You don't see many walk-off safeties in the game of football. In fact, a game had ended on an overtime safety only twice in the history of the NFL before Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton in the endzone to give the Miami Dolphins a 22-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
While the overtime sack was Cincinnati's most glaring mistake of the night, Josh Kirkendall of Cincy Jungle points to a host of offensive mishaps that helped contribute to the loss, which broke a four-game winning streak by the Bengals.
While the defense is suffering from a nasty run of injuries, the offense was miserable with mistakes. Andy Dalton threw three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and lost another fumble. Jermaine Gersham (really weak, but called regardless) was called for a hold that negated a 50-yard Marvin Jones touchdown, A.J. Green dropped a handful of passes despite recording 100 yards receiving in his fourth straight game, and Cincinnati uncharacteristically failed to convert a handful of short-yardage scenarios.
For the Bengals, the loss of defensive tackle Geno Atkins is as damaging, if not more so, than the hit to the wins and losses column. One of the league's best defensive lineman suffered an ACL injury which will likely cost him the remainder of the season. If the injury is indeed as bad as projected, Atkins will become the eighth Bengal to be placed on injured reserve this season and the third this week.
The Bengals battled back from a 14-point second-half deficit to take a 20-17 lead late into the fourth quarter, but Caleb Sturgis sent the game to overtime with a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining on the clock.
Kevin Nogle at The Phinsider takes it from there, recapping the overtime period.
... Both teams seemed to play overly cautious, punting on a short field, rather than trying for a long field goal. The Dolphins opened the extra period with the ball, but went three and out and had to punt. Then, the Bengals drove to the Miami 39, but punted rather than attempt the 56 yard field goal.
Miami then drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass attempt to Mike Wallace, but saw that drive stall and allowed Brandon Fields to work his magic. Punting from the Cincinnati 40-yard line, Fields kept the ball out of the endzone and pinned the Bengals at the eight yard line. Three plays later, Wake smacked Andy Dalton in the chest and brough him down for the walk off safety.