Posts Tagged ‘Miami Dolphins’

Behind an overhauled offensive line coalescing in front of quarterback Joe Burrow and a defense forcing turnovers, the Cincinnati Bengals are looking more like the defending AFC champions.

After losing their first two games, the Bengals have reeled off two wins in a span of five days.

They beat the New York Jets on Sunday, then turned around and took down Miami 27-15 in a Thursday night game marred by the horrific sight of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being taken off the field on a stretcher.

Tagovailoa was taken to a hospital, but was expected to be released and fly home with the team. Coach Mike McDaniel said the QB sustained a concussion.

Burrow tossed a late a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst to seal the win after Cincinnati safety Vonn Bell picked off Miami backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with three minutes left in the game.

“All day the protection was awesome,” said Burrow, who was 20 for 31 for 287 yards and two touchdowns. “I had all the time I needed in the pocket to find the guys I needed.”

Tee Higgins caught seven passes for 124 yards and a TD for Cincinnati (2-2)

Evan McPherson kicked two fourth-quarter field goals — including a 57-yarder — when the Bengals’ drives stalled.

“Joe was lights out,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “You had to beat man coverage. We had the guys to do it and the protection to match it and the quarterback who, that’s what he wants to see.”

Bridgewater threw an incomplete pass on Miami’s final drive to turn the ball over on downs with 57 seconds left.

Tagovailoa was 8 for 14 for 110 yards and an interception before his injury. Bridgewater finished 14 for 23 for 193 yards, a touchdown and an interception in relief.

“It’s a tough loss,” Bridgewater said. “It’s tough walking away, especially under the circumstances.”

Tyreek Hill paced the Dolphins with 10 catches for 160 yards. Jason Sanders kicked three field goals and had one blocked. He also missed a point-after attempt.

“You’re going to lose games to very good teams if you lose the turnover battle and you’re kicking field goals instead of trying for touchdowns,” Miami coach Mike McDaniel said. “We had been executing. We didn’t today. You don’t get free passes against good teams.”

‘SCARY MOMENT’

The Bengals handed Miami its first loss of the season. The Dolphins departed Cincinnati with uncertainty surrounding the future of their starting quarterback.

Tagovailoa was chased down and thrown to the turf by Cincinnati’s Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being taken to a hospital with reported head and neck injuries.

His teammates gathered around as they worked on him.

“Very scary moment,” McDaniel said. “He was evaluated for a concussion. He’s in the concussion protocol, but he’s being discharged. It’s an emotional moment. It’s not a part of the deal you sign up for.”

The 24-year-old Tagovailoa was suffering from a sore back and was listed as questionable for most of the week ahead of the game.

Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills after appearing to be disoriented by what the team originally said was a head injury after taking a hard hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half. He missed just three snaps and returned after halftime.

The team and Tagovailoa said after Sunday’s game the quarterback had a back injury that caused his awkward stumble and fall after he was slammed into the turf in the second quarter. The team said Monday that Tagovailoa was not in concussion protocol. He said he “hyper-extended” his back after getting his legs caught under someone on a quarterback sneak.

CHEERS

At halftime, the Bengals added two players to their fledgling Ring of Honor at Paycor Stadium.

Isaac Curtis is regarded as one the team’s all-time great receivers. The four-time Pro-Bowler played in Cincinnati in 1973-84 and still holds the Bengals record for average yards per reception (17.07).

Tackle Willie Anderson was considered one of the best offensive linemen of his era. Anderson played in 182 games (regular and postseason) for Cincinnati in 1996-2007 and went to the Pro Bowl four times.

They join last year’s Ring of Honor inaugural class: team founder/coach Paul Brown, quarterback Ken Anderson, tackle Anthony Munoz and cornerback Ken Riley.

INJURIES

Dolphins: CB Xavien Howard left in the second half after suffering a groin injury.

Bengals: TE Devin Asiasi left in the second half with an ankle injury.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: At New York Jets on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Bengals: At Baltimore on Sunday, Oct. 9.

