Five snapshots from the Dolphins-Bengals series, focusing on games in Miami...
Dec. 23, 1973
On this day, almost exactly 46 years before the game Sunday, is when the Dolphins' second Super Bowl championship playoff journey began. The Bengals came to the Orange Bowl as AFC Central champs after finishing 10-4 in the regular and hung around for a while before the Dolphins pulled away for a 34-16 victory. As was the case during their two Super Bowl-winning years, the running game and the defense led the way. The Dolphins rushed for 241 yards, including 106 by Mercury Morris, and the defense kept Cincinnati out of the end zone — the Bengals' only touchdown came on an interception return.
Sept. 14, 1980
The Dolphins found themselves in trouble in this early-season game at the Orange Bowl when a safety gave Cincinnati a 16-7 lead with 6:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. Thanks to one of the most memorable plays in franchise history, the Dolphins were able to rally for a 17-16 victory. The comeback began right after that safety when the Dolphins surprised the Bengals with an onside punt on the free kick. Yes, onside punt. Punter George Roberts softly pooched the ball forward and cornerback Jeff Allen recovered the live ball at the Dolphins 35-yard line. The Dolphins then drove 65 yards for a touchdown, later took the lead on a 39-yard field goal by Uwe von Schamann, then clinched the improbable victory when Gerald Small came up with a last-minute interception.
Dec. 9, 1991
The Dolphins and Bengals met in a Monday night game in Week 15 of the 1991 season, and the Dolphins pretty much were in control the whole night on their way to a 37-13 victory. Dan Marino threw three touchdown passes, two to Mark Clayton and one to Mark Duper, and Mark Higgs had a touchdown run. But the most memorable moment of the night came when rookie linebacker Bryan Cox challenged the entire Bengals sideline after a player was seen celebrating a blindside block on kicker Pete Stoyanovich following a Dolphins kickoff that went into the end zone.
Oct. 2, 1994
This was a historic game, not only for the NFL but for professional sports. Hall of Fame coach Don Shula faced off against his son David, who was in his third season as Bengals head coach, in the first father-son head-coaching matchup in the history of the four major North American sports league. After Cincinnati took an early 7-0 lead, the Dolphins scored the last 23 points for an easy 23-7 victory. But the score was secondary on this night.
Oct. 31, 2013
The "Wake-Off" game. That's all we need to say about this prime-time game on Halloween. Cameron Wake gave the Dolphins a 22-20 victory when he sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone in overtime for a game-winning safety — only the third overtime safety in NFL history. The Dolphins had sent the game to overtime with a 44-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis with 11 seconds left in regulation that capped a 50-yard drive. The game also featured a 94-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brent Grimes that gave the Dolphins a 17-3 lead midway through the third quarter before Cincinnati answered with 17 consecutive points.