Positives * Ryan Tannehill was an excellent game manager versus an outstanding defense. Mike Zimmer is one of the best in the business and once again, RT kept his team in the correct plays and on schedule. * Tannehill was awesome sliding around in the pocket. I am impressed with how he is moving around the pocket allowing his receivers to operate and get open. His pocket presence is off the charts. When he had to throw on the run, he was spot on. * I thought this was RT's best game in terms of ball handling. * I love Sherman's commitment to the run. Perhaps, Tannehill could have been unshackled, but I like the fact he stuck with the run. We will talk later about the end of the game scenarios, but I like how Sherman pounded the rock. * Scoring a TD off of the Starks pick * Defense...wow * Winning TO differential 3 to 2. * Red Zone Defense...the D buckled down early and forced FG's at crucial spots. Might be most vital part of the game. * Cincinnati was 2-14 on 3rd down...great to see the D get off of the field on 3rd down. * Props to Kevin Coyle. Going against his old team turned out to be a huge advantage. Coyle was easily the best coach on the staff today. * Randy Starks was amazing today. Starks is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league. The run stopping, pass rush and pick was tremendous. He plays with power, but is very athletic. * Cam Wake was a factor in the pass rush. Also, he dropped into coverage and made tackles (should have got credit for a forced fumble on Green). Solid game. * Run D was lights out again. * Quietly, Kevin Burnett was active * Nolan Carroll. I have bashed Carroll among the best of them. However, he was solid today and showed toughness after returning from friendly-fire hit. * Sean Smith. He looks like a new player. Two straight weeks of solid play. He is becoming a factor weekly. * Reshead Jones was active with some big sticks and the icing pick at the end of the game. Great to see a DB actually catching the ball. * Props to the team dealing with adversity of a terrible officiating crew. Negatives * Marcus Thigpen must start to catch punts. He has let far too many balls hit the ground losing field position. Today, his passiveness today cost a turnover when the ball hit Jones. Thigpen's TD from week one seems like a long time ago. * Lane's fumble. It cost a scoring opportunity in a game that was very close in the end. * Short yardage offense. The Fins had chances to keep the chains moving and could not pick up three feet. I will give a physical defense like the Bengals credit, but they won in those situations far too much. * Walt Coleman. He blew call after call. What a brutal crew. * Charles Clay: a drop that could have got Miami out of their own end. The ball hit him between the 4 and 2. Running out of bounds at the end of regulation. Dumb, dumb, dumb. * Late game management. I have been blistered with this today, but I stand by my critique. Find the thread and join in. Here are my issues... 1) Once again, we attempt a long FG when a punt was in order based on how the D was playing (and Andy Dalton). It swayed momentum again this week. 2) The Fins tempted the football gods by being so aggressive with the pass in the end. I feel (like the Arizona game) that the defense was leading the way. Put them in the best situation possible to win the game for the team. Run Reggie Bush...your best offensive player and force the Bengals to use their timeouts. They should have had the ball at the 20 with no timeouts with just under a minute left with proper clock management. 3) I hold Charles Clay and the staff responsible for him running out of bounds. It needed to be ingrained on the player to stay in bounds. If there were issues he could not take on those marching orders, another player should have been used. Overall Assessment * Solid game planning all around. Coyle was masterful. However, Sherman was steady today going against a physical Bengals D and an outstanding DC in Mike Zimmer. The Bengals are fundamentally sound on defense and I think Miami was effective against them. * Props to Coach Philbin and his staff for having the team mentally ready after two tough losses. Also, give a hand to the team leaders for keeping the team afloat. Great to see a bounce back performance from week 3 and 4. * While it was white-knuckled, it was good to see the team close a game out. Show progress. * The Dolphins have to win the turnover differential. Plus 1 today. If they can stay in the plus 2 or 3 they have a chance to win most games on their sked. * The margin of error with this team is thin. They must be effective in such crucial areas like field position, red zone D, 3rd downs and turnover differential. * Walt Coleman and his crew is brutal * Miami beat a solid team today on the road. Quality win. * The Fins played a very physical team and play another in the Rams next week. Good timing for the bye after next week.