The Miami Dolphins’ defense stopped Josh Allen and the Bills at the goal line late, then held again after punter Thomas Morstead bizarrely kicked the ball off a teammate and out of bounds for a safety in a 21-19 win over Buffalo on Sunday.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins improved to 3-0 in an AFC East thriller that ended with Allen and the Bills attempting to spike the ball near midfield, the clock just running out on their chance to try a long-distance, go-ahead field goal.

Tagovailoa briefly left the game in the second quarter, returning after halftime despite appearing to be disoriented by a head injury. Allen also may have been injured, heading to the X-ray room after the game. He had his throwing hand checked by trainers late.

Miami took the lead with about 10 minutes left in the game, scoring a touchdown to go up 21-17, and the Bills faced their first deficit of the season.

Despite being sacked and flagged for unnecessary roughness on the next drive, Allen drove Buffalo down the field with a 17-play, eight-minute drive reflective of how the Bills offense operated all game. Miami’s defense held, though, nearly intercepting a pass on the drive and forcing a turnover on downs from the 2-yard line.

Down by three touchdowns, Tua Tagovailoa and his speedy Miami receivers raced past the Baltimore Ravens in a stirring fourth-quarter comeback.

Even Lamar Jackson couldn’t keep up.

Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns, four of which came during the final period, and the Dolphins rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat Jackson and the Ravens 42-38 on Sunday.

Tagovailoa’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Waddle with 14 seconds left completed the incredible comeback after Miami trailed 35-14 with under 13 minutes remaining.

“This just shows the resiliency of our team,” Tagovailoa said. “You look at the big picture of it, the confidence goes up.”

Through his first two seasons with Miami, Tagovailoa was adequate but not exactly a star. So this performance was huge for the Dolphins, who improved to 2-0 under new coach Mike McDaniel. This was Tagovailoa’s first 400-yard passing game, and his six TDs tied a team record held by Bob Griese and Dan Marino.

“I think it was a moment he’ll never forget and can use it moving forward,” McDaniel said. “I couldn’t be happier for him. His teammates learned a lot about him, and I think he learned something about himself.”

Tyreek Hill had touchdown catches of 48 and 60 yards during that rally, the latter of which tied the game with 5:19 to play.

Justin Tucker kicked a 51-yard field goal with 2:18 remaining to put Baltimore ahead, but that was far too much time for Miami’s offense, which the Ravens (1-1) didn’t come close to stopping in the final quarter.

The Dolphins overcame a spectacular performance by Jackson, who threw three first-half touchdown passes and then gave Baltimore its 21-point lead with a 79-yard TD run in the third. Jackson threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

The Ravens got into position for Jackson to throw a desperation pass on the final play of the game, but that fell incomplete.

Tagovailoa was intercepted twice in the first half, but he more than made up for that. Waddle had 11 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and Hill had 11 for 190 yards and his two TDs.

“He was making some throws, and those guys were doing their thing,” Jackson said. “Waddle, Tyreek — heck of a player. Shout out to Tua because he did his thing.”

Miami had 233 yards in the fourth quarter.

Devin Duvernay returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, and the Ravens never trailed until the final seconds. They might have scored a TD on all four of their offensive possessions in the first half if not for a fumble near the Miami goal line.

The Dolphins couldn’t recreate their exceptional defensive effort of a season ago, when their blitz wreaked havoc on the Baltimore offense. The Ravens lost that game 22-10 on their lowest-scoring night of the season.

Jackson put the Ravens up 14-7 with a short pass over the middle that Rashod Bateman turned into a 75-yard touchdown. Later in the second quarter, he threw for TDs of 1 yard to Mark Andrews and 12 yards to Demarcus Robinson.

Then Jackson’s most spectacular play came near the end of the third, when he faked a handoff and breezed through a big hole up the middle and past the Miami secondary. The touchdown was the longest run of Jackson’s career, and it also put him over 100 yards rushing, a record 11th time he’s done that. He previously shared the mark for quarterbacks with Michael Vick, who had 10 100-yard games on the ground.

Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history with both a touchdown pass and a touchdown run of at least 75 yards in the same game. He finished with 119 yards on nine carries.

After Duvernay’s touchdown to start the game, Tagovailoa drove the Dolphins into Baltimore territory, but Marcus Williams created a turnover with a remarkable display of concentration. He jumped in front of Hill to break up a pass, and while lying on the grass, he reached out to catch the falling ball before it hit the ground.

The Ravens drove to the 1-yard line, but after a third-down touchdown run by Jackson was overturned on replay, the Baltimore quarterback lost control of the snap on what looked like a quarterback sneak attempt on fourth down.

Miami drove 94 yards and tied it at 7 on Tagovailoa’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Waddle.

With the Ravens up 21-7, Tagovailoa’s deep pass was picked off — again by Williams — and that gave Baltimore a chance to score once more before halftime.

Tagovailoa threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki to make it 28-14 in the third, and his 2-yarder to River Cracraft in the fourth made it 35-21.

SECONDARY PROBLEMS

The Ravens obviously aren’t where they want to be in the defensive backfield despite adding Williams and first-round draft pick Kyle Hamilton in the offseason. It’s hard enough to stop Waddle and Hill when they’re taking short throws and running after the catch — but the game turned when Baltimore let Hill get behind the defense deep a couple of times.

“Never did you think we were going to have that many balls thrown over our head,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “That just can’t happen. That’s not OK. I don’t care who’s back there.”

Cornerback Marcus Peters was in his first game back after missing all of last season with a knee injury, and cornerback Marlon Humphrey played after dealing with a groin injury during the week.

INJURIES

Miami WR Cedrick Wilson left with rib issues. … Baltimore LB Steven Means was carted off in the second quarter with an ankle injury, and Duvernay entered concussion protocol late in the game.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.

Ravens: At the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Tua Tagovailoa passed for 270 yards and a touchdown and the Miami Dolphins provided an early look at their ability to contend in the AFC East as they beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots 20-7 Sunday.

Facing Belichick in a head coaching debut is never easy. But Mike McDaniel, the former 49ers offensive coordinator who was hired as the Dolphins head coach in February, made use of a talented defense and the speedy options he brought in during the offseason to extend Miami’s winning streak against the Patriots to four games.

Miami swept the Patriots in 2021, including a win in Foxborough in the season opener.

Second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle scored the Dolphins’ first offensive touchdown of the 2022 season, taking a fourth-down pass from Tagovailoa into the end zone for a 42-yard score. Waddle caught four passes for 69 yards.

Tyreek Hill, making his Miami Dolphins debut after the team traded for him during the offseason, led Miami’s receivers with eight receptions for 94 yards.

Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones threw for 213 yards with a touchdown and interception. Running back Ty Montgomery caught the Patriots’ only touchdown of the game. Damien Harris led New England’s rushers with 48 yards on nine carries.

In the second quarter, Hill ripped a jump ball away from defensive back Jack Jones, who nearly intercepted the pass from Tagovailoa. Hill, who is 5-foot-10, turned the play into a 26-yard gain.

Dolphins safety Jevon Holland made an immediate impact to start what is expected to be a breakout season.

On the Patriots’ opening drive, Holland intercepted Jones’ pass, which was intended for DeVante Parker, the former Dolphins receiver who was traded to the Patriots. Parker was working one on one against cornerback Xavien Howard, who tipped the pass away from Parker and into Holland’s hands.

The takeaway stifled the Patriots drive in which they converted four first downs to move into Dolphins territory.

Former Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram also played his first game as a Dolphin and scored a defensive touchdown in the second quarter. Safety Brandon Jones, on a blitz, got a strip-sack of Jones. Ingram recovered the ball for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 10-0 lead.

Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers made a contested catch over Dolphins defensive back Nik Needham for a 9-yard gain in the second quarter. But the Patriots did little else on offense and faced a 17-point deficit at the half.

