8:25 PM ET, October 31, 2013
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Dolphins win on Cameron Wake's safety sack of Andy Dalton in OT
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- With the Miami Dolphins needing any kind of score to end a four-game losing streak, two points were plenty.
On third-and-10 from his 8, Dalton retreated to the goal line and was tackled by Wake coming up the middle for the third overtime safety in NFL history.
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The officials immediately signaled the score, which was upheld following a replay review.
"You just have to do whatever you can to get to the quarterback," Wake said. "It couldn't have come at a better time. How much better could it have been than to have a D-lineman seal the deal?"
The Pro Bowl end totaled three sacks, and Cincinnati committed four turnovers that might have meant a difference of 17 points.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis disputed the safety call in his postgame news conference, saying the "ball was out of the end zone."
"But I don't get it, I don't know," Lewis said. "That's a quick look at the board. They got a little better resolution to look at it than I do."
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, speaking later in an interview with NFL Network, confirmed the call was correct.
"We had a great look at it, a look right down the goal line," Blandino said. "And when Wake first makes contact with Dalton, the ball is breaking the plane of the goal line. If any part of that ball is breaking the plane when the contact occurs, and he's driven back into the end zone, that's a safety."
The Dolphins (4-4) won for the first time since their 3-0 start and snapped a four-game winning streak by the Bengals (6-3).
"You never want to lose four games in a row," Miami coach Joe Philbin said, "and we had an excellent football team coming in town. It was time for us to step up, and we had to make a decision -- what are we going to be? And I thought they answered the bell pretty well tonight."
The Dolphins became the third team in NFL history to win a game in overtime on a safety:
|2013||Dolphins 22, Bengals 20|
|2004||Bears 23, Titans 21|
|1989||Vikings 19, Rams 17|
|-- Elias Sports Bureau|
The Bengals still enjoy a two-game lead in the AFC North, but their ranks are rapidly thinning. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury, and Lewis said the injury appeared to involve the All-Pro's ACL, which could be season-ending. A Bengals source told ESPN's Bob Holtzman that Atkins tore his ACL but will have an MRI on Friday to confirm the diagnosis. Atkins was on crutches after the game.
The teams traded punts to start overtime. After Cincinnati's Terence Newman was called for a 38-yard pass interference penalty, the Bengals dug in and forced another punt that pinned them deep, setting up the safety by Wake.
"My eyes were downfield, and he was there pretty quick," Dalton said, adding he thought he was out of the end zone.
"I don't think anyone expected the game to end on a safety," Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.
Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports
Cameron Wake, left, celebrates his game-winning safety sack of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
The Bengals lost despite totaling 28 first downs and 465 yards while holding Miami to three third-down conversions. They could have tried a 56-yard field goal in overtime but punted instead.
"We had a chance, maybe," Lewis said, "but we felt better about pinning them down."
Lewis made another decision that backfired, at the end of the first half. When the Bengals started from their 15 with no timeouts and 45 seconds left, he decided against running out the clock.
Mike Nugent kicked a 54-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in regulation to put the Bengals ahead, but Miami answered with a 50-yard drive, and Sturgis made a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to force overtime.
Brent Grimes returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown to put the Dolphins up 17-3 midway through the third quarter, but they squandered a two-touchdown, second-half lead for the second time in five days. On Sunday in a loss at New England, they were outscored 24-0 in the final 24 minutes.
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Cincinnati's Giovani Bernard scored on an electrifying 35-yard touchdown run that covered perhaps twice that much ground to tie it in the third quarter. He started right, doubled back left, weaved up the sideline, cut back across the middle and somersaulted into the end zone, leaving Dolphins sprawled in his wake along the way.
The run took 16 seconds. At least four defenders had shots at him, including Grimes, who missed twice -- once in the backfield as the play unfolded.
Cincinnati's Marvin Jones was kept out of the end zone four days after he caught four touchdown passes. Dalton's 50-yard touchdown pass to Jones was negated by a holding call against Jermaine Gresham as the Bengals sputtered four days after scoring 49 points in beating the New York Jets.
The Bengals drove 64 yards for a field goal in the second quarter to take a 3-0 lead and mounted an 80-yard drive for a touchdown in the third quarter. But Grimes' interception represented a potential 14-point swing, because the Bengals were at the Miami 10.
