Thursday Night Football sported a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions. The Cincinnati Bengals came in on a four-game winning streak and the Miami Dolphins had lost four straight after a surprising 3-0 start. Both teams proved that trends were made to be broken.
On Halloween night, the Dolphins dressed up like a team ready to make a run for the playoffs, and the Bengals dressed up as the New York Giants. It looks like the NFL called the AFC Player of the Month prematurely, because winner Andy Dalton was awful on the last day of the October.
With under a minute to go until halftime, Dalton did the one thing he couldn’t do when he underthrew A.J. Green on an out pattern for an interception that led to a Caleb Sturgis field goal. Later in the third quarter, Dalton proved he didn’t learn from that mistake by underthrowing another out pattern. Brent Grimes brought this one 94 yards the other way for a TD when Cincy was knocking on the door.
It was Dalton’s second red zone interception of his career. However, the play with the most impact from Dalton’s dreadful night was the game-ending safety in overtime.
The already banged-up Bengals defense lost Geno Atkins early in the game and weren’t given any favors by Dalton, who finished with a safety, three interceptions and a lost fumble. If there was ever a sufficient reason to recall the AFC Player of the Month award, it was Dalton’s Halloween performance. On the bright side, no other team can afford a loss more than the Bengals who still lead the terrible AFC North by two games.