In a game that featured absolutely putrid calls on the field by the recently-returned "professional" refs, the Dolphins managed to hold off the Cincinnati Bengals for a 17-13 win. An overall sloppy game for both teams was sealed when safety Reshad Jones intercepted Andy Dalton with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter.
If not for some stout defensive play by the Dolphins defense, we'd probably be insulting the officiating crews' mothers after several questionable calls went against the Dolphins. The refs botched a fumble called as recovered by the Bengals after the ball inadvertently brushed Reshad Jones during a Dolphins punt return (despite being bobbled as the Bengals player slid out of bounds), another Bengals punt that should have been called a touchback that was downed at the two (though the Bengals player's foot appeared to be touching the goal line, thus a touchback) and an apparent A.J. Green fumble caused by Cam Wake, who dislodged the ball, put it gently aside, and then mauled Green like a delicious steamed pork gyoza.
Those were just three of the complete garbage calls making every Dolfan wonder if we could possibly bring the replacement refs back.
Regardless of the shitty attempts by the refs to influence the outcome of the game, the Dolphins still managed to snatch a victory on the road. Good stuff! Let's hit the highlights:
-- Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has been improving with each game under center, notching his best passer rating (92.0) and racking up 223 yards on 17-for-23 completions. Tannehill made some big-time throws throughout the game and threw no interceptions -- just stellar stuff from the kid. His game has grown from week-to-week and slowly the Dolphins passing game is becoming less and less cringe-worthy with each RT17 dropback.
-- As good as Tannehill was, the defense was even better. For much of the game, the Fins defense held A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and the rest of the Bengals offense to six points until an early fourth quarter Dalton-to-Green two-yard TD over CB Sean Smith. Other than that, the Dolphins held the Bengals to 298 yards and the NFL's No. 1-ranked run defense contained the Bengals to 80 yards on the ground. Particularly impressive on defense were Randy Starks (who had an interception and was consistently disruptive along the D-line) and Reshad Jones (who recovered from his earlier punt team miscue with some aggressive decision making and a game-sealing interception).
-- Hat tip to Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle who came over from Cincinnati this year to head up our defense. Based on the way we shut down the Bengals offense, it was clear Coyle used information from his tenure with Cincy to make a noticeable difference in our gameplan.
-- Reggie Bush, still hobbled by the knee injury suffered against the Jets two weeks ago, was nonetheless Pussyhammerlicious, running for a TD and being a total badass in the passing game.
-- Kicker Dan Carpenter was 50/50 on field goals, missing a 53-yarder wide left but making a 46-yarder in the third quarter, so we're not completely sure yet if all the years being the team's only offensive weapon under Tony Sparano has completely broken him or not.
-- Joe Philbin looked more Scooby Doo villain-y than ever yesterday. You can picture him having some dastardly plan to convince the whole town that the old amusement park over on the wrong side of tracks is completely haunted with ghosts.
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-- The Fins needed this game to prove they could close out a team when the Dolphins were leading going into the fourth quarter, particularly after two straight weeks of shitting the bed when they had the game in their grasp. There was definitely a moment there in the fourth quarter when that "oh shit, here we go again" moment started to creep up (especially after Charles Clay inexplicably run out of bounds to give the Bengals extra time on their last drive), but the Fins managed to hold on.
Overall, it was a great win for the Fins against a fairly quality opponent and Daniel Thomas didn't do anything stupid or make us all want to stick our penises in a waffle iron. That makes for a GREAT Sunday, folks. FEENZ OPPS!
The Ryan Tannehills take on the St. Louis Rams this Sunday at Sunlife at 1 p.m.