Special Thursday AFC North Report: Bengals Lose in Overtime

Dolphins' defensive end Cameron Wake celebrating with the crowd after his game-winning safety sack against the Cincinnati Bengals. - Chris Trotman

A look at the Bengals-Dolphins Thursday Night Football game.

Here is a special Halloween/Thursday Night Football edition of the AFC North Report. Another will be coming out this Sunday, after the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns play.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) vs. Miami Dolphins (4-4)

The Cincinnati Bengals traveled to Miami to take on the Miami Dolphins on Halloween night during prime time.

It was close for a majority of the game. The halftime score would be 10-3, with the Dolphins ahead. Cincinnati got the ball first in the second half, and the Dolphins wouldn't get it back until there was less than two minutes left in the third quarter.

On the first Bengals' drive of the second half, they marched down the field with ease. They made it all the way to Dolphins' territory, but Andy Dalton threw an interception on the eight-yard line that would be returned by Brent Grimes for a touchdown, making the score 17-3. It was beginning to look good for the Dolphins in this one.

The Bengals would get the ball right after the Grimes' defensive score, and they would go to work once more. They drove it down the field and had a nice drive that was capped off by a Giovani Bernard touchdown run.

The Dolphins would get the ball back, but it would be a quick three-and-out, giving the ball right back to Cincy. They would capitalize on the defensive stop.

The Bengals began driving again, as Giovani Bernard and Andy Dalton picked apart the Dolphins' defense.

Then, an amazing thing happened for Cincinnati fans everywhere. Giovani Bernard had one of the best touchdown runs in NFL history, at least for a rookie. He ran to the right, got hit by two Dolphins' defenders, broke the tackles, came back to the left, went up the sidelines, broke another tackle, and ran awkwardly to the end zone.

It was said to be a 35-yard run, but it seemed as if he ran 70 yards to tie the ballgame up at 17-17.

The rest of the quarter featured a 54-yard field goal from Bengals' kicker Mike Nugent, and a 44-yard field goal from rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis of the Dolphins to send it into overtime.

Overtime wasn't much fun for the first six-and-a-half minutes. It was back-and-forth. Both teams got to one another's 40-yard line, but neither wanted to take a chance on their kicker kicking a 55-yard+ field goal. It was too risky.

Of course, this philosophy paid off for the Dolphins in the long run. After Miami made it to the Bengals' 40-yard line and decided to punt, they downed it at the eight-yard line, making it difficult for the Bengals' offense.

Andy Dalton would be rushed on first down, almost getting sacked for a safety, which would have ended the game.

On second down, Andy Dalton threw a pass that was intended for wide receiver A.J. Green. Green would trip and it would be incomplete.

Third down was the most interesting down of all. Throughout the entire game, the Dolphins had a hard time on third down. The Bengals were a total 10/20 on third down conversions, comparing to Miami's 3/14.

This third down would be in favor of the men in turquoise. Dolphins' defensive end Cameron Wake came rushing at Andy Dalton, nailing him into the end zone for a safety. That would end the football game, the final score being 22-20.

This was just the third time in NFL history that a game has ended on a walkoff safety in overtime.

Cameron Wake recorded three sacks in Thursday's game, including the game-winning one for a safety.

Notable Injuries:

Bengals' defensive tackle Geno Atkins left the game with a knee injury. It is being reported that he has suffered a torn ACL. An MRI will be conducted on Friday to confirm.

Linebacker James Harrison injured his hand, but it does not seem too serious.

Rookie running back Giovani Bernard left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a rib injury. It is believed that he could possibly have a bruised rib.

Next Game:

Cincinnati Bengals: @ Baltimore Ravens (Week 10- 11/10)

Current Standings:

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via ESPN

The Cincinnati Bengals currently lead the Ravens by two games. A win against the Browns this week would put the Ravens just 1.5 games back from first place in the AFC North.

The Cleveland Browns are in third place (2.5 games back), and the Pittsburgh Steelers are in fourth place (3 games back).

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