CINCINNATI -- Starks gets pick
Randy Starks didn’t have Velcro on his gloves Sunday. It simply seemed that way.
Starks made an interception that defied much of what we know about physics and human reaction time. The Dolphins defensive tackle simply reached up and snatched the ball as it came bulleting out of Andy Dalton’s right hand.
The interception was the fourth of Starks’ nine-year career and led directly to a Dolphins touchdown.
“Good old Randy,” defensive end Cameron Wake said. “He’s giving DBs a run for their money.”
Added Starks, who also had half a sack, three tackles and two pass breakups: “You’ve only got point-five seconds to think about it. I was fortunate enough to make the play.”
Run defense OK
The Dolphins’ top-ranked run defense was shaky early, with Cincinnati running for 41 yards in the first quarter. That included a 29-yard jaunt by Bernard Scott in which he bounced off would-be tacklers like a bowling pin.
Miami did catch a break, however, as Scott sustained a knee injury in the first half and did not return. Miami buckled down after the first period, and the Bengals finished the game with 80 yards on 19 carries.
Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (knee) was active and played for the first time since the season opener, and moved around well. McDaniel showed good backside pursuit on a misdirection play in the first half, making the tackle from the far side of the field. McDaniel finished with two tackles and also recovered a fumble lost by Bengals receiver Armon Binns.
It was a little good, a little bad out of Dan Carpenter yet again. The Dolphins’ suddenly erratic kicker drilled a 46-yard field goal but later missed from 53.
Carpenter has made just 10 of 26 attempts from outside 46 yards since the start of the 2010 season. He was 14 of 15 from that range in the previous two years.
“We had the wind at our favor and, at the time, we thought that was a good decision,” coach Joe Philbin said. “We’ll have to evaluate it like we do every week.”
Video not kind
The Dolphins had a hard-luck day when it came to video reviews, including two losses on special-teams plays.
The first came in the game’s opening moments. A Bengals punt struck Dolphins safety Reshad Jones in the back, and then dribbled toward the sidelines. The refs said Vontaze Burfict recovered the ball before it went out of bounds, and saw nothing in the replay to change that assessment.
Then in the second half, Philbin lost a challenge on a punt that Cincinnati downed at the Miami 3-yard line. Both the ball and downing Bengal appeared to brush up against the end line, but there wasn’t conclusive evidence for the officials to call a touchback.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, were flagged just twice Sunday for 10 yards.
Said Philbin: “We talked last night about being disciplined.”
This and that
• Dolphins inactives: Pat Devlin, Jabar Gaffney, Richard Marshall, Will Yeatman, Michael Egnew and Rishard Matthews.
Gaffney signed with the team this week, although he was physically healthy enough to play, he was “rusty” and “not ready,” according to a Dolphins source. Receiver Marlon Moore was active for the first time in three weeks.
• Daniel Thomas, who missed a game because of concussion sustained in Week 1, apparently sustained another head injury in the fourth quarter Sunday. He did not return.
• Ryan Tannehill was listed on the injury report this week with a thumb issue, but he played without a brace.
• The weather was cloudy and near 50 degrees at kickoff.
• Jones, Brian Hartline and Jason Trusnik were the team’s captains.