Bernard bruised his ribs in the fourth quarter, but the injury wasn't believed to be serious. ... Miami G Richie Incognito left the game in the second quarter with a neck injury, and CB Nolan Carroll suffered a concussion, also in the second quarter. ... The Dolphins improved to 6-0 on Halloween.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 31: A fan poses for a photograph on Halloween prior to the game between the Miami...(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.0||5.7|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-3||1-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|FG||12:01||Mike Nugent 31 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 14 plays, 63 yds, 5:57
|TD||2:40||Ryan Tannehill 1 Yard Run (Caleb Sturgis Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 93 yds, 5:51
|FG||0:11||Caleb Sturgis 36 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yds, 0:22
|TD||7:52||Brent Grimes 94 Yard Interception Return (Caleb Sturgis Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 15 plays, 73 yds, 7:23
|TD||2:14||Giovani Bernard 3 Yard Run (Mike Nugent Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:27
|TD||12:54||Giovani Bernard 35 Yard Run (Mike Nugent Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 70 yds, 2:15
|FG||1:29||Mike Nugent 54 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 9 plays, 35 yds, 1:43
|FG||0:16||Caleb Sturgis 44 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 9 plays, 50 yds, 1:13
|SF||6:42||Andy Dalton Sacked By Cameron Wake In End Zone For -8 Yards|
Drive info: 3 plays, -8 yds, 0:14
Geno Atkins has been a force to be reckoned with since he became the Bengals starting defensive tackle in the 2011 season. He leads all defensive tackles in sacks and forced fumbles during that span, while playing the third-most snaps. Geno Atkins had 12.5 sacks last season, the most by a DT since La'Roi Glover in 2000.[+]
Geno Atkins Ranks Among Defensive Tackles Last 3 Seasons
Andy Dalton was 3-for-11 passing when the Dolphins rushed a defensive back, throwing three interceptions and getting sacked for the "walkoff safety." Since 2009, only David Garrard has thrown as many interceptions in those situations (Week 2, 2010 vs Chargers).[+]
Andy Dalton vs DB Pass Rushers, Thursday vs Dolphins
The Dolphins ran for a season-high 157 yards, including 85 yards after contact on Thursday. Entering the game, the Bengals had allowed 33.9 yards after contact, ninth-fewest in the league. - Lamar Miller's 57 yards after contact (on 16 rushes) against the Bengals was the most Cincinnati has allowed in a game since Week 5 of the 2011 season (Maurice Jones-Drew, 60 yards after contact on 19 rushes).[+]
Dolphins Rushing, This Season
Andy Dalton was 4-for-11 for 78 yards and an interception on throws of at least 15 yards downfield Thursday. During the Bengals' previous four games, all wins, Dalton led all qualified quarterbacks, completing 65.2% of such throws.[+]
Andy Dalton Passing 15+ Yds Downfield, This Season
- Ryan Tannehill was 6-for-8 (75%) for 82 yards targeting Mike Wallace Thursday, also drawing a crucial 38-yard pass interference call in overtime. Over the previous four games, all losses, Tannehill was 18-for-42 (42%) for 246 yards and two interceptions targeting Wallace. - The Bengals dropped five of Dalton's throws on Thursday, their most in a game since Week 11 of the 2007 season. - A.J. Green had a career-high 19 targets Thursday, catching 11 balls. He gained 94 of his 128 receiving yards on third downs, his career-high on such situation. - Giovani Bernard averaged 7.4 yards after contact per rush, including 39 yards after contact on his 35-yard pitch in the third quarter.
142 rush yds is the Dolphins most in a 1st half since Week 17 2002 vs the Patriots
Andy Dalton is 15-of-23 (65.2%) passing 15-plus yards downfield during the Bengals' four-game win streak. The league average completion percentage on those passes is 41.0%.[+]
Andy Dalton Passing 15+ Yds Downfield - This Season
- Adds number of games in column With at least 300 passing yards, three TD passes and a 100 passer rating on Thursday Night Football at Miami, Andy Dalton will join Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young as the only players in NFL history to register four such consecutive games.[+]
Ryan Tannehill has been sacked a NFL-worst 32 times this season, and it's not as if he's holding on to the ball too long. Tannehill ranks 8th out of 33 qualified QBs in average time before pass (3.3 seconds) but only Terrelle Pryor has been sacked on a higher percentage of his dropbacks. Pryor, by comparison, averages 4.2 seconds per pass, which ranks last in the NFL.[+]
Ryan Tannehill - This Season
Andy Dalton: 3 TO, most since Week 6 2012 vs Browns
ESPN Stats & Information