Dolphins make decisive play, beat Bengals 17-13

Associated Press Published: October 8, 2012
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CINCINNATI (AP) — Back-to-back losses in overtime were starting to play on the Miami Dolphins' minds.

Sure, they could point out that they'd played well, only to give those games away. And they could try to look at them as flukes, two weeks of last-minute disappointments that couldn't possibly be repeated.

Could they?

With a third straight game on the line Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Dolphins answered their own question with an interception.

Reshad Jones picked off Andy Dalton's overthrown pass at midfield with 1:22 left, preserving a 17-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that ended those two weeks of Miami misery.

"In the back of your mind, you hope that it doesn't show up again," receiver Brian Hartline said. "With that being said, we got over that hump."

Miami (2-3) had led at halftime before losing to the New York Jets and Arizona in overtime. The last one really stung — rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a fumble that helped the Cardinals tie it, then an interception in overtime that set up a 24-21 defeat.

"We had two tough weeks leading up to this one," Tannehill said. "Guys really talked all week about how we've got to finish. We were two plays away from having a winning record."

The Bengals (3-2) had a chance to make them sweat another one out, but blew it.

Mike Nugent missed a 42-yard field goal try with 3 minutes left, his first miss of the season. After the Dolphins ran down the clock and forced the Bengals to spend their timeouts, Cincinnati took over at its 20-yard line following a punt.

Dalton was under pressure when he sailed a pass intended for Andrew Hawkins, giving Jones an easy interception.

"I have to give it to the front line," Jones said. "They got the pressure on the quarterback. I just needed to make a play."

The Bengals never got anything going consistently on offense. Dalton was only 26 of 43 for 234 yards with two interceptions and three sacks against a defense that came in ranked No. 1 in the league against the run.

Miami had one advantage: Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle was a Bengals assistant for the past 11 seasons and knew a few things about how their offense operates.

"He's never had a problem motivating guys," Bengals safety Chris Crocker said. "You'll definitely play hard if you're in one of his defenses. Their front seven really played a heck of a ballgame."

So did their rookie quarterback.

The Bengals are in the midst of a stretch of five consecutive games against teams starting rookie or second-year quarterbacks. They'd won the first three by turning up the pressure — Cincinnati led the NFL in sacks coming into Sunday's game.



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