84 yards and 3.2 yard/rush average) back Bush on the depth chart.
According to the Bengals beat writers who receive the active reports 90 minutes before kickoff, Bengals cornerback Nate Clements is starting against the Miami Dolphins at strong safety with Taylor Mays being named as his backup.
Terence Newman will start at left cornerback in place of Clements' shift.
There are also some noting that defensive end Carlos Dunlap is listed as the No. 1 left defensive end on the depth chart, but Robert Geathers is still expected to make the start.
The Cincinnati Bengals are relatively healthier this Sunday than they have been all season.
Cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Jason Allen, both of whom were listed as doubtful on Friday, will sit this weekend against the Miami Dolphins. Beyond that Cincinnati's inactive list on Sunday are coach's decisions, requiring five additional players to sit so the team can dress the mandatory active 46 players.
They include wide receivers Marvin Jones and Ryan Whalen, safety George Iloka, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson and tight end Robert Quinn.
The inactive list for the Miami Dolphins includes recently signed wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, as well as cornerback Richard Marshall, quarterback Pat Devlin, wide receiver Rishard Matthews, tight end Michael Egnew and offensive lineman Will Yeatman.
There are significant discrepancies between offensive and defensive units between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.
For example the Miami Dolphins sport the league's top-ranked rushing defense, allowing 56.8 yards rushing per game. Though we often feel obligated to point out that two of the rushing offenses that the Dolphins have faced, are ranked No. 31 (Cardinals) and No. 32 (Raiders) respectively entering Sunday's game -- which includes Arizona's Thursday Night loss to the St. Louis Rams. The others include 24th-ranked New York Jets and the ninth-ranked Houston Texans.
On the other hand the Cincinnati Bengals rushing offense is currently ranked No. 13, averaging 110.0 yards rushing per game. Even worse is the lack of consistency, ball security and explosiveness from the Bengals rushing offense.
We've pointed out earlier this week that the Bengals will be challenged on the ground. And despite all of the team's rushing issues, they still need to keep this offense balanced, even if that means having a similarly unproductive afternoon. Yet if they grab an early lead, the running game will help control the game at Jay Gruden's pace, keeping Miami's 30th-ranked passing defense honest.
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