The Miami Dolphins started the season 3-0 before they were thoroughly exposed by the Patriots in Week 4. But they’ve always played poorly in Foxboro, so there was a chance to bounce back, albeit on the road against the 3-1 Bengals. On Sunday, the Fins actually held a 17-0 lead in the third quarter—before they turned into complete doo-doo. (Not to be confused with ass.)
Miami didn’t score again as the Bengals racked up 27 unanswered points to win, duh, 27-17. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill helped out Cincinnati as much as he could. With the score at 17-10, he threw a pick-six, although to be fair, the ball bounced off one of his teammates before it landed in the paws of defensive end Michael Johnson:
After the Bengals tied the game, the Dolphins burned 4:13 to gain 20 yards and then punted. Cincinnati ran a four-minute drive to score a field goal and take a 20-17 lead. The ball was back in Tannehill’s hands, but it didn’t even take him a minute to lose it again. This time, rookie defense end Sam Hubbard took it to the house:
Okay: still a lot of time left. It’s a two-possession game; the Dolphins have all their timeouts; and there’s 2:33 left. Just string together a couple of plays and—
For fuck’s sake. Head coach Adam Gase attributed the collapse in part to starting left tackle Laremy Tunsil’s concussion and exit from the game. His replacement Sam Young (No. 79) wasn’t very good at keeping the pressure off the quarterback. From ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe:
“We lost Laremy and that kind of shook us up a little bit. We didn’t bounce back from that very well. They started teeing off on us,” Gase said. “We got to clean a lot of things up. We got to figure out how to give (Ryan Tannehill) a chance to throw it.”
When asked again what changed during the meltdown, Gase responded: “The left tackle wasn’t in. That kind of can do some damage. When you get behind, it kind of causes problems.”
Gase compared the loss to getting “kicked in the nuts,” which seems accurate. The Dolphins’ next game is at home against the Bears, who will have had two weeks to prepare. Khalil Mack might score five touchdowns against them.