The Cincinnati Bengals are officially on a roll – and that means freebies for fans.
The Bengals clobbered the Miami Dolphins 27-15 in front of 67,260 fans on Sept. 29 at Paycor Stadium – the team's largest crowd in history. And in a second milestone for the history books, the Bengals did it while wearing white helmets for the first time ever during a "Thursday Night Football" national broadcast.
Until Thursday's game, the Dolphins were undefeated. The Bengals now are 2-2 and the Dolphins are 3-1 on the regular season. This was the second consecutive win for the Bengals.
Both the offense and defense were firing for the home team. The Bengals haven't allowed an opponent touchdown during the second half all season, and wide receiver made a monster 59-yard touchdown catch.
"We realized really early that they were doubling Tyler Boyd and Chase and playing zero – man to man – with me with [Xavien] Howard, one of the best corners in the league," Higgins said after the game. "We talked on the sidelines that I was going to have to win, and I delivered. It was a big game for me, and I delivered."
The team told reporters after the game that they could feel the record-setting crowd lifting them up.
"Unbelievable. When Zac [Taylor] told us it the largest crowd ever, that speak volumes to the crowd," middle linebacker Logan Wilson said. "We felt the crowd, especially in that first quarter when they burned two timeouts because they couldn't communicate with each other. That's big time for us on defense. We feed off of that."
The Bengals debuted their new white tiger alternate helmet during the game against the Dolphins. Beginning this season, the NFL has finally lifted its long-held rule that prohibited secondary or alternate helmets. The team paired the helmet with a new alternate white "Color Rush" jersey and white pants, all with black stripes and lettering.
During halftime, the team inducted offensive tackle Willie Anderson and wide receiver Isaac Curtis into the Bengals' Ring of Honor. They join Paul Brown, Ken Anderson, Anthony Muñoz and Ken Riley, who were inducted as the inaugural class in 2021. The Ring of Honor recognizes former players, coaches and individuals who have significantly affected the franchise.
The historic game wasn't all fun, though. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carried off the field on a stretcher after a sack from nose tackle Josh Tupou. The incident aggravated the head and neck injuries he'd suffered during the Dolphins' Sept. 25 game against the Buffalo Bills. He was treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and flew home with the team.
Tagovailoa similarly had nailed his head on the turf Sept. 25 and then wobbled and fell to the ground when trying to rise. He was diagnosed with a head injury, left the game for the remaining two minutes and then returned for the second half. The NFL Players Association asked for an investigation to make sure concussion protocols were followed. That investigation is ongoing, but the NFL has indicated that Tagovailoa was properly taken care of.
"Every indication from our perspective is that it was," NFL senior vice president Jeff Miller recently told the Washington Post this week. "I know the player, the coach and others have spoken to this, and we are engaged in that review now. So, we’ll come back with a formal answer to that question, something that we want to engage in."
apparently the most handsome quarterback in the NFL, according to one app – previously played against Tagovailoa while Burrow was at Louisiana State University and Tagovailoa fronted the University of Alabama's team. Though he hasn't had the success that Burrow has seen, Tagovailoa has thrown for a respectable 925 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions through three games before Sept. 29.
Fans can fill their bellies on Sept. 30, thanks to that big Bengals win. As the regional chili chain has done in the past, Gold Star gives fans one free regular 3-, 4- or 5-Way with the purchase of another one of equal or greater value the day after the Bengals win. The Who Dey Way promotion is good all season long no matter if the win occurs on home turf or elsewhere. The promo is available at all Gold Star locations for drive-in, carry-out, dine-in and online; mention the Who Dey Way special when ordering.
The Cincinnati Bengals' next game will be on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 9. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m., and NBC will nationally televise the game.