CINCINNATI (AP) — Michael Johnson returned an interception for the tying score, and Sam Hubbard went 19 yards with a fumble for the clinching touchdown Sunday, rallying the Cincinnati Bengals from a 17-point deficit to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
With Joe Mixon back from knee surgery, the defense making more game-turning plays in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati (4-1) pulled off its biggest comeback of the season and extended its best start since its 2015 playoff season.
The Dolphins (3-2) had plenty of blame to go around for their second-half meltdown, helping the Bengals score those 27 consecutive points with mistakes.
Andy Dalton threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mixon to start the comeback, completing a drive that was extended by T.J. McDonald’s personal foul on a third-down incompletion. Mixon returned after missing two games following knee surgery and ran for 93 yards in addition to catching three passes.
The Bengals’ young defense sealed wins over Indianapolis and Baltimore with late turnovers. Two freaky bounces changed this one in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Tannehill’s pass under pressure deflected off the helmet of tight end Durham Smythe and caromed directly to Johnson, who ran 22 yards untouched for the tying score .
After Bullock’s 20-yard field goal gave the Bengals their first lead at 20-17, Tannehill was hit by Carlos Dunlap as he tried to pass and the ball flew to Hubbard, who ran untouched 19 yards to the end zone with 2:37 left to clinch it.
The Dolphins started the season 2-0, but have gotten flattened by New England and shocked by the Bengals in the past two weeks.
Miami made the big plays early, but couldn’t close it out with a 17-0 lead. Kiko Alonso picked off Dalton’s tipped pass near the end zone to stop Cincinnati’s opening drive, Vincent Taylor blocked a Bengals field goal attempt, and Jakeem Grant returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the first half.
Tannehill also put together a 95-yard drive for the other touchdown, culminating with his 22-yard pass to running back Kenyan Drake. Tannehill was 20 of 35 for 185 yards with three turnovers.
Dolphins: Grant was checked for a concussion after he was hit on the opening kickoff but was cleared to return.
Bengals: LB Preston Brown walked off the field in the second quarter after getting his right ankle checked but returned.
Dolphins host the Bears next Sunday.
Bengals host the Steelers next Sunday.