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Dolphins offense lays an egg in loss to Bengals

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Thank goodness the Miami Dolphins made a few plays on defense on Thursday night. Without them, their 22-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium would have been much worse.

Miami looked like they would make a game out of it in the first quarter. After Ryan Tannehill hooked up with Kenny Stills on a 74-yard scoring play on their second play from scrimmage, the Dolphins led 7-3.

After that, the Miami offense nearly ceased to exist. The Bengals regained the lead on a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.

That duo had their way with the Dolphins’ defense. Green had 173 receiving yards and the game’s only touchdown.

Cincinnati threatened to turn the game into a total laugher, but was instead forced to settle for five field goals the rest of the way. Miami just could not muster any offense to take advantage of the Bengals’ inability to score touchdowns.

Dolphins’ Coach Adam Gase is trying to build his offense around a patchwork offensive line. He will have to keep trying because Tannehill was sacked five times and the rushing game could only produce 62 yards.

To further illustrate Miami’s offensive woes, they could only muster a grand total of eight first downs the entire evening. They held the ball for only 22 while Cincinnati kept it for 39 minutes.

“We’ve got to get it fixed quick, and by that I mean Monday,” said Tannehill. “We’re kind of in a dark spot right now. It’s squarely on our shoulders.”

Gase said earlier in the week that jobs were on the line in tonight’s game. The defense showed some grit.

Coming into the game, Miami was the second-worst team in the league defending the run. The Bengals rushed for only 77 yards, forcing Dalton and Green to play pitch and catch most of the night.

Expect some changes on the offensive side of the ball. With only 222 yards of total offense, the sacks, and the lack of a running game points to a new head coach sending a message to his team.

Gase has 10 days to make whatever changes he will make and get his team ready for their next game. Miami, now 1-3, hosts the Tennessee Titans on October 9.

The Dolphins will not go on the road until November 13. Between now and then, they play four games at home interrupted only by their bye week on October 30.

 

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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