Monday, November 1, 2010 at 7:32 a.m.
The Miami Dolphins remain perfect on the road after traveling into Cincinnati and taking down the Bengals 22-14 on Sunday. They're now 4-0 on the road, and 4-3 on the season. That's the good news. The bad news? The Dolphins offense flat out refuses to score touchdowns. Dan Carpenter just kicked another field goal while you read this sentence.
What Went Right: Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals. Carpenter connected from 38, 42, 24, 31 and a career best 54 yards to keep the Dolphins in the game while the defense held Cincinnati scoreless in the second half.
Late in the fourth quarter, while up by only a point, Chad Henne led the Dolphins on a 96-yard drive that included a 25-yard pass to Brandon Marshall and a 30 yard reverse run by Brian Hartline. That's right. The Dolphins ran a reverse! And it actually didn't blow up in our face like an airbag filled with cat shit! Ricky Williams finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown that gave Miami the 22-14 lead.
The Dolphins brought in the once maligned second-year corner Sean Smith to cover Terrell Owens after T.O. set Jason Allen on fire in the first half. The plan worked. Smith put T.O. and his popcorn on lockdown, taking him out of the game in the second half. Meanwhile, Vontae Davis held Chad Ochocinco to just three catches on the day.
The defense, as a whole, stepped up their game after being caught a bit off balance and giving up two quick touchdowns in the first half. After the offense failed to get some first downs to run out the clock because Dan Henning loves him some ineffective Wildcat, the D stepped up on Cincy's final push in the final three minutes. A Carson Palmer pass intended for Ochocinco was incomplete after Karlos Dansby hit the receiver so hard, he gave birth to baby pigeons. The following play, Smith intercepted a pass intended for T.O. to seal the game for Miami.
What Went Wrong: Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals.
What We Learned: We suppose the five field goals are a step in the right direction. There was a time when the Dolphins played football on offense like old people screw. Now it's more like a dude who just can't seal the deal with his special lady friend. Henne is looking sharper as the franchise QB, while Marshall and Davone Bess remain dangerous targets. But bad play calling and poor execution are becoming a constant buzzkill.
: The Dolphins face a dangerous Baltimore Ravens team next Sunday at 1:00. But they face them at Baltimore, so it should be fine. Expect a tough defensive battle. Also, expect a shitload of field goals.