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Three Turnovers And Pressure Frustrate Bengals

Posted Oct 7, 2012

Behind yet another strong performance by the defense and some timely throws by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami improved to 2-3 and handed the Bengals their second loss of the season.

CINCINNATI – Finishing games is something the Miami Dolphins talked at length about after back-to-back overtime losses and today they saw it come to fruition in a 17-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Behind yet another strong performance by the defense and some timely throws by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami improved to 2-3 and handed the Bengals their second loss of the season. Cincinnati came into the game riding a three-game winning streak.

“I think it was a great team win today and I thought all three of our components, offense, defense and special teams contributed to the victory,” Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “This is a very good Cincinnati team, a very well-coached team and a hot team obviously with three wins in a row. I’m real proud of the way our guys hung tough and hung together. We talked about it all week long that we had to display a lot of resiliency and I think they did.”

Safety Reshad Jones sealed the victory with an interception of an Andy Dalton pass with 1:22 left in the game. That was the third turnover forced by the defense as Miami won the turnover battle, 3-2.

Cincinnati managed to break one long run against the league’s top run defense, a 29-yarder by Bernard Scott late in the first quarter that helped the offense get inside the red zone. But the defense stiffened, just as it did following a muffed punt earlier in the quarter, and held the Bengals to a field goal.

Tannehill engineered a nine-play, 63-yard scoring drive late in the second quarter that was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Daniel Thomas and the Dolphins took a 7-6 lead into the locker room at the half.

Four plays into the third quarter, defensive tackle Randy Starks made a nifty interception at the line of a Dalton pass Three plays later running back Reggie Bush swept around the left side and dove into the end zone after a 13-yard run.

“It was just a hurry-up play and I actually saw they were a little gassed because we had just hit them with a 28-yard pass to Davone Bess,” said Bush, who finished with 48 yards on 13 carries. “Immediately my read took me outside because the edge was pretty much sealed off so I just stuck with my read and it opened up wide open for me. It was extremely important to score there because anytime you get a turnover, especially deep in their territory, you want to come away with points.”

One week after throwing for a rookie franchise-record 431 yards, Tannehill went 17-of-26 for 223 yards and a career-high 92.3 passer rating. His 28-yard pass to Bess and then a 30-yarder to Brian Hartline in the second half were completed on the run as Tannehill stepped up in the pocket and kept the play alive while looking down the field.

Those are the types of plays the athletic quarterback likes to make and these pressure-filled games are the type he considers fun because the adrenaline is going and the importance of each play heightens. Tannehill credited everyone on the offense for allowing him to make those throws on the run.

“Initially they did a good job of covering us down the field,” Tannehill said. “The offensive line did a great job of creating a pocket and allowing me to step up underneath the edge rushers and the receivers did a good job of extending the play. Hartline got downfield one time for me and Bess broke off his route and I think whenever they see me move they’re able to extend plays and it can really put pressure on the defense making them cover for four seconds instead of the normal two.”

Hartline was able to leave the field in his home state with a smile and he continues to be impressed with the plays being made by Tannehill considering he is a rookie.

“Those plays are huge and we’re going to keep growing,” he said. “That’s what this league is about, making plays off schedule. Davone had one good today as I did and that’s what we’re there for. We’re here to bail him out, he bails us out and it’s a give and take.”

Another example of just how much of a team win this was, Miami’s secondary also came up big against the potent threat of Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. Cornerback Sean Smith shadowed Green for most of the game and held him to nine catches for 65 yards, while Dalton had a less than stellar 63.5 passer rating. The Bengals converted just two of 14 third downs.

“It starts up front,” Smith said. “We had some blitzes dialed up front and we put pressure on him all day. The guy was escaping death plenty of times outside of the pocket but by the time that happened his read progression minimized.”
Game Pass: Miami Dolphins