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G7: Dolphins 22, Cincinnati 14 (Final); Road Warriors! Miami improves to 4-0 away

[Watch out for the latest Dolfan Satisfaction Meter poll beginning at 5 p.m!].


FINAL: Nice road win today for Miami as slight underdogs. Called it a tipping-point game because, with at-Ravens on deck, a loss would have had Miami staring at 3-5 at midseason, and a palyoff longshot, while a win puts the locals at 4-3 and still in the fight. No huge stat games for Miami today. Here was the recipe: Stout defense, five field goals, and one brilliant 96-yard drive. [Dolphin Bonus: Jets lose today to Green Bay]. 

4Q: Big INT by Sean Smith with under 3 minutes left looks like a win clincher for Miami ..... You just had your best offensive series of the entire season. Why are you running the bleeping Wildcat!?!? ..... Now THAT is a drive for a suddenly safe(ish) 22-14 lead, as good a drive as Miami has had all season. It was 96 yards, featuring 25- and 24-yard passes to Marshall and Hartline, a 30-yard Hartline end-around, an 18-yard Ricky run, then a finishing 2-yard TD plow by Williams ..... Another special-team mistake by Bess, with a non-catch letting punt roll inside Miami's 5. 

3Q: A fifth FG by Dan "The Man" Carpenter gives Miami its first lead at 15-14 ..... Davone Bess fights the sun and loses, muffing a punt return that Cincy recovers.

2Q: Miami within 14-12 at half on Dan carpenter's fourth FG ..... More settling for another Carpenter FG to make it 14-9 in final minute of half ..... Oy! A should-have-been INT off the hands of safety Chris Clemons and into the hands of Owens for a 14-6 Cincy lead. Clemons will cringe when he sees that replay. Awful ..... That's a bad Chad Henne interception into double coverage ..... Dolphins add another FG. Why can't this offense finish?

1Q: Miami within 7-3 as fairly nice opening drive bigs down, settles for FG. Never a good sign when your kicker is among your offensive MVP candidates as midseason nears ..... Ugh. Miami defense gives up 86-yard TD drive for a quick 7-0 hole culminated by Terrell Owens schooling Jason Allen on a scoring catch.

Original post: You are 3-3 with a game at Baltimore on deck. So let's be real. Lose today and you're staring at the likelihood of 3-5 at midseason, a point from which the climb to the playoffs would be steep indeed. Win today and a 4-3 mark makes you feel like you're still in the fight. This is probably the easiest game in Miami's brutal eight-game stretch of schedule (games 2 through 9), so it's an opportunity that must be seized, not missed.

Looking for a concerted ground game today by the Dolphins, whose Ronnie & Ricky Show has played to lukewarm reviews. Cincy has lost three straight but that only makes today's road game tougher.

Your Dolphins-Bengals thoughts welcome here before, during and after the game.