Dolphins Watch

November 1, 2010 12:05 AM

Carpenter kicks Dolphins to victory

CARPENTER.bmpFor the second straight week, the Dolphins struggled to put the ball in the end zone.

Thankfully, they have Dan Carpenter, who booted five field goals as Miami remained perfect on the road with a 22-14 win over Cincinnati.

With the Jets falling to Green Bay 9-0, Miami is just a game out of second and two games out of first place in the AFC East.

It wasn't a day for bold play calling, as Dan Henning elected to run the ball on third-and-long passing situations, and run it on third-and-3 inside the Bengals 20. When those plays failed, the Dolphins trotted out Carpenter, who has been one of their best players this season.

Again, Chad Henne was unspectacular, completing 24-of-37 passes for 217 yards and no touchdowns. But, he finally got some help from the running game, as Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for 108 yards, and Williams and Brian Hartline tripled the number of 20-yard running gains for the Dolphins in one game.

Williams scored the winning TD in the fourth quarter, then left it to the Dolphins' defense, which, after a shaky start, shut out the Bengals in the second half.

Cornerback Sean Smith, relegated to second string after his poor play in the preseason, may have finally regained his starting job. After relieving Jason Allen when he was beaten by ancient Terrell Owens for a TD that put Cincinnati ahead 14-3, Smith helped lock Owens down, and he ended Cincinnati's last offensive threat with an interception with 2:43 left in the game.

The defense did not record a sack, and at times it looked like Palmer had all day to pick out his targets, but the Dolphins did hold Bengals back Cedric Benson to 69 yards rushing.

For now, the Dolphins are winning ugly. Every game -- win or lose -- has been a struggle. And they've been downright Wannstedtian at times in their playcalling.

Baltimore looms next, then afterwards Miami will see its schedule finally soften.

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