The Week 5 showdown against the Miami Dolphins was not the most impressive day for the Bengals’ offense. The team, which was leading the league in red-zone touchdown percentage coming into the game, was only able to convert on one. Although, they passed for close to 250 yards and rushed for over 100 yards, they were not able to score at all in the first half.
Even with these struggles the unit stepped up when it needed to. Quarterback Andy Dalton is performing at high level and making the clutch plays that he needs to make.
This is an incredible throw by Dalton. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd has the cornerback beat deep, but the safety is coming to overlap the coverage. Dalton puts the ball on Boyd’s outside shoulder keeping it away from the safety and allowing Boyd to make the catch for a 32-yard gain.
October 8, 2018
With nothing open down the field, Dalton somehow manages to slip out of the pocket here and gain some positive yardage. It is third and long and he comes up short of the first down, but this does improve the team’s field goal position (spoiler: it was blocked).
Dalton could have easily been sacked around the 36-yard line, which would have meant a field goal attempt of over 50 yards.
You underestimate the sneakiness pic.twitter.com/FYOEqDrBwM— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) October 8, 2018
Here we have a third and long late in the third quarter. The Bengals are down by 14 points and really need to get on the board. As the Dolphins’ pass rush gets a surge up the middle, Dalton scrambles to the right, he keeps his eyes down field and finds A.J. Green for a 21-yard pickup and the first down. This is a huge play that keeps the drive alive.
Another scramble here— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) October 8, 2018
Dalton finds AJ for the 1st down pic.twitter.com/cz6c0kvB1c
This next play has got to be a mistake in the pass protection. Dolphins defensive end Charles Harris is lined up outside of Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah to the right side from the Bengals’ perspective.
Dolphins defense tackle Akeem Spence is lined up over right tackle Bobby Hart who ends up double teaming him along with right guard Alex Redmond. It appears they had no idea that Harris was rushing the edge, and with Uzomah and running back Joe Mixon releasing into route, the second year defensive end was unblocked.
Dalton isn’t able to escape the rush this time, but he does get to Mixon for a touchdown.
Boom! pic.twitter.com/y7bRjMDbVg— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) October 8, 2018
A sack would have put them in a third and extra long situation. Once again, Dalton makes a play when the Bengals need him to.
Dalton is playing at an extremely high level this season. Even in a game during which the offense wasn’t performing at their peak level, Dalton found a way to make plays when he needed to, The Bengals are finding ways to win these tough games, which is the mark of a good team.