Miami Dolphins Snap Conclusions from defeat of Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Schad
Palm Beach Post
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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) hands off to Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin (37) in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, December 6, 2020.

MIAMI GARDENS — Fisticuffs, shenanigans and tomfoolery!

It was a wild one at the Rock on Sunday, but the Dolphins beat the Bengals, 19-7, which is what matters most.

It does not appear anyone will be suspended, only fined, according to NFL Network, nor should anyone be suspended.

Xavien Howard's ejection was dumber than DeVante Parker's.

Who knows — maybe the Dolphins will put up a fight against the world champion Chiefs next Sunday. It is a true litmus test.

Here are some snap conclusions from Miami's victory, their seventh in eight games:

WR Lynn Bowden (31 snaps, 44 percent) — This was Bowden's best game as a Dolphin. There were flashes here of why the Dolphins traded a fourth-round pick to Las Vegas for Bowden and a sixth-round pick. His talent exceeds that value. He just needs some time to get it all together. Dynamic athlete. On Sunday, Bowden had four catches for 41 yards and 1 rush for 11 yards. He out-snapped Antonio Callaway, 31-13.

Miami Dolphins running back Lynn Bowden (15) gets pushed out of bounds after a big gain late in the first quarter by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates (30) and teammate William Jackson (22) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, December 6, 2020.

LB Kyle Van Noy (47 snaps, 90 percent) — Van Noy had 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits, 8 tackles and 1 pass defended. He was outstanding. It was his best game as a Dolphin. Van Noy has battled through at least four injuries and now he's performing very well. Van Noy was testy in a post-game availability, his first conversation with local media since the end of September. Van Noy has blasted local media on a live streaming gaming platform on multiple occasions for his perception of coverage. Hopefully a working relationship can be smoothed out. That's the best scenario for players, reporters and fans. It's been harder for reporters and players to get to know each other with locker rooms closed due to COVID-19. 

More:5 Instant Takeaways: Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa beat Cincinnati Bengals

CB Noah Igbinoghene (22 snaps, 42 percent) — After Howard was ejected, the Dolphins turned to the rookie and he was not noticeable, which is great. Igbinoghene struggled when forced into a starting role earlier this season. But it was a lack of experience more than a lack of talent. Igbinoghene is an explosive athlete with the diligence as well as ball skills to succeed in the league. If Howard and Jones are on the roster next season, as they should be, perhaps Igbinoghene can be worked into multiple roles in order to increase his versatility.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91), linebacker Jerome Baker (55), free safety Brandon Jones (29) and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene (23) bring down Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) for a short gain in the second half at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, December 6, 2020.

G/T Jesse Davis (56 snaps, 80 percent) — It must have been tough for Davis to start this game on the bench, considering he's played fine at both tackle and guard and is an offensive leader. But it barely lasted a quarter, as Davis came into the game for Ereck Flowers, who injured an ankle. Miami's offensive line was strong. The Dolphins did not allow a sack and the team topped 100 rushing yards. According to agent Drew Rosenhaus, Flowers' ankle injury is not serious. The Dolphins are fortunate to have three starting-caliber offensive linemen, including three rookies.

RB Myles Gaskin (50 snaps, 71 percent) — Gaskin is Miami's workhorse back for 2020, that is clear. Gaskin moved better than expected after having missed four games with a knee injury. Give credit where credit is due. Gaskin is a weapon in the receiving game and is worthy of his place on the NFL roster of a good team. In this game, Gaskin had 90 yards rushing and 51 yards receiving, including a 35-yarder. Though he looked improved in the summer, Gaskin's contribution is arguably the biggest surprise on the Dolphins offense this season.

More:Miami Dolphins' Mike Gesicki emerges as one of NFL's most exciting tight ends

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