What it means: The Dolphins were finally rewarded for their hard work and effort. Miami had been very close to victory the past two weeks but suffered back-to-back overtime losses. The Dolphins finally got over the hump by beating a solid Cincinnati team (3-2) on the road. The Dolphins snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak. Miami improves to 2-3 and has one more game before the bye week.
What I liked: The Dolphins stayed poised late in the game, which is something we haven't seen this season. Miami couldn't make plays in the fourth quarter of close games up until Sunday. But Miami's defense got big stops and turnovers and the offense did just enough to preserve the win. The Dolphins' defense continues to play well. Cincinnati's offense, particularly its passing game, is not easy to defend. But Miami did a good job of mixing blitzes with zone and man coverage to keep the Bengals guessing. Good defense helped Miami jump out to a 17-6 lead in the second half. That was enough to hold on.
What I didn't like: The Dolphins got away with some sloppiness in the first half. Miami turned the ball over once on special teams and fullback Jorvorskie Lane fumbled near the goal line in the opening period. But Miami's defense did a good job of holding Cincinnati to six points off Miami's two early turnovers. Miami's running game wasn't as stout as usual. The Dolphins as a team averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.
What's next: The Dolphins will return home for the first time in three games next week when they host the St. Louis Rams (3-2). St. Louis will have 10 days to prepare for the Dolphins. But this is a good opportunity for Miami get back to .500 before the bye week.