The Patriots scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the third quarter after Montgomery caught a pass in the flat from Jones on third-and-6 and rolled into the end zone to make it 17-7.

Miami answered with a 49-yard field goal from Jason Sanders to make it 20-7. On the drive, Raheem Mostert, whom the Dolphins signed as a free agent in the offseason, showed his shiftiness, catching a short pass from Tagovailoa and dodging several tacklers for a 16-yard gain.

The Dolphins’ defense capped a dominant day with a fumble recovery by linebacker Jaelan Phillips with about five minutes left. Rookie defensive back Kader Kohou knocked the ball out of Patriots receiver Nelson Agholor’s hands. On the Patriots previous drive, Kohou broke up a pass to force a New England turnover on downs.

FAMOUS FACE

Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson was seen sitting next to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

WARM WEATHER

The Patriots arrived in South Florida a little early to get acclimated with the hot weather, which reached the low 90s in the week leading up to Sunday’s game. New England arrived in Florida on Tuesday and practiced at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Palm Beach County, about an hour from the Dolphins’ facilities.

INJURIES

Dolphins: RT Austin Jackson left the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter. … TE Cethan Carter left the game with a head injury in the second quarter and did not return.

Patriots: S Adrian Phillips left the game with a rib injury in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Patriots: at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Dolphins: at Baltimore on Sunday.

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was full of praise for Tua Tagovailoa after the quarterback was named one of the team’s captains for the first time in his career.

The Dolphins allowed their players to vote on their team captains using a point system, with Tagovailoa being the “resounding highest point winner,” according to McDaniel.

“It speaks volumes to where he is with the team and their belief in him,” McDaniel said Thursday to reporters, including NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe.

The 24-year-old is entering a pivotal third year with the Dolphins. A top-five pick in 2020, Tagovailoa’s play has been shaky since entering the league. He threw 16 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in 2021 but averaged only 6.8 yards per attempt.

Tagovailoa has earned praise this offseason from his teammates, most notably new wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The former Kansas City Chiefs star previously said the quarterback “has one of the prettiest balls I’ve ever caught.”

Miami’s six other captains are Hill, Terron ArmsteadXavien HowardJevon HollandElandon Roberts, and Christian Wilkins.

The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Preston Williams on Tuesday.

Williams has been on the trade block for the last few weeks, but the Dolphins were unable to find a destination for the fourth-year wideout, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Williams will now go through the waiver process.

Miami’s receiving corps has shifted multiple times over the last two seasons. The Dolphins drafted Jaylen Waddle sixth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and traded for star wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason.

The team signed Williams as an undrafted free agent in May 2019, and he had 428 receiving yards in his rookie season before tearing his ACL in November. Williams only has 359 receiving yards over the last two campaigns combined.

The Miami Dolphins announced Monday that they released veteran running back Sony Michel.

Michel signed a one-year deal worth up to $1.75 million with Miami as a free agent in May.

The 27-year-old halfback won his second career Super Bowl title after the New England Patriots traded him to the Los Angles Rams ahead of the 2021 campaign. He rushed for 845 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 4.1 yards per carry last season. He also added 21 receptions for 128 yards and one score.

New England drafted Michel in the first round in 2018. He spent his first three seasons with the Patriots, tallying 2,2292 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

Miami’s running back depth chart now features Chase EdmondsRaheem Mostert, and Myles Gaskin ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to finalize 53-man rosters.

The Miami Dolphins are signing free-agent pass-rusher Trey Flowers to a one-year contract worth $2.1 million, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Flowers, a seven-year veteran, played the first four seasons of his NFL career for the New England Patriots, winning two Super Bowls with Miami’s AFC East rival.

His strong play over that stretch – he recorded 21 sacks in 46 games – earned him a five-year, $90-million contract with the Detroit Lions in 2019.

Flowers remained an impact player in his first season with the Lions, recording seven sacks while starting all but one contest. However, injury issues limited him to just 14 games over the next two years combined. Detroit released the 29-year-old in March to save over $10 million in cap space.

