The Dolphins dominated Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but then in the fourth quarter, they gave up 23 straight points. Even in overtime, the game was ugly. It showed why during last week’s podcast, guest Eric Roddy predicted it would be the worst game of the century.
The offense was on fire for the first three-quarters of the game, which resulted in four touchdown passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick and a rushing touchdown from Myles Gaskin. Fitzpatrick even threw the first of the four touchdowns to defensive tackle and rookie first-round pick Christian Wilkins. It was the first touchdown for a defensive lineman in 41 years for the team. To top it all off, Mike Gesicki caught two touchdown passes and DeVante Parker secured his first career 1,000-yard season.
While other fans left the stadium when their team had a 23-point lead, the SFMN squad stayed put and watched as the Cincinnati Bengals marched down the field and scored 15 straight. They followed up with an onside kick recovery with just 28 seconds remaining in regular time, then a 2-play, 54-yard drive to tie the game and complete the 23-point comeback. Add in an easy two-point conversion run by Andy Dalton and the game was headed to overtime.
During overtime, both teams played poorly. But just before the clock hit triple zero, Jason Sanders hit a 37-yard field goal to try to ice the game.
The best part about this game was the play by Gaskin. The 22-year-old University of Washington grad was a clear game-changer and, along with Patrick Laird, was able to bring a consistent running attack for the Fins. It wasn’t a 100-yard game, and it wasn’t a focal point, but even small changes in the running game helped the offense.
Fitzpatrick threw for 419 yards along with four touchdowns and a single pick. Something to note: the “Fitztragic” game he’s accustomed to each season hasn’t happened yet. He’s been consistently average and that’s been enough for this rebuilding team. Yesterday, he was Fitzmagic and showed why Coach Flo is still starting him. He’s the best chance the team has to win.
I was wrong last month about starting Josh Rosen for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old still has potential, but the team will need to draft a quarterback in April to compete next year. All isn’t lost despite the win and attendant drop in draft choice. Rosen is under a cheap deal, plus the team has complete control over him and his contract until 2022. If things pan out and the Dolphins pick up his fifth-year option, they have control until at least 2023, all for just a max of $2.8 million a year.
The Dolphins honored the 1972 undefeated team at halftime. Recently with the centennial anniversary show for the NFL, the 1972 Dolphins were named the greatest team of all time. There were commemorative footballs, Dom Perignon and a lot of love from the crowd. The winningest head coach in NFL history, Don Shula, got the loudest cheers and celebrated an early 90th birthday with a cake and a carol from the crowd. It was a truly magical and goose bumps-filled halftime. Undefeatedville population: 1.
The team will face off against the New England Patriots in the season finale this Sunday. With nothing to lose except draft positioning, expect the team to put everything out on the field in Foxboro. It would be a stone-cold stunner if the Dolphins won, but we’ve been surprised before.