WHAT HAPPENED IN TAMPA BAY’S 22-19 WIN vs. MIAMIDuring Tampa Bay’s 0-8 start to the 2013 season, the Buccaneers have had trouble winning games in the fourth quarter. The offense had been outscored 62-19 in the final 15 minutes of regulation coming into the Monday Night Football clash against the Miami Dolphins, and the defense has surrendered four fourth quarter leads this season.
But on a night when legendary Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor, the offense came back to take a 22-19 lead over the Dolphins and the defense rose to the occasion as if Sapp was still in uniform.
With the Dolphins on their own 33-yard line with two minutes left in regulation and needing a field goal to tie the game, defensive linemen William Gholston and Da’Quan Bowers sacked Ryan Tannehill to set up second-and-18 from the Miami 25. On the next play, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy sacked Tannehill again for a 10-yard loss.
Two plays later on fourth-and-28 from the Miami 15, Tannehill’s deep ball to wide receiver Mike Wallace was intercepted by cornerback Darrelle Revis, and that sealed Tampa Bay’s first victory of the year, which came exactly one year since the Bucs’ last home win, which was against the San Diego Chargers. Wallace was held to just 15 yards on four receptions.
“It was fourth-and-27 and they tried to make a Hail Mary play,” Revis said. “In that moment, when the ball is in the air, you never know who is going to come down with the ball. I just happened to sink in zone coverage and happened to jump up and catch the ball.”
Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was relieved and excited to finally get Tampa Bay’s first win of the season.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to stand up here after a win,” Schiano said. “I’m really proud of our guys. It had that same feeling going down the back stretch, and our guys bowed up and made some plays in the clutch to win the game. That’s something much needed and something that we’ll build on now moving forward.”
The Bucs defense was dominant, holding the Dolphins to 213 yards, including just two yards rushing, which set a franchise record.
“I think they really played well,” Schiano said. “When you can have an effort like that, two yards rushing, I think what that does, too, is the time of possession – I think we were like nine minutes plus in time of possession. When you run the ball for 140 yards and you hold them to two, that’s going to eat a lot of clock.”
Tampa Bay raced out to a big lead in the first half thanks in part to 41 yards rushing on five carries by rookie running back Mike James, who suffered a broken ankle injury on the Bucs’ first drive of the game. That possession ended with Glennon throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to left tackle Donald Penn. Glennon completed 11-of-21 passes for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Bucs then had a safety by linebacker Lavonte David sandwiched between two Rian Lindell field goals to surge to a 15-0 lead over the Dolphins before Miami answered with a touchdown just before halftime. Miami scored 19 unanswered points as Ryan Tannehill