Dolphins | Interceptions

Miami Dolphins’ defense full of big plays in overtime win


Brent Grimes’ interception return for a TD, and picks by Dimitri Patterson and Dannell Ellerbe helped Miami steal a victory in OT.

Matched against Cincinnati’s young wide receivers, two-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green and last week’s four-touchdown man, Marvin Jones Jr., the Dolphins defensive backs knew they would need a big night or get devoured like their AFC East rivals, the Jets, did last week.

The secondary had a “big night” if you define “big night” as “eventful night.” Cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Dmitri Patterson scored or set up 10 Dolphins points with interceptions. Just before they started jumping routes, cornerback Nolan Carroll got blindsided while playing special teams, leaving the game with a concussion.

After Patterson left the game with an injury early on the Bengals’ final possession, former Carolina seventh-round pick R.J. Stanford took the field for the Dolphins. And safety Jimmy Wilson helped save the game — for a bit, anyway — as the Bengals moved into field-goal range with 4:56 left in the fourth quarter and the game tied 17-17.

“At some point, you’ve got to trust what you’re seeing at the corner position,” Patterson said.

Wideout Mohamed Sanu juggled a pass over the middle and Wilson cracked Sanu, sending the ball into the air.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, beaten on the play, recovered to field the mini popup at the Dolphins’ 10. But they couldn’t stop repeated Bengals third-and-long conversions. Cincinnati converted its first six third downs of 8 yards or longer.

And on third-and-7 from the Cincinnati 42 on the Bengals’ final drive, he gambled on an out route by Sanu, missed and Sanu turned it into a 16-yard gain. The Bengals didn’t gain another first down before Mike Nugent’s 54-yard field goal gave Cincinnati a 20-17 lead.

The first two third-and-long conversions came on passes to Green with Grimes on the turf, after slips and skids that made the field look like Sun Life Ice Stadium rink. Grimes got a break when he wiped out again with nobody behind him and a pass headed for Green. Green pointlessly jumped as he dropped the ball.

But early in the second half, Grimes wound up speeding like Eric Heiden down the sideline with a 94-yard interception return for a TD, the fourth-longest interception return in Dolphins history. The Bengals had taken the second-half kickoff and appeared to be marching toward erasing the Dolphins’ 10-3 halftime lead.

“That was big; that was really big. Somebody needed to make a play,” Patterson said of Grimes’ interception.

Grimes said he changed his cleats later in the game and was more conservative about breaking on the ball.

The 36-yard field goal that gave the Dolphins the lead came after Patterson jumped an out route to Green, came down at the Cincinnati 42 and went out at the 39.

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.


    Armando Salguero: Joe Philbin optimistic about Miami Dolphins despite skeptics

    Joe Philbin welcomes a visitor with a warm smile and firm handshake and for the next 30 minutes enthusiastically talks about his Dolphins with a confidence that belies the coach’s first two seasons in Miami.

St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


    Greg Cote: Michael Sam is a distraction to embrace, not avoid

    It’s no surprise that Tony Dungy’s comments this week about Michael Sam — comments that on the surface seemed more benign than inflammatory — have created such a national tempest. Sports are a Petri dish for argument and debate under any circumstances, and when you add the politics of religion and gay issues to the mix, the chances of a quietly civil discussion have pretty much left the building.

<span class="cutline_leadin">building block:</span> Left tackle Branden Albert, above, 

will be the team’s replacement for Jonathan Martin.

    Miami Dolphins’ offensive line is new; time will tell if it’s improved

    The Dolphins’ offensive line, which allowed 58 sacks last season, will have four new starters – and center Mike Pouncey could be out until October. ‘We’ve got a lot of work,’ new left tackle Branden Albert said.

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category