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  • Alex Seccia

Tua Tagovailoa carted off in a loss to the Bengals

Week 4 of the NFL season kicked off with a rematch of a quarterback matchup we last seen in one of the greatest college football games to date. Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals played host to Tua Tagovailoa and the undefeated Miami Dolphins. The last time these two quarterbacks faced off was back in college where Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers would go on to beat Tua and Alabama in a offensive shootout 46-41. A game where both squads equipped with a heavy arsenal of NFL players set the stage for what looked to be a part to of the electrifying showdown.

On a perfectly set primetime matchup the Bengals took social media by storm releasing the white and black uniforms they plan to wear for the late-night game. As if fans weren’t excited to see two high-powered offenses clash, they had some heat to add on to the hype. The Dolphins on the other hand would give their fans more worry than hype. Entering the game with a handful of key injuries, both offensive and defensive left room for worry if they could keep up.

Both offenses coincidentally aggressively tried to establish a run game throughout the whole game. Nothing wrong with establishing a little momentum if, your team can move the chains. Joe Mixon on was called on early and often. Receiving a heavy workload of 24 carries and 4 receptions. The featured back finished the game with one touchdown while averaging less than 3 yards per carry leaving his longest rush of the day going for only 7 yards.

Miami would have a little more luck in the run game with Raheem Mostert and Chade Edmunds combining for 20 carries and 75 yards would struggle to balance a pass attack. The Bengals and Dolphins found themselves within a one score game the entirety of the first half. Marching down the field, as both teams would get within side the 10-yard line and found themselves continuously being stuffed. Joe Mixon would find himself scoring the first points of the game off several aggressive rushes inside the 10. After two rushing plays gaining nearly ten yards, Burrow found himself handing the ball to Mixon on third and goal, where he took a posse with him as he drove the ball across the goal line.

With the game running close all game long, the rematch between the young quarterback was cut short when late in the second quarter, Tua went down. Trying to examine a contested field, Tua was pressured and eventually wrapped up where he was brought down hard bouncing his head off the turf leaving him motionless for quite some time. After being carted off and rushed to the University of Cincinnati Hospital where he is expected to be discharged as he was conscious and could move all his extremities.

Veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would step in for Miami. Failing to gain any sort of momentum, Mike McDaniel seemed to show hesitation in trusting his veteran backup especially late in the game. In a game that became a defensive battle McDaniel even after Tua’s departure seemed to keep the same play calling resulting in several three and outs. Run, run, pass seemed to catch up to Miami’s offense as they found themselves punting their first two possessions to open up the second half. In the few successes Miami had on offense, they found themselves on at the goal line where they ran the ball every down failing to get the yard they needed for the touchdown. With both defense playing exceptional in stopping the rush and getting pressure on the quarterback, it does leave room for question as why the Dolphins didn’t go for it on fourth down trailing the game with a backup quarterback.

As the game continued the Dolphins would settle for field goals while the Bengals started to run away with some late touchdowns. Even after the Bengals creating separation and time winding down in the fourth, Mike McDaniel kept to the script of: run, run, pass that was often followed by a punt. With time continuing to wind down, the Dolphins offense failed to show any sense of urgency to drive the ball and incorporate al their key playmakers.

Failing to score any points after the 20-yard field goal attempt from Jason Sanders, the Cincinnati Bengals knocked off the Miami Dolphins with a score of 27-15 leaving the Philadelphia Eagles the only undefeated team in the league.

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