Bengals vs. Dolphins score, takeaways: Cincinnati beats Miami; Tua leaves game after scary injury – CBS Sports

Bengals vs. Dolphins score, takeaways: Cincinnati beats Miami;  Tua leaves game after scary injury - CBS Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night captured their second consecutive victory, evening their record at 2-2 after defeating the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 27-15. The game was overshadowed, however, by the scary injury to Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Late in the second quarter, Tagovailoa was sacked by Bengals defensive lineman Josh Tupuo, and in the process of being brought to the ground, his back and head hit the field surface. Tagovailoa was immediately in obvious pain, and his fingers went into a Fencing position, which is an involuntary response to head trauma. Tagovailoa — who was controversially allowed to re-enter last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills after sustaining what was initially described as a head injury but later called a back injury — was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. The Dolphins reported that he is alert, talking, and has feeling in his extremities, and the Amazon outlet stated that he is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday night and will travel back to Miami with the team.

Tagovailoa was relieved by Teddy Bridgewater, who performed admirably in his place, but threw a late-game interception when the Dolphins had a chance to take the lead in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. He and tight end Mike Gesicki had a miscommunication, with Bridgewater throwing a hot route against the blitz but seeing the ball whiz past Gesicki’s head and into the arms of Vonn Bell, because Gesicki was running an inside route and the throw was out.

In the absence of Byron Jones, the Dolphins chose to have Xavien Howard shadow Tee Higgins for most of the game, doubling Ja’Marr Chase on the opposite side. The strategy was largely successful until Higgins hit Howard for a 59-yard touchdown from Joe Burrow, and then had to leave the game due to worsening of his groin/swallow injuries. Miami’s backup cornerbacks were then outmatched against Higgins and Chase, who later set up the game-sealing score with a deep catch of his own.

Below, you’ll find takeaways from this Thursday night slugfest as Cincinnati knocks Miami out of the undefeated ranks. For a recap of this game, check out the live blog below.

Why the Bengals won

The Bengals’ offensive line did a great job protecting Joe Burrow in this one, which contributed significantly to their 13-point barrage in the fourth quarter to upset the Dolphins. Burrow finished 3 of 6 on throws of 20-plus yards, throwing for 138 yards and a touchdown – the 59-yard pass to Tee Higgins to give Cincinnati a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter.

Higgins had a big day with seven catches for 124 yards and that touchdown, but Burrow also threw for 287 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He has five touchdowns to just zero interceptions in his last two games, which Burrow has only been sacked four times (including once Thursday).

When Cincinnati protects Burrow, points get on the board.

Why the Dolphins lost

The Dolphins had a fourth quarter lead without their starting quarterback, but their third down and red zone conversions were severely lacking. Miami went 2 of 10 on third down and 1 of 3 in the red zone, only getting one touchdown on those attempts.

The defense also allowed the Bengals to score on each of their possessions that weren’t kneeling, as Cincinnati gained 167 yards in the final quarter and scored 13 points. Miami allowed 7.6 yards per play and only sacked Joe Burrow once in the game, allowing him to make the big plays downfield.

Turning point

With just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and down five points, the Dolphins were driving. On second down, just six yards short of the red zone, Bridgewater dropped back and tried to quickly hit tight end Mike Gesicki in the middle of the field. The throw was behind Gesicki, and Vonn Bell recorded his second interception of the night.

Burrow then took over in enemy territory, and the Bengals extended their lead to 12 points five plays later on a two-yard Hayden Hurst touchdown.

Game of the game

With Tagovailoa out with his head/neck injury, you had to wonder how Bridgewater would respond. Late in the third quarter, he looked deep and found streaking Hill for a 64-yard gain!

That play set up a Miami field goal that gave the Dolphins their first lead of the game.

Check out this second angle of the rocking catch:

What follows

The Dolphins will stay on the road in Week 5, and face the rival New York Jets. As for the Bengals, they will also be on the road, and will visit Baltimore to play Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on “Sunday Night Football.”

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