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Week 5 Game Recap: Miami Dolphins 17, Cincinnati Bengals 27
What you need to know
Everything was shaping up to be another special game for the Dolphins. They had built a 14-point lead heading into the 4th quarter and then the wheels fell off. Ryan Tannehill
looked like a deer in the headlights and had 2 ugly turnovers that were returned for touchdowns. Frank Gore
rushed the ball more than Drake again this week, but Drake had more targets than any other receiver. Jakeem Grant
did not make his presence felt on offense but did on special teams this week. He took a punt 71 yards to the house and gave the Dolphins a comfortable lead before it all fell apart. The defense played well and only surrounded 13 of the 27 points this week. The division lead over the Patriots is short lived as both teams are now tied at 3-2. Miami will host a tough Chicago defense at home next week and will try and limit a suddenly hot Mitchell Trubisky
-The Bengals missed John Ross
, Tyler Eifert
, and Giovani Bernard
in the passing game.
showed no signs of injury or rust and picked up right where he left off, looking like one of the top backs in the NFL.
-Poor protection forced Andy Dalton
to make plays scrambling around and he was able to make some key connections with A.J. Green
after protection broke down.
|QB Ryan Tannehill, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 35 - 185 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0|
This is a game that Tannehill will soon want to forget. He looked completely over matched by the Bengals pass rush and did not feel comfortable moving in the pocket or trying to escape. He threw 2 ugly interceptions and was strip sacked and had the ball returned for a touchdown. His lone touchdown pass was a beautiful corner route by Kenyan Drake
after he leaked out of the back field. It was not a difficult throw as there was no defender in the area and it came down to how Drake ran the route. Tannehill did notice that Drake was being covered by a linebacker and knew that is where he wanted to go with the ball. The first interception was the worst of the game. The pressure got to Tannehill and he attempted to jump and throw the ball just over the line and in front of the linebackers. However, he let go of the ball to late in his motion and spiked it right into the arms of a pass rusher. From there it was an easy 22-yard jog into the end zone for a touchdown. It is hard to say where he was trying to go with the ball. It may even have been a pump fake that got away from him, but in the end, it resulted in a touchdown for the Bengals. The second interception was not returned for a touchdown but did effectively end the game. Tannehill tried to take a shot deep down the middle to Kenny Stills
and it was an easy interception for the safety who was sitting back in coverage. Tannehill did not look comfortable at all this week and he will have to content with the likes of Khalil Mack next week and a rejuvenated Bears defense.
|RB Kenyan Drake, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 46 - 0, Rec: 7 - 69 - 1 (11 targets)|
The game script should have given both Drake and Gore a chance to run the ball and run the clock. However, with the poor play of Tannehill that did not happen, and Drake only pulled half the carries that Gore did. This was especially surprising when it seemed like Drake was having more success running the ball. Half of his yards came on a single 25-yard rush, but his average was still just under 5 yards per carry without that play. Drake was given more opportunity in the passing game this week and had more targets than any receiver on the team. Drake caught 7 of his 11 targets and a touchdown. The scoring play came on a 22-yard corner route by Drake out of the back field. Tannehill saw that he would have a linebacker in coverage and knew it was a plus matchup. Drake did out-touch Gore by the end of the game, but the lack of rushing attempts is concerning. There is no clear split for carries in Miami right now despite all the reports saying Drake is the starter. He had a good game this week and that may be enough to have his number of touches trend in the right direction.
|RB Frank Gore, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 63 - 0|
When a team has a 14-point lead in the 4th quarter, you normally assume they are going to run the ball and try to run out the clock. However, that was not the case this week and Gore was not given the opportunity to try and run out the clock. He had twice the amount of carries than Drake but was not targeted in the passing game at all. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and was still only given the ball 12 times. His longest run of the game was 10 yards, and he was not given the chance to build on that. Gore has now had 3 weeks of more carries than Drake, but the Dolphins still will not commit to the veteran. Gore is going to have a tough time running next week against Chicago and may lose out on touches if Miami gets behind early.
|WR Albert Wilson, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 43 - 0 (6 targets)|
It was a tough day all around the offense this week, and Wilson ended up with a similar line to Amendola. He caught 5 of his 6 targets and helped to move the chains a few times, but he could not break free and find the end zone. His longest play of the day was a 16-yard catch and run, but aside from that he was tackled almost immediately. No Dolphin receiver was able to create separation from their man or find any soft spots in coverage this week. Wilson is getting an extended look with Davante Parker inactive again this week.
The big off-season signing has not paid off for the Dolphins yet and Amendola continues to struggle. They have too many receivers with similar skill sets and a quarterback who is struggling to move the ball down the field. Amendola continues to run his normal crossing routes, but Tannehill does not seem comfortable throwing the ball across the middle right now. Amendola is going to continue to post subpar numbers until he gets better quarterback play. Half of his yards came on a single catch of 16 yards, but there was not much else working in his favor.
|WR Kenny Stills, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)|
The passing game was not effective for the Dolphins at all this week. They still managed to build a 14-point lead, but Stills did not play a big role in that. He caught 2 of his 5 targets and failed to surpass 20 yards this week. He was targeted deep down the field at the end of the game, but another poor throw by Tannehill resulted in an interception rather than garbage time yards. Stills had a catch of 13 yards and then was held to 4 yards on his only other catch. The boom or bust trend for Stills has moved towards the bust side after his breakout game in week 1. Facing an elite pass rush against Chicago next week, Stills may have some opportunity on quick passes, but Tannehill will have to play much better to make that happen.
