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Bengals have meltdown in 19-7 loss to Dolphins

A disaster.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals would like to forget their game in Miami as quickly as possible.

Despite a decent first half, the Bengals ended up losing 19-7.

Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley combined for 193 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bengals had only 40 rushing yards, but lost 37 yards to sacks.

A total of five players were ejected from the game, two from the Bengals and three from the Dolphins. Tensions were high for most of the game until the match came to a merciful end.

The Bengals were the more dominant team in the first quarter, gaining 123 yards to the Dolphins’ 60.

On third-and-two, Brandon Allen threw a two-yard slant to Tyler Boyd, which Boyd took 70 more yards down the sideline to the end zone. With 3:20 left in the first quarter, the longest reception of Tyler Boyd’s career gave the Bengals a 7-0 lead following the extra point.

Tua Tagovailoa targeted Devante Parker several times on the next drive, drawing two pass interference penalties from William Jackson. The Bengals’ defense didn’t break, however, and made a goal line stand, keeping the Dolphins to zero third-down conversions on the game. Miami settled for a 25-yard field goal with 11:42 remaining in the second quarter to get on the board, 7-3.

The Bengals got some help from the Dolphins with three straight penalties to get the ball near midfield. Boyd and Xavien Howard got into a tussle on the sidelines and the officials flagged Boyd. The league office in New York gave both players ejections, but the Bengals were still on the hook for 15 penalty yards. Randy Bullock attempted a field goal on the next play, but missed the 53-yard kick (which would have been 38 yards before the penalty).

The result cost the Bengals an easy field goal attempt, and gave the Dolphins field position with momentum. As the clock ran down in the second quarter, Jason Sanders made a 50-yard field goal to get the Dolphins within one at halftime, with a score of 7-6.

The Dolphins got the ball in the third quarter and used the momentum to score on two straight possessions. Tagovailoa drove down the field and found Mike Gesicki for a six-yard touchdown, his first passing score of the game. With 11:35 to go in the third quarter, the Dolphins took a 13-7 lead.

Miami ran an up-tempo offense in the second half, and it worked wonders. Tagovailoa had 137 passing yards in the first two drives of the third quarter after passing for only 111 in the first half. Their second drive of the third quarter took up eight plays and travelled 70 yards, but resulted only in a 23-yard field goal. With 5:33 left in the third quarter, the Dolphins led 16-7.

The Bengals went three-and-out, and the Dolphins got some help from the officials on the punt return, calling a penalty on Mike Thomas for a hard hit that appeared to otherwise be clean. The Dolphins benefited from the field position and drove right down the field again. The Bengals stood tall in the red zone again and forced a Sanders field goal with 13:21 to go in the game. The Dolphins led 19-7 after the 23-yard field goal.

Of course, the game was not all on the officials. The Dolphins outgained the Bengals in the third quarter 184 to -4. The Bengals couldn’t play offense or defense.

The Bengals punted again, and Thomas hit the punt returner before he had a chance to catch the ball. This sparked a brawl between the two teams, which resulted in Parker and Mack Hollins, and Shawn Williams ejections.

The Bengals got the ball back again, but Allen took three sacks on the next five plays. Ryan Finley came in to replace Allen after he was injured on a sack. Fittingly, Finley’s first snap resulted in a sack.

The Bengals made one final push, but Finley threw an interception to seal the coffin.

Taylor extended his winless road game streak as the Bengals dropped to 2-8-1.