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NFL: Dolphins 17, Bengals 13

Published October 7, 2012 4:19 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cincinnati • No last-minute heartbreak for the Dolphins this time.

Reshad Jones put it away with a saving interception.

Jones picked off Andy Dalton's overthrown pass at midfield with 1:22 left on Sunday, preserving a 17-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that ended two weeks of miserable finishes for Miami.

Miami (2-3) had dropped its past two games in overtime, throwing away leads with turnovers. The Dolphins turned it around against the Bengals (3-2), who never got anything going consistently on offense and wasted a chance for a tighter finish.

Mike Nugent was wide right on a 42-yard field goal try with 3 minutes left — his first miss of the season — giving the Dolphins a chance to run down the clock behind rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was smooth in the toughest moments.

The Bengals got the ball back at their 20 following a punt with 1:45 to go, but Dalton's second interception sealed it. Dalton was only 26 of 43 for 234 yards with three sacks and two interceptions against the league's toughest run defense.

Miami showed it could slap down a few passes, too.

The Dolphins did it without cornerback Richard Marshall, inactive after missing practice all week with a bad back. Nolan Carroll started in his place and left early in the third quarter to get evaluated for a concussion.

The Bengals are in the midst of a run of five consecutive wins over teams starting rookie or second-year quarterbacks, putting heat on them with a pass rush that led the NFL in sacks.

They'd won the past three, but couldn't rattle Tannehill. He followed the best game of his career — 431 yards in a 24-21 overtime loss at Arizona — with a mistake-free showing.

Michael Johnson sacked Tannehill the first time he tried to throw, but the Bengals got to him only once more. Tannehill finished 17 of 26 for 223 yards without an interception.

The rookie had a fumble and an interception that helped Arizona rally to take the game to overtime and win it a week earlier. No miscues this time.

Tannehill completed passes of 15, 24 and 13 yards in a drive that led to Daniel Thomas' 1-yard touchdown run that put the Dolphins ahead to stay 7-6 late in the first half. He avoided the rush and completed a 28-yard pass that set up Reggie Bush's 13-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter.

It could have been even easier for the Dolphins. Fullback Jorvorskie Lane fumbled on a carry from the Cincinnati 11-yard line in the first half.

Still, it was more than enough for a defense that contained the Dalton-to-Green passing combo. Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green finished with nine catches for only 65 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown.

Cincinnati had to settle for a pair of field goals in the first half. Miami's defense held on a first-and-goal from the 4-yard line.

Tackle Randy Starks reached up and picked off Dalton's pass early in the second half, a two-handed grab as the ball reached the line. The interception set up the drive that ended in Bush's 13-yard touchdown run.

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Miami 17, Cincinnati 13

Miami 0 7 10 0 — 17

Cincinnati 6 0 0 7 — 13

First Quarter

Cin • FG Nugent 42, 10:35.

Cin • FG Nugent 24, :13.

Second Quarter

Mia • Thomas 1 run (Carpenter kick), 6:54.

Third Quarter

Mia • Bush 13 run (Carpenter kick), 12:18.

Mia • FG Carpenter 46, 8:35.

Fourth Quarter

Cin • Green 2 pass from Dalton (Nugent kick), 14:15.

Attendance • 61,162.

Mia Cin

First downs 15 18

Total Net Yards 279 298

Rushes-yards 35-68 19-80

Passing 211 218

Punt Returns 3-15 2-25

Kickoff Returns 1-30 2-49

Interceptions Ret. 2-1 0-0

Comp-Att-Int 17-26-0 26-43-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-12 3-16

Punts 5-49.6 6-40.5

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1

Penalties-yards 2-10 5-46

Time of Possession 28:49 31:11

Individual Statistics

Rushing • Miami, Bush 19-48, Thomas 10-29, Tannehill 4-(minus 4), Lane 2-(minus 5). Cincinnati, Scott 5-40, Dalton 4-21, Green-Ellis 9-14, Hawkins 1-5.

Passing • Miami, Tannehill 17-26-0-223. Cincinnati, Dalton 26-43-2-234.

Receiving • Miami, Hartline 4-59, Clay 3-35, Fasano 3-28, Bess 2-49, Bush 2-24, Lane 2-20, Thomas 1-8. Cincinnati, Green 9-65, Gresham 5-60, Hawkins 5-47, Binns 4-41, Leonard 2-19, Green-Ellis 1-2.

Missed Field Goals • Miami, Carpenter 53 (WL). Cincinnati, Nugent 41 (WR).