The Dolphins defense forced two takeaways, four Bengals three-and-outs and seven total punts in Sunday's 19-7 win. Five of those stops came courtesy of Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson sacks, the first multi-sack game of their Dolphins careers just 12 games into their respective Miami tenures.
A jack-of-all-trades, Van Noy picked up all three of his sacks lined up inside at his linebacker position. On the first, Van Noy dropped into coverage before closing on Brandon Allen when the Bengals quarterback broke contain. Van Noy wrapped wrestled Allen to the ground and got the Dolphins defense off the field in the second quarter. Then, coming free inside on a stunt, Van Noy dumped Allen again in the third quarter to force another Cincinnati punt. Finally, Van Noy got Bengals backup quarterback Ryan Finley in the fourth quarter to help Miami put the game away.
"I think we did a better job in the second half of bringing more energy," Van Noy said. "The offense got it rolling and we picked it up. We just have to do a better job of coming out of the gate a little better."
Defensive end Shaq Lawson added a pair of sacks of his own in the second half, giving him four on the season.
Van Noy now has six sacks on the season. With another half sack over the final four games, Van Noy will match his career high of 6.5 while Lawson can match his career-best (also 6.5) total with 2.5 more sacks to close out the year.
Defensive tackle Zach Sieler's fourth quarter sack gave Miami six on the day, a season-high.
The Dolphins extended their streak to 18 consecutive games with a takeaway, the longest in the NFL, and have allowed a total of 10 combined points in their past two games. That is the fewest allowed by the dolphins in consecutive games since the team also allowed 10 combined points to Baltimore and San Diego in Weeks 11-12 of the 2002 season.
"It's just excitement when you see a guy make a play," Lawson said. "You know throughout the week, he worked hard to make a play on Sunday and we just feed off that. People were feeding off Kyle (Van Noy), (Emmanuel) Ogbah, Christian (Wilkins). Christian is the one that gets us going. I'm part of that too but Christian, it's been different having him back. The energy level is different with that guy."