MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Caleb Sturgis missed a 34-yard field goal badly late in the opening quarter, and the Miami Dolphins were hearing boos from their home fans during a scoreless first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.
It was the only scoring opportunity for either team in the opening minutes, and was set up by a turnover. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake gave his team the ball at the Cincinnati 25 after stripping it away from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton late in the quarter.
On fourth-and-1, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin sent in the field-goal unit, to the dismay of some in the crowd. Their boos only got louder moments later, when Sturgis' kick went wide left, his fifth miss in his last six attempts after a 10-for-10 start to his rookie season.
Dalton threw for 54 yards in the quarter. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 2 for 4, collecting only 9 yards. Running back Lamar Miller accounted for most of Miami's offense, running for 27 yards in the early going.
Win or lose, Cincinnati will remain atop the AFC North, with the Bengals entering the night on a four-game winning streak and 2½ games ahead of reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore. The Dolphins entered on a four-game slide, a swift collapse after getting off to a 3-0 start.
Both teams were missing key linemen.
Cincinnati left tackle Andrew Whitworth was inactive after injuring his right knee Sunday in the Bengals' win over the New York Jets. Miami was without tackle Jonathan Martin, who was inactive and is receiving professional assistance for emotional issues.
Anthony Collins started for Whitworth. Martin was replaced by Tyson Clabo, who started Miami's first six games before being benched. And the Dolphins' maligned offensive line continued struggling, with Tannehill getting dropped by Cincinnati's Geno Atkins on Miami's first series.
It was the 33rd time Tannehill had been sacked this season.