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Midnight Madness
FFL: Offseason | NFL: Divisional

Dolphins survive late collapse and beat Bengals in OT, 38-35

Sun Dec 22 5:24pm ET
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer

Players: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, Allen Hurns, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, Myles Gaskin, Stanley Morgan

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to pass, during the first half at an NFL football gam against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)


Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gestures, during the first half at an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks to pass, during the second half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)


Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) goes after the football after the fumbles and recovered it for a touchdown, during the first half at an NFL football game ab=, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) A laugher became a thriller for the Miami Dolphins, and they needed overtime to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Miami gave up 16 points in the final 29 seconds of regulation but regrouped, and Jason Sanders kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired for a 38-35 win Sunday.

Andy Dalton threw for 396 yards and four touchdown passes, including three in the final 5:01 of regulation as Cincinnati rallied from a 35-12 deficit.

After the gallant comeback, the Bengals (1-14) settled for clinching next year's No. 1 draft pick. They're assured of at least tying for the worst record in club history; they went 2-14 in 2002.

The Dolphins (4-11) again hurt their chances of landing a franchise quarterback in next year's draft, but rookie coach Brian Flores has repeatedly said he's all-out to win now. Rebuilding Miami has four victories in the past eight games with a ragtag roster.

Miami's Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 419 yards and four scores, including one to rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Each team punted twice to start the extra period before Fitzpatrick led a 10-play, 51-yard march for the winning score.

COMEBACK

The stadium was mostly empty when the Bengals cut the deficit to 35-27 with 29 seconds left on Dalton's TD pass and 2-point conversion throw.

They then recovered an onside kick and reached the 25 with four seconds left. Miami dropped eight defenders back to the goal line, but Tyler Eifert reached above two of them in the end zone to catch Dalton's throw.

On the 2-point conversion, Dalton couldn't find an open receiver and scrambled to tie the score, sparking the sort of celebration that has been a rarity for Cincinnati this season.

SURPRISE TARGET

Wilkins scored his first NFL touchdown even though he earned no style points. He lined up at fullback, made his first career reception at the 1, fumbled and recovered in the end zone.

Wilkins joined William ''The Refrigerator'' Perry as the only rookie defensive linemen with a touchdown reception in the Super Bowl era.

MIAMI'S PASSING

Fitzpatrick also threw touchdown passes of 31 and 13 yards to Mike Gesicki, and 7 yards to DeVante Parker. It was Fitzpatrick's 11th four-TD game - more than John Elway, Tony Romo or Matt Ryan, among others.

Parker had five catches for 111 yards. He made a 51-yard basket catch on a flea flicker to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his five-year career.

NOTEWORTHY

Randy Bullock kicked a 57-yard field goal, a Bengals regular season record. ... The Dolphins' wild home finale drew a crowd of perhaps only 35,000.

INJURY REPORT

Bengals: CB William Jackson departed with a right shoulder injury. CB Tony McRae was sidelined by a concussion and cervical strain. WR Stanley Morgan was shaken up and went to the locker room in the closing seconds.

Dolphins: CB Jomal Wiltz left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. WR Allen Hurns left with a shoulder injury. LB Vince Biegel departed in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury. RB Myles Gaskin hurt his left ankle in the closing minutes.

HALFTIME CEREMONY

The Dolphins' 1972 perfect season team was honored at halftime. Players toasted their achievement with champagne, and coach Don Shula grinned as the crowd sang happy birthday to him. He turns 90 on Jan. 4.

UP NEXT

DOLPHINS: They close the season at New England, where they last won in 2008. The Patriots won 43-0 when the teams met in Week 2.

BENGALS: They finish at home Sunday against Cleveland, which won 27-19 when the teams met two weeks ago. The Browns have won three in a row in the series.