It has been a toss-up between Grant and Wilson all season and this week he was shut out on the offensive side of the ball. Grant was still able to make his presence felt on special teams this week with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. This put the Dolphins up 17-0 at the time and looked to be the nail in the coffin. Unfortunately, that is not how the game played out and Grant only had 1 other target. The Dolphins are going to have to try and get the ball out quickly next week against the Bears pass rush and it may lead to more opportunity for Grant.
|QB Andy Dalton, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 30 - 248 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0|
While the fantasy numbers werenít there, it was another strong outing for Dalton. The Bengals offense started hot, methodically marching down the field and inside the Dolphins 10-yard line until a holding penalty put them in 1st-and-20. On third-and-long, Dalton threw an interception in the front of the end zone. He got too aggressive trying to squeeze it in to A.J. Green
and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones was able to break up the pass and tip it to a Dolphins defender. Dalton did a nice job moving in the pocket and making plays after protection broke down. He was able to step up, avoid pressure, and still complete balls downfield. Some of the passes were wobbly and didnít look pretty but got the job done. One of the off balance throws under pressure hit Green for a 23-yard gain on a deep crossing route. Green again escaped pressure and threw on the run to hit Green for a 22-yard gain to setup the Bengals first field goal. Daltonís 18-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon
also came with pressure in his face. He stepped up in the pocket and was able to get rid of the ball despite having a defender wrapped around his legs.
|RB Joe Mixon, 47 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 93 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 1 (4 targets)|
Mixon showed no ill effects from the knee surgery that kept him out of the last two games. He looked quick and was able to make explosive cuts. Mixon also instantly returned to a massive workload, touching the ball 25 times against Miami despite sharing time with Mark Walton
. Mixon was instrumental on the two most important drives of the day for the Bengals. He scored the only offensive touchdown of the game on an 18-yard catch. He lined up in the backfield and ran a route down the seam before breaking to the outside. Under heavy pressure, Dalton lofted it up in Mixonís direction. Mixon was able to come back to the ball and make a leaping catch and then run a couple yards into the end zone. He is one of the few bigger backs in the league who can make wide receiver-like plays like this out of the backfield. On the go-ahead field goal drive late in the fourth quarter, it was almost all Mixon. He had an 11-yard gain on a delayed draw up the middle. The next play, he took a handoff up the middle, found no room to run and bounced it outside with a sharp cut and then accelerated for a 31-yard gain. He showed the change of direction and speed that make him a special talent. He then made a man miss and on an eight yard gain just down to the 2-yard line. In addition to the crucial tangible contributions, Mixonís playmaking and attitude helped get the crowd into the game and build some mo-mentum when things were looking bleak.
|RB Mark Walton, 12 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (3 targets)|
Walton was tackled almost immediately on two attempted screen passes. While he didnít get many touches, Walton did play 20% of the snaps after logging 38% of the snaps in Week 4. He has earned trust as a pass blocker and is coming on a bit after a rough preseason.
|WR A.J. Green, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 112 - 0 (10 targets)|
Green set a franchise record with his 32nd 100-yard receiving game. He had an 18-yard grab over the middle off of play action. He is an extremely tough cover when lined up in the slot off running slant routes off of play action or RPOs. His speed and quickness allow him to get to the inside where he can then box defenders out. Green wasnít able to get into the end zone but had a couple opportunities. On the opening drive, Dalton tried to squeeze it in to Green on a post route in the front of the end zone but the safety made a nice break on the ball and tipped it to a Dolphins defender for an interception. Dalton was nearly picked off later when trying to squeeze it through double coverage to Green in the back of the end zone. Green was able to pick up a pair of long catches on scramble drill plays after Dalton escaped pressure. Green is always Daltonís first choice when he scrambles to buy time.
|WR Tyler Boyd, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 44 - 0 (7 targets)|
Boyd made a big catch early He hauled it in along the sideline between the cornerback and safety for a gain of 31 yards and was able to maintain possession despite taking a big hit. Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet game for Boyd. Not having John Ross
or Tyler Eifert
on the field led to more defensive attention and less space to operate.
|TE C.J. Uzomah, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (2 targets)|
Uzomah is the Bengals top tight end now that Tyler Eifert
is out for the season. However, he has a different skillset to Eifert and will see fewer targets as a result. His biggest strength is his ability to pick up yards after the catch and is less of a threat down the field. Both of his receptions came on short passes designed to get him in the open field as a runner. He picked up a 25-yard gain on a screen pass on the opening drive. He got the ball with some space and a blocker in front of him and he was able to make the most of his opportunity. Unfortunately, after the long catch to get the Bengals into the red zone, he picked up a holding penalty on the next play to set the team back. His second catch went for 18 yards. He leaked out to the backside after a play fake to the strong side, caught it short and did some nice running to turn it into a solid gain.