NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 3 Game Recap: Miami Dolphins 29, Cincinnati Bengals 26

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) steps back between plays in the first quarter of the NFL Preseason Week 3 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Miami Dolphins At Cincinnati Bengals Preseason

While it obviously didn’t matter, Sunday was a familiar sight for Cincinnati Bengals fans.

An unbelievable Reid Sinnett Hail Mary to Chris Myarick with 1:32 left in the game on a fourth-and-15 gave the Dolphins the game-winning score in a 29-26 victory. While there were very few starters in the game, the contest still had big roster implications going forward.


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Cincinnati Bengals

Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow returned to game action with a new and (hopefully) improved ACL. Sadly, all we saw was one dropped bubble screen, but it was at least perfectly on target. Both Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmur were efficient in his stead, though.

Running Backs

It’s difficult to watch Chris Evans this preseason and see any way he won’t see some meaningful snaps this season. He has the kind of skill set that can seamlessly replace Joe Mixon when the starter needs a breather. That is wholly evident as a receiver where Evans hauled in a 29-yard score. 

His separation ability and ball skills look more like that of a receiver than a running back. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

While it’s far too early to hit the panic button on first-rounder Ja’Marr Chase’s long-term prospects, his current yips could very easily stretch into the regular season. Chase dropped his only target on the day yet again.

He’s now dropped his past four targets, notching only one catch for 16 yards this preseason. This was decidedly not a part of his game at LSU.

Ja’Marr Chase Drops at LSU

Catches Drops Drop Rate
107 9 8.4%
Offensive Line

Bengals fans can’t help but be encouraged by what they saw from rookie Jackson Carman on Sunday. After a much-maligned start to training camp and first outing against Tampa Bay, the second-rounder has looked much improved the past two weeks. He didn’t take a single downgrade in pass protection on 20 such snaps in this contest.

Defensive Line

After seeing 259 fairly uneventful snaps as a rookie, Khalid Kareem made a splash in only 11 snaps Sunday He went to his patented bull-rush to collapse the pocket and then separated for a sack on Miami’s first offensive drive. For a team in desperate need of any pass rush after last season, a breakout year from Kareem could go a long way.

Linebackers

The Bengals have been searching far and wide for any sort of competent linebacker play over the past few years. Unfortunately, the second-stringers who played Sunday failed to make much in the way of impact. Keandre Jones was the only linebacker to have multiple stops on the day (two) — on first review — but he gave up over 50 yards in coverage.

Secondary

We didn’t get a look at any starter for Cincinnati in this one. That being said, the standout for the day was Jalen Davis. The former practice-squad player who ended up seeing action in three games last year notched 26 coverage snaps in this one. Twenty-one came in press coverage, and he wasn’t targeted a single time all day.

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Miami Dolphins

Quarterbacks

It was all Reid Sinnett from start to finish. The former San Diego quarterback did all he could to at least stay on the practice squad if not find a home elsewhere once cutdowns are finalized. He finished 22-of-33 for 343 yards with two scores and a pick, but the stat line doesn’t do his performance justice. Just watch what he did on the game-winning score:

Sinnett finished with three big-time throws on first review in an improbable comeback win.

Running Backs

Gerrid Doaks got all the opportunity to show what he could do with 16 carries on the day. It was not a particularly encouraging 16 touches, unfortunately. Doaks didn’t break a single tackle and managed only 56 yards for 3.5 yards per carry.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Malcolm Perry is only two years removed from being a quarterback full-time, and the improvement he’s made over that span has been massive. He was quite easily the Dolphins' best receiver on the field Sunday. He caught all three of his targets for 61 yards. 

 

Offensive Line

Robert Jones was the only penciled-in starter who saw any run in this contest, but with how young the Dolphins line is, a lot of the guys playing could still end up seeing time.

Maybe the most encouraging performance was from newly acquired left tackle Greg Little. He was in desperate need of a change of scenery after his time in Carolina. On 28 pass-blocking snaps, Little allowed only one pressure. The line as a whole allowed only seven pressures on the day in an overall strong showing on first review.

Player Pass-Blocking Snaps Pressures
Robert Jones 37 3
Larnel Coleman 37 4
Durval Queiroz Neto 29 2
Greg Little 29 2
Cameron Tom 24 0
Matt Skura 13 0
Defensive Line

The Dolphins' defensive line failed to generate much in the way of pressure. The unit got to Bengals quarterbacks on only 12 of 40 dropbacks and failed to secure a single sack. Rookie Jaelan Phillips was one of the few carrying his own weight, as he managed a hit and a hurry on only 11 pass-rushing snaps.

Linebackers

Sam Eguavoen, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Calvin Munson were the three highest-graded defenders for the Dolphins, pending review. All played 20-plus snaps, with Munson leading the way (47). The former San Diego State Aztec also tied for the team lead with three stops.

Secondary

Noah Igbinoghene has gotten some much-needed reps this preseason. After playing 51 snaps the past two games, he played 67 Sunday. The 21-year-old former first-rounder allowed only two catches on five targets for seven yards and had the game-clinching pass-breakup.

Noah Igbinoghene Preseason Stats

Receptions Targets Yards TD PBUs
13 9 102 0 2

If Igbinoghene can take a meaningful next step after a 38.8 coverage grade as a rookie, the Dolphins could have the league’s best cornerback unit this fall.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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