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4 things we learned from the Bengals’ win over the Dolphins

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Both the young and the experienced players were instrumental in the Bengals amazing come-from-behind win.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not you think this was a “trap game,” there was a point when the Bengals looked trapped. How could a team that put up 37 points last week have zero on the board nearly five minutes into the second half?

But the Bengals responded to the pressure, and after giving up 17 points to start the game, they went on to score 27 unanswered points to come out on top 27-17 against the Dolphins.

This was refreshing to see. Last season, the Bengals were on the other side of a 17-0 comeback against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Previous Marvin Lewis-led teams have always had trouble scoring in the second half. But the fact that this year’s Bengals stared down a three-score deficit and scored 24 points in the fourth quarter speaks volumes.

Three of the Bengals four wins have come from behind this season. It would be nice to see the Bengals hold a lead instead of take one from behind, but a win is a win, no matter what. And there are only three NFL teams that have as many wins as the Bengals, so they will keep winning any way they can.

Here’s what we learned from this weeks’ edition of Bengals’ victories.

Rookies and young players stepped up

Hubbard was one of the biggest heroes of the game, and his scoop-and-score was one of the best highlights of the day. He was one of two Bengals to score their first career touchdown in Week 5.

But fellow rookie Jessie Bates had one of the best all-around performances of the day. Bates was the highest graded defender, according to Pro Football Focus. His interception was the nail in the coffin, ensuring that the Dolphins would be unable to respond to Hubbard’s touchdown.

First-year starter William Jackson also had the best game of his season, re-asserting his former dominance.

The Bengals are going to need this version of Jackson back if they want to keep Antonio Brown under control next week.

One other sophomore phenom to have an amazing game was Joe Mixon.

Joe Mixon is back

Its hard to believe that Mixon had knee surgery three weeks ago. But two games after he suffered a knee injury (and refused to leave said game) and one week after he became the Bengals’ biggest cheerleader, the second-year running back touched the ball 25 times and gained 150 total yards.

Even though Mixon had 93 yards on the ground, it was tough sledding for most of the game. He only produced 16 yards on his first 11 carries. But he exploded in the second half, ripping a 31-yard run that helped set up his 18-yard touchdown pass. But that touchdown was not an easy ball to catch. Dalton was hit as he threw, so the wobbly pass was woefully under-thrown. Mixon made a great adjustment to the ball and looked like a wide receiver on the reception.

Perhaps his workload would have been a tad bit lighter if Giovani Bernard was active. But Mixon is a competitor, and wouldn’t have missed this game for the world.

The veterans also stepped up

Not only did the youngsters step up, but the veterans played a huge role in the win.

Hubbard was not the only big man to score a touchdown on the day. Michael Johnson got his first career pick-six to level the score in the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, Carlos Dunlap came around the edge and forced the ball out of Ryan Tannehill’s hand, which would be scooped up by Hubbard and taken to the house.

On the back end of the defense, Dre Kirkpatrick was a huge reason why the Dolphins wide receivers only combine for 90 yards. He didn’t get burned, as the longest pass given up to a receiver was only 16 yards. He only had one penalty, which was borderline, and he had two passes broken up. While the quality of receivers he matched up against was a giant step back from what he faced last week, it was still good to see him have success this week.

Offensively, A.J. Green had a great game against one of his favorite opponents. Green recorded his 32nd career 100-yard game, passing Bengals’ great Chad Johnson for most in franchise history. But his six catches were all key in moving the chains. Two of them came on third down on the drive ending in Mixon’s touchdown. The Bengals’s offense produced three scoring drives, and four of Green’s six catches were on those drives.

Teryl Austin was right about turnovers

Over the last two weeks, the Bengals have had zero takeaways, and been outscored by nine points in those two games combined. In all other games, the Bengals have had at least two takeaways, and have won by multiple scores.

Turnovers were key to the Bengals’ 27-0 run. More than half of the points scored by the Bengals were scored by defenders, and the defense made sure the Dolphins didn’t score after 12:35 in the third quarter.