Bengals score vs Dolphins, takeaway: Cincinnati delays Miami; Tua leaves game after horrific injury

The Cincinnati Bengals won their second straight on Thursday night and are 2-2 after a final 27-15 victory over the Miami Dolphins. However, the game was overshadowed by a horrific injury to Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Late in the second quarter, Tagovailoa was cleared by Tigers defensive lineman Josh Tupo, who hit his back and head on the court surface as he was brought to the ground. Tagovailoa immediately felt palpable pain, and his fingers moved into a fencing position, an involuntary response to head trauma. Tagovailoa – who was controversially allowed to re-enter last week’s game against the Buffalo Bills after suffering what was initially described as a head injury but was later described as a back injury – was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. The Dolphins reported that he was alert, talking, and had feeling in his limbs, and Amazon Radio said he was expected to be discharged Thursday night and return to Miami with the team.

Tagovailoa was cleared admirably by Teddy Bridgewater, but he intercepted the ball late in the game when the Dolphins had a chance to take the lead in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. He had a miscommunication with tight end Mike Gesicki and Bridgewater threw a fiery line in the blitz only to see the ball fly over Gesicki’s head and into Vonn Bell’s arms as Gesicki ran It’s the inside line, and the pitch is outside.

In Byron Jones’ absence, the Dolphins opted to have Xavien Howard follow Tee Higgins for much of the game while doubling Jamal Chase on the other side. The strategy was largely successful until Higgins beat Howard for a 59-yard touchdown and then had to leave the game due to a worsening groin/hip injury. Miami’s backup cornerback was then beaten by Higgins and Chase, who later created the game’s block with a deep catch of his own.

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

why the bengal tigers win

The Bengals offensive line did a good job protecting Joe Burrow this time around, which greatly facilitated their 13-point barrage in the fourth quarter to topple the Dolphins. Burrow finished 3-for-6 on a 20-plus-yard throw for 138 yards and a touchdown — a 59-yard pass to Tee Higgins that gave Cincinnati a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter.

Higgins had a big day with seven catches for 124 yards and a touchdown, but Burrow also threw for 287 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He has five touchdowns and zero interceptions over the past two games, while Burrow has only been fired four times (including one Thursday).

Scores appear on the board as Cincinnati protects Burrow.

why the dolphins lost

Without a starting quarterback, the Dolphins did lead in the fourth quarter, but their third drop and red zone transition was severely lacking. Miami went 2-of-10 from the field in the third down and won 1-of-3 in the red zone with just one touchdown on those attempts.

The defense also allowed the Bengals to score on each of their non-knee downs, and Cincinnati had 167 yards and 13 points in the final quarter. Miami allowed 7.6 yards per game and fired Jobrow just once in the game, allowing him to make big moves in the frontcourt.

turning point

Trailing by five with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins were driving. Just 6 yards from the red zone, Bridgewater stepped back and attempted a quick hit to tight end Mike Gosicky in the middle of the court. Throwing behind Gesicki, Vonn Bell recorded his second interception of the night.

Burrow then took over enemy territory and the Bengals extended their lead to 12 after a two-yard Hayden Hurst touchdown.


With Tagovailoa out with a head/neck injury, you have to wonder how Bridgewater will respond. Late in the third quarter, he looked deep and spotted a streaking Hill for 64 yards!

The game set up Miami’s field goal percentage, which gave the Dolphins the lead for the first time in the game.

Check out this wobbly second angle:

what’s next

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

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