Flowers will provide some added depth for an edge-rush group led by fellow free-agent signing Melvin Ingram and 2021 first-round pick Jaelan Phillips.

The Miami Dolphins have brought up tight end Mike Gesicki in potential trade discussions with other teams, a source told PFF’s Doug Kyed.

Gesicki is set to play on a fully guaranteed franchise tag worth $10.9 million in the 2022 season.

The playmaking pass-catcher is entering his fifth campaign with the Dolphins following back-to-back 700-yard receiving campaigns.

Gesicki is adjusting to a new offensive scheme under rookie head coach Mike McDaniel that will require him to do more blocking than in past seasons.

The veteran played with both the starters and backups during the Dolphins’ preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders, citing a desire for additional reps as he transitions to a traditional in-line tight end.

“I need all the reps I can get. … I’ve played receiver the past three or four years. I’m playing tight end now,” he said, according to NFL.com’s Kevin Patra. “And any reps I can get live out there blocking, putting my hands on another guy … I can use.”

If Miami decides to part ways with Gesicki, it could promote Durham Smythe or Hunter Long up the depth chart.

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham led the Raiders on a touchdown drive on the team’s first possession and Las Vegas defeated the Miami Dolphins 15-13 in Saturday’s preseason game.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa played in just two series in his preseason debut.

It was the first look at Tagovailoa in the Dolphins’ new system after the team brought in former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as the new head coach. Playing with most of his starters, Tagovailoa completed 6 of 8 passes for 58 yards.

Stidham completed 7 of 10 passes for 80 yards and was sacked once.

The Raiders’ touchdown came from a 12-play, 75-yard drive, which included passes of 14, 15 and 18 yards, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Zamir White, who could be the Raiders’ No. 1 option to back up starter Josh Jacobs. Jacobs did not play.

Tagovailoa did not lead a touchdown drive, but he connected with tight end Durham Smythe for a 10-yard gain on his first throw of the game and found running back Chase Edmonds for a 17-yard gain on the next play. The Dolphins’ offense looked unsettled on the drive, however, and was forced to punt.

Edmonds, acquired in the offseason, showed how important he could be in the Dolphins’ offense this season. He caught two passes on two targets for 21 yards and had just 3 rushing yards on three carries, but in his most impressive play, he caught a short pass from Tagovailoa and shed a Raiders defender to convert on third down.

Tagovailoa looked comfortable and had the time he needed to make his throws, but Miami got little production in the run game with its starters on the field. The Dolphins’ most productive runner was backup Salvon Ahmed, who finished with 20 yards and five carries.

Veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater replaced Tagovailoa. On his first drive, he was penalized for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety.

Bridgewater also made some impressive throws, including a 26-yard completion to rookie receiver Erik Ezukanma.

Dolphins rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson, who impressed in his NFL debut last week, had another solid outing, throwing for more than 100 yards, including Miami’s only touchdown — a 19-yard connection with rookie running back ZaQuandre White in the fourth quarter.

Nick Mullens replaced Stidham and was 6 of 9 for 39 yards.

THIN AT CORNERBACK

Dolphins cornerback Nik Needham left the game in the first half after appearing to injure his left hand making a tackle. In last week’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay, backup cornerback Trill Williams suffered a season-ending ACL injury, and the Dolphins to signed Mackensie Alexander earlier this week.

INACTIVES

Dolphins: Receiver Jaylen Waddle did not play, as he is nursing a minor undisclosed injury. Waddle was held out of practice this week out of precaution, though McDaniel said he expects Waddle to return during training camp. Also inactive were safety Eric Rowe, cornerback Xavien Howard, tight end Tanner Conner and offensive linemen Terron Armstead and Greg Little.

Raiders: A handful of the Raiders’ starters did not play, including quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, running back Josh Jacobs and defensive ends Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby.

UP NEXT

Raiders: Close out the preseason at home next Friday against the New England Patriots.

Dolphins: Face the Philadelphia Eagles next Saturday in their preseason finale.