On the day they honored the 1972 Dolphins, the 2019 version of the team put together the kind of performance for which that team was known for most of the game. They then had to overcome a crazy Cincinnati Bengals comeback to pull out a dramatic 38-35 victory in overtime.
Jason Sanders kicked a 37-yard field goal on the last play of overtime to give the Dolphins their fourth victory in eight games.
The winning kick came after Ryan Fitzpatrick had a 15-yard completion to Isaiah Ford on third-and-10 and followed that with completions of 14 yards to tight end Mike Gesicki and 28 yards to Ford.
Fitzpatrick, wide receiver DeVante Parker, Gesicki and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins all set or reached the milestones in the 2019 home finale.
Fitzpatrick became the first Dolphins quarterback since 2015 to throw four touchdown and reach 3,000 passing yards on the season, the fourth time he's done that in his NFL career. Fitzpatrick became the first Dolphins quarterback to reach 3,000 yards since Ryan Tannehill did it in 2015 and finished with a season-high 419 yards.
Gesicki was on the receiving end of two of Fitzpatrick's touchdown passes for the first two-touchdown game of his young NFL career. Gesicki scored from 31 yards out in the second quarter and 13 yards in the third quarter.
Wilkins scored his first NFL touchdown when he recovered his own fumble in the end zone after catching a short pass on a second-and-goal from the 1-yard line. He added to his memorable day with a sack in the third quarter.
Parker became the first Dolphins player to reach 1,000 receiving yards since 2014 when he caught a 51-yard pass in the first quarter. That play came shortly before Parker scored his ninth touchdown of the season. He went over 100 yards for the game in the fourth quarter, the third time in six weeks he reached that plateau.
For good measure, rookie Myles Gaskin scored his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard run that gave the Dolphins a 35-12 lead with 11:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. Gaskin left the game late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, after the Dolphins also lost defensive back Jomal Wiltz (shoulder) and linebacker Vince Biegel (elbow) to injury.
The Dolphins led 35-12 in the fourth quarter before Cincinnati rallied with three touchdowns, including two in the final 30 seconds. After a touchdown and two-point conversion, the Bengals recovered an onside kick and then drove 54 yards in 29 seconds, scoring when Andy Dalton threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Eifert and Dalton then ran it in for the two-point conversion.
Cincinnati began its comeback with a touchdown with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins took a 21-6 halftime lead behind the passing of Fitzpatrick, whose 252 yards were the second-most in team history for a first half.
The Dolphins began the game in style, driving 75 yards in 11 plays. The big play in the drive was a 27-yard completion to Allen Hurns on a second-and-20.
Defensive lineman Zach Sieler recorded his first sack for the Dolphins on Cincinnati's first drive before the Dolphins struck again.
It was another 75-yard drive, but that one necessitated only six plays. The drive was all about Parker, who passed the 1,000-yard mark with his long catch right after a 19-yard reception and capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown on a slant.
Cincinnati cut the Dolphins lead to 14-3 lead early in the second quarter, but that was a small victory for the defense considering the Bengals had a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line.
The Dolphins made it 21-3 with an 87-yard drive that featured a 35-yard catch-and-run by Albert Wilson and the 31-yard touchdown pass to Gesicki, who was so open when he caught the ball he backpedaled into the end zone.
After Randy Bullock kicked a 57-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half to bring Cincinnati to within 21-6, the Dolphins scored another touchdown on their first possession of the second half.
The drive began with a 22-yard completion to Parker and ended the 13-yard touchdown pass to Gesicki, who fought off cornerback Darqueze Dennard in the end zone.
Tyler Boyd scored Cincinnati's first touchdown on a 34-yard pass from Andy Dalton on a fourth-and-3 late in the third quareter.
Linebacker Trent Harris forced a fumble when he sacked Dalton late in the third quarter and rookie Andrew Van Ginkel recovered for his first NFL takeaway.
The Dolphins had everything going their way until Cincinnati mounted its comeback.
In the end, though, they still got the victory.
The Dolphins close out the regular season against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium next Sunday.