The Cincinnati Bengals came away with the 27-15 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Paycor Stadium on Thursday night. While there were many reasons why the Bengals emerged victorious, chief among them was the fact that they significantly outperformed the Dolphins on third down, going 8-for-15 while Miami finished 2-of-10.
The result of the game was overshadowed by Tua Tagovailoa‘s scary medical situation in the first half, as he sustained head and neck injuries after being sacked near midfield. The Dolphins quarterback was taken off the field on a stretcher before being taken transported to taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further evaluation. The team confirmed that he is conscious and has movement in all his extremities. With less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter, Amazon reported thatTagovailoa will be discharged from hospital and is expected to travel back with the team.
Offensive spotlight: In a game full of receiver talent, Bengals WR Tee Higgins put together the best performance, securing seven catches from nine targets for 124 yards and a touchdown en route to an 85.0-plus overall grade on first review. Altogether, Higgins recorded four first downs, three explosive (15-plus yards) receptions and forced two missed tackles against a Dolphins secondary that had no answers for the Clemson product. Higgins' best play came when he roasted former All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard on a “go” route down the sideline for a 59-yard score.
— NFL (@NFL) September 30, 2022
While it came in a losing performance, Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill continued to prove why he's one of the most unstoppable weapons in the NFL, as he finished with 10 receptions from 15 targets for 160 yards en route to an 80.0-plus overall grade on first review. Hill also posted three explosive receptions and picked up six first downs as well.
Defensive spotlight: On the defensive side of the ball, Bengals safety Vonn Bell and Dolphins interior defender Christian Wilkins performed at extremely high levels. Bell posted a 90.0-plus overall grade on first review due to two interceptions and two coverage stops. Wilkins, on the other hand, recorded two pressures and five pass-rush wins that didn't result in a win, as he finished with a 90.0-plus pass-rushing grade on first review. The Clemson product also recorded three run stops to round out his dominant performance.
Rookie spotlight: This game lacked rookies who made a consistent impact; however, Bengals rookie edge defender Jeffrey Gunter blocked a Dolphins field goal in the first half, which definitely made a big difference in the game's outcome.
Offensive line spotlight: Both teams had a bit of trouble in pass protection Thursday night, as each team allowed 12 total pressures on first review. Even though they came away with the win, Cincinnati's offensive line proved to be an issue in pass protection again. Rookie guard Cordell Volson struggled the most, allowing three total pressure and a sack on the evening en route to a sub-30.0 pass-blocking grade on first review.
|Teddy Bridgewater||11.82||14 / 23||193||8.4||1||1|
|Tua Tagovailoa Q||3.4||8 /14||110||7.9||0||1|
|Joe Burrow||20.08||20 / 31||287||9.3||2||0|
|Tyler Boyd||7.62||1 / 1||23||23||0||0|
|Jaylen Waddle Q||5.9||5||2||39||7.8||0|