There haven’t been many positives for the Cincinnati Bengals this season, as they have settled at the bottom of the NFL standings with a 1-14 record. But former Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd has continued to flash his talent periodically as part of the team’s receiving corps despite the poor results. That was the case on Sunday, when Boyd and his team faced the Miami Dolphins and the fourth-year pass-catcher posted a season-high 128 yards.
Boyd accrued that total after reeling in nine passes from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, and he was instrumental in the team’s comeback from a 28-6 deficit, as he caught two touchdown passes in the second half.
The first came with less than four minutes left in the third quarter and the Bengals left with little to lose down 22 points on 4th-and-3. Dalton found Boyd streaking down the left sideline and lofted a pass that found him at the 15-yard line. Although Dolphins cornerback Nik Needham was able to trip up Boyd near the goal line, the Bengals receiver stretched out and broke the plane to kick off a late rally.
That score was the first in a 29-7 run by the Bengals spread over the last two quarters, and it proved to be enough to tie the game at 35 and force overtime. Boyd would also score in the last minute of the fourth quarter on a three-yard pass from Dalton. And moments later, after the Bengals recovered an onside kick, he reeled in a 29-yard reception, appeared to suffer a hamstring injury, then lined up for the next play hurt to prevent a 10-second runoff that would have lost his team the game.
The heads-up play by Boyd allowed Dalton to spike the ball and then find Tyler Eifert for a game-tying score that forced overtime on the subsequent play. However, despite a heroic performance by Boyd and an impressive late rally, the Bengals fell short in overtime and ultimately lost to the Dolphins 38-35.
Although the result was not what the Bengals had hoped for, Boyd's play was promising, as he led all receivers and put himself within 13 yards of his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Reaching that mark won’t take the sting off of a one-win campaign, but it should serve as a reminder of the heights Boyd can reach even with a struggling team.