Final

Dolphins 13

(0-2, 0-1 away)

Bengals 16

(1-1, 1-0 home)

8:30 PM ET, September 19, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 0 3 0 1013
CIN 0 0 13 316

39-yard field goal in final seconds wins game

CINCINNATI (AP) -- All that Carson Palmer cares to remember about this one is the final drive.

Palmer was nearly flawless in the final minutes Sunday night, setting up a 39-yard field goal by Shayne Graham that provided the Cincinnati Bengals with a breakthrough victory, 16-13 over the Miami Dolphins.

Graham's kick with 2 seconds left completed Palmer's first game-winning drive, a modest achievement on a night in which neither inexperienced quarterback did much that was memorable.

"It was ugly," said Palmer, who was 7-of-8 on the final drive. "Any win is great, whether you're Brett Favre or me. So many things have to go right for that to happen."

They didn't go right for either passer until the very end.

Palmer led the Bengals 59 yards to the winning kick. Most of his seven completions were short, low-risk throws to the sideline against a defense that had bedeviled him all day.

"At the end, we started calling different plays and started clicking, I guess," said T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had a 13-yard catch on the final drive. "That's something about a quarterback: When the game's on the line, what does he do?"

A.J. Feeley also struggled in his first start for the Dolphins, who fell to 0-2 for the first time since 1988, the last time they had a losing record. The problem is an offense that can't move the ball.

"It's tough to swallow," said Feeley, who made only his sixth career start. "I've got confidence that eventually we're going to make something happen, but it's on the offense right now."

The Bengals (1-1) were playing their first nationally televised home game in seven years, a measure of their long-standing ineptitude. They didn't want to blow it with the whole country watching.

The Dolphins took care of that. Aside from solid defense, Miami didn't have much going for it.

Feeley, who replaced Jay Fiedler at halftime of the opener, didn't do anything until the Bengals' defense went soft with a 10-point lead. He was 21-of-39 for 218 yards with an interception in a conservative offense.

The Dolphins have scored two touchdowns with an offense sorely missing running back Ricky Williams.

"It's very unfortunate that we lose two games and give up one touchdown (on defense)," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "That's hard to comprehend. We didn't play good enough anywhere on offense to win."

The Bengals failed to score a touchdown behind Palmer; linebacker Brian Simmons returned an interception 50 yards early in the second half for their only touchdown.

It looked as if it would be enough. The Bengals led 13-3 with less than five minutes left, but Feeley gave a less-than-compelling game an interesting conclusion.

Feeley threw a tipped 4-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers with 3:39 left after the Bengals' defense dropped back and eased up, allowing Miami's only sustained drive.

Palmer failed to lead the Bengals to a first down, forcing a punt that Lamont Brightful returned to the 31-yard line. Olindo Mare's 47-yard kick tied it with 1:53 to go.

Just like that, the crowd of 65,705 -- the largest in Paul Brown Stadium's five seasons -- got quiet and began expecting the worst. This time, the Bengals pulled one out.

Palmer was 21-of-38 for 147 yards, with a tipped interception and five sacks, but that was good enough on a regrettable day for Feeley and the Dolphins.

U.S. soccer player Heather Mitts, who dates Feeley, went onto the field before the game wearing her gold medal from Athens, promoting her team's upcoming exhibition in Cincinnati. She stuck around for the player introductions and got stuck behind the Bengals' honorary captain -- a guy in a black-and-orange fright wig, rose-colored glasses and "Who Dey" shirt.

The loss is likely to turn up the heat on Wannstedt, who has seen his team disintegrate since Williams unexpectedly retired before training camp.

Perhaps distracted by weeks of coping with hurricanes, the Dolphins tied their franchise record with 14 penalties in an opening 17-7 loss to Tennessee. They didn't have their act together a week later.

On their first play, numerous Dolphins took off while center Seth McKinney still held the ball -- or, as referee Walt Anderson described it after marking off the 5-yard penalty: "False start, offense. Everybody but the center."

Game notes


Miami had eight penalties overall for 69 yards. ... The Dolphins are 13-4 against the Bengals all-time, and had won their last nine against Cincinnati. The Bengals hadn't beaten them since 1977. ... It was Simmons' third career touchdown. He returned a fumble in 2001 and an interception in 2002.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Miami
Cincinnati
1st Downs1112
3rd down efficiency
3-165-19
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Yards226210
Yards per play3.72.9
Total Drives10
Passing201116
Comp-Att
21-3921-38
Yards per pass
5.23.1
Interceptions thrown
21
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-175-31
Rushing2594
Rushing Attempts
2029
Yards per rush
1.33.2
Penalties8-693-19
Turnovers31
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
21
Possession28:3331:27

Passing Leaders

MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Feeley21/392185.6122-17
CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer21/381473.9015-31

Rushing Leaders

MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Gordon19221.208
Feeley133.003
CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson22673.0014
Houshma...11111.0011

Receiving Leaders

MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
McMichael69315.5037
Chambers56913.8120
CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Warrick6518.5015
Johnson34515.0020

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERMIACIN
FG2:21OLINDO MARE 43 YD
Drive: 7 plays, 24 yds, 2:10
30
THIRD QUARTERMIACIN
TD2:59BRIAN SIMMONS 50 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (SHAYNE GRAHAM KICK) 37
FG9:49SHAYNE GRAHAM 48 YD
Drive: 8 plays, 14 yds, 2:56
310
FG14:47SHAYNE GRAHAM 36 YD
Drive: 7 plays, 29 yds, 3:31
313
FOURTH QUARTERMIACIN
TD11:21CHRIS CHAMBERS 4 YD PASS FROM A.J. FEELEY (OLINDO MARE KICK)
Drive: 4 plays, 53 yds, 1:18
1013
FG13:07OLINDO MARE 47 YD
Drive: 4 plays, 2 yds, :41
1313
FG14:58SHAYNE GRAHAM 39 YD
Drive: 10 plays, 59 yds, 1:51
1316