Thursday Night Football: Bengals knock off Dolphins 27-15
The banged-up Dolphins put up a good fight, even after a scary injury to their quarterback, but they lost for the first time this season. The Eagles (3-0) now are the NFL’s only unbeaten team.
The Bengals beat Miami 27-15 before a Cincinnati-record crowd of 67,260 in Thursday Night Football. Cincinnati moved to 2-2 and dropped the Dolphins to 3-1.
Vonn Bell had two interceptions; Tee Higgins had seven catches for 123 yards; and Joe Burrow passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals looked as close to the 2021 version of themselves as they have all season.
The Dolphins won their first three games impressively, but the four-day turnaround worked to their disadvantage. They had 14 players on their injury report this week and nine had statuses entering the game, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, cornerback Xavien Howard, receiver Jaylen Waddle and left tackle Terron Armstead.
And the Dolphins had to leave Miami early Wednesday because of Hurricane Ian.
But the worst of it came in the second quarter when the Dolphins watched in horror as Tagovailoa left the field on a stretcher. He went by ambulance to a local hospital to be evaluated for head and neck injuries only four days after he was cleared of a concussion during the win over the Bills, which prompted an NFL investigation.
The Dolphins took their only lead of the game with 2:40 left in the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal by Jason Sanders, and they stayed close until the final two minutes.
The Bengals outscored the Dolphins 13-0 in the fourth quarter, with Evan McPherson hitting field goals of 19 and 57 yards before Burrow hit Hayden Hurst for a 2-yard touchdown with 1:52 left for the final margin.
Burrow finished 20 of 31.
Bell essentially ended it with a pick of Teddy Bridgewater with 3:05 remaining on a pass intended for Mike Gesicki at the Cincinnati 9-yard line. Bell returned it 46 yards to set up the Bengals’ final touchdown.
Bell had an interception of Tagovailoa in the first half when the Dolphins starting quarterback underthrew Tyreek Hill, who finished with 10 catches for 160 yards.
Bell had only two career interceptions in 96 games before Thursday.