Player Notes
Raheem Morris Jan 17 2:30pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars brought in recent Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris for a head-coaching interview earlier this off-season before deciding to hire long-time college coach Urban Meyer to fill that role. Now? Meyer has reached out to Morris to potentially become his defensive coordinator, a role that he had filled for Atlanta prior to being elevated. Morris has had extensive NFL experience, albeit primarily as a defensive backs coach. Should he take the role overseeing the Jaguars Defense, he'd face an uphill task to correct a group that allowed the second-most points (30.8) and total yards (417.7) per game during the 2020 regular season. Morris is set to head to Florida in the coming days, so check back for the latest updates as they become available.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Jan 17 2:20pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold has faced turmoil from all sides as it comes to his role as the team's starting QB in the past 12 months, and that shows no signs of slowing as 2021 kicks off. But it appears that new head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur see their signal caller as having "untapped potential," after watching extensive tape. Darnold has primarily had to battle the possibility of New York drafting a quarterback with the No. 2 overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, but with Texans QB Deshaun Watson now reportedly available in a deal, Darnold may have a new wrinkle in his path to remaining the starter for the Jets. It's well within the realm that New York tabs Darnold under center in less than eight months time when the new year begins, as a full off-season with LaFleur may be just the ticket his future needs.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Jan 17 2:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (hamstring), middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (shoulder), and right tackle Jack Conklin (knee/hamstring) have all been given the thumbs up to take the field Sunday versus Kansas City with a shot at the AFC Championship on the line. The trio had all picked up questionable tags earlier in the week but will get their opportunity to suit up. Goodson made a season-high 10 tackles last week versus the Steelers despite playing fewer than 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps for the first time all year. Njoku made just one catch (and received one target) during his time on the field, making him a non-entity in DFS contests for the Divisional Round.

From RotoBaller

Dawson Knox Jan 17 2:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox did his job, but didn't have a huge impact during Saturday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. He hauled in both of his targets for 18 yards in the win. Knox has played well in the second half of the season, but the Bills are just too stacked on offense. The rookie tight end is basically the No. 4 or No. 5 option on this offense. It's unlikely that he has much value heading into the next round.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Jan 17 2:00pm ET

The Detroit Lions are set to usher in their next head coach, Dan Campbell, following the New Orleans Saints' elimination from the 2020 postseason. Campbell currently serves as the Saints' assistant head coach and tight ends coach, a gig that he has reprised since 2016. A former member of the Lions, who was on the infamous 0-16 team in 2008, Campbell has head coaching experience from a '15 stint with the Dolphins where he went 5-7 as the interim HC. Arguably the biggest decision on Campbell and his staff's slate will be whether or not quarterback Matthew Stafford is back under center in '21. Having drawn rave reviews from media prognosticators for the staff that he could assemble, check back once Campbell begins to fill out coordinator gigs.

From RotoBaller

Gabriel Davis Jan 17 1:50pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (leg) didn't make much of an impact during Saturday's win over the Baltimore Ravens. He failed to haul in any of his four targets during this contest. To be fair, Davis landed awkwardly on his leg and it seemed to bother him the rest of the game. It's worth keeping an eye on his status going forward. However, he should bounce back next week, assuming he's healthy.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Jan 17 1:30pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles have added two new candidates to their list for potential head coach, as Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was brought in for an interview Sunday, while a request has been made to speak with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. McDaniels has been through the rigor of interviewing for multiple franchises' head coach gigs since returning as New England's OC back in 2012. With Bieniemy also on the Eagles' list, it would appear that a move of officially having a new HC is at least a few days off. One of the biggest factors is likely how prospective coaches would handle the Carson Wentz/Jalen Hurts situation at QB, as the Philadelphia brass appears to be leaning toward keeping Wentz in the mix come '21.

From RotoBaller

Cole Beasley Jan 17 1:30pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (knee) was surprisingly unable to make an impact against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Beasley failed to haul in either of his two targets in the win over Baltimore. To be fair, Beasley was matched up with elite defensive back Marlon Humphrey for a majority of the game. Possibly, Beasley wasn't at 100 percent because of his nagging knee issue. Expect Beasley to bounce back during the next round of the playoffs.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Jan 17 1:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski returned from retirement to join long-time teammate Tom Brady for the 2020 year. With Brady not planning on hanging up his cleats anytime soon, it appears that Gronkowski wants to continue his career as well, saying that he could see himself in the mix again next season, helping to push the team toward success. During the regular season, Gronkowski compiled 623 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, having made himself into a consistent TE fantasy commodity. Considering his All-Pro pedigree and the fact that would play the '21 season as a 32-year-old, Gronkowski can be relied upon to be in the mix in season-long formats of all sizes next year.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Jan 17 1:20pm ET

The Houston Texans are meeting with Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on Sunday as the team continues it's search for its next head coach. Frazier advanced to the AFC Championship Game on Saturday, with his defense holding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens without a touchdown. Frazier's only prior head coaching gig came with the Vikings from 2010-13, where he led the team to one playoff appearance and a combined 21-32-1 regular-season record. The decision to hire a defensive-minded coach would be a pivot from where many have expected Houston to focus with quarterback Deshaun Watson apparently being consulted in the decision-making process. Stay tuned for updates on the organization's decision in the coming days.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Jan 17 1:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been basically impossible to stop over the second half of the season. He seemingly had no issues versus the Baltimore Ravens during their playoff matchup on Saturday. Diggs hauled in eight of his 11 targets for 106 yards and one touchdown in the win. It doesn't seem that any defense has an answer for Diggs right now. He'll continue to be a must-have DFS option throughout the playoffs.

From RotoBaller

John Brown Jan 17 1:10pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown was held catchless during the playoff matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. However, Brown was on a mission to prove that it was a fluke performance. On Saturday, Brown hauled in eight of his 11 targets for 62 yards in the victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Brown has played well when healthy this season, but getting him healthy and on the field has been an issue. He'll be a decent DFS option heading into the next round.

From RotoBaller

Josh Allen Jan 17 12:50pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was able to get the job done during Saturday's playoff victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He completed 23 of 37 passing attempts for 206 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions in the win. Allen also rushed seven times for three yards on the ground. Baltimore did a solid job of stopping the deep ball, but Allen still found a way to get the job done. The MVP candidate will remain a top tier DFS choice for the next round of the playoffs.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Jan 17 12:50pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary had trouble finding any room to run against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. He rushed seven times for 25 yards in the win over Baltimore. The Bills basically abandoned the running game until late in the fourth quarter. Zack Moss (leg) is expected to be sidelined for their next matchup, but it won't make much of a difference. Singletary will be a low-end streaming option going forward.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Jan 17 12:40pm ET

After not playing last week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (quad/finger) went through a walk-through on Saturday and as a good chance to play in Sunday's NFC Divisional Round contest against the New Orleans Saints. Jones would split carries with Leonard Fournette, limiting the fantasy upside for both backs in a game where the Bucs are already facing a tough defensive matchup. Both players would still be playable in DFS, but would see their ceilings drop.

From RotoBaller

Taysom Hill Jan 17 12:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (knee) and running back Latavius Murray (quad) are both unlikely to play Sunday night against Tampa Bay. That's good news for Saints running back Alvin Kamara, as Hill is always a threat to vulture a rushing touchdown, and Murray's replacement -- either Dwayne Washington or Ty Montgomery -- won't siphon off as much work from Kamara. This is still a tough matchup, but Kamara is worth his DFS salary.

From RotoBaller

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Jan 17 12:30pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle/hip) won't play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Divisional Round, though he's expected to be available next week for the AFC Championship Game. Expect to see heavy doses of Le'Veon Bell, with some Darrel Williams or perhaps Darwin Thompson sprinkled in. The latter two are interesting DFS punt plays, but Bell's the real guy to target here, as he's being priced on DFS sites like a No. 2 back.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jan 17 9:13am ET

Confirming previous reports, Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (concussion) did suffer a concussion near the end of the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

Fantasy Spin: Jackson will have plenty of time to recover from the concussion during the offseason and should be at full strength when the team's offseason program gets underway. He remains one of the league's top quarterback options because of his rushing ability and should be a starting option in fantasy leagues next season.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Jan 17 8:53am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (quadriceps, finger) appears to have a good chance to play in the NFC Divisional Round game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Jan. 17, after participating in the walkthrough Saturday, Jan. 16. A final decision about his status will be made when the team arrives at the stadium.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report after participating in two of the team's three practice sessions during the week on a limited basis. However, he should be viewed as a somewhat risky fantasy play this weekend, since RB Leonard Fournette has already been declared the starter versus the Saints.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Donald Jan 17 8:53am ET

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald (ribs) was not at full strength during the team's loss in the NFC Divisional Round game versus the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Sean McVay. He played only 39 out of 72 defensive snaps while dealing with torn rib cartilage, including just 12 plays in the second half.

From TheHuddle