Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton for a safety with 6 minutes, 38 seconds left in overtime as the Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20 on Thursday to end a four-game losing streak.
On third-and-10 from the eight, Dalton retreated to the goal line and was tackled by Wake coming up the middle for the third overtime safety in NFL history. The officials immediately signaled the score, which was upheld following a replay review.
“We called a pressure, and the guys executed it well,” coach Joe Philbin said. “Cam had good pressure throughout the game and he made a play to end the game”
Wake had three sacks and Cincinnati committed four turnovers that might have meant a difference of 17 points.
The Dolphins (4-4) won for the first time since their 3-0 start and snapped a four-game winning streak by the Bengals (6-3), who still enjoy a two-game lead in the American Football Conference North.
The teams traded punts to start overtime. After Cincinnati’s Terence Newman was called for a 38-yard pass interference penalty, the Bengals dug in and forced another punt that pinned them deep, setting up the safety by Wake.
According to STATS, Minnesota’s Mike Merriweather had the first NFL overtime safety in 1989 against the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago’s Adewale Ogunleye had the second against Tennessee in 2004.
The Bengals could have tried a 56-yard field goal in overtime, but punted to the Dolphins instead.
Lewis made another questionable decision at the end of the first half. When the Bengals started from their own 15 with no timeouts and 45 seconds left, he decided against running out the clock.
His aggressive approach backfired when Dalton’s pass was intercepted by Dimitri Patterson, setting up a 36-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis to put Miami up 10-3 at halftime.
Mike Nugent kicked a 54-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in regulation to put the Bengals ahead, but Miami answered with a 50-yard drive and Sturgis made a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to force overtime.
Brent Grimes returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown to put the Dolphins up 17-3 midway through the third quarter, but they squandered a two-touchdown second-half lead for the second time in five days. On Sunday in a loss at New England, they were outscored 24-0 in the final 24 minutes.
Cincinnati’s Giovani Bernard scored on an electrifying tying 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that covered perhaps twice that much ground. He started right, doubled back left, weaved up the sideline, cut back across the middle and somersaulted in the end zone, leaving Dolphins sprawled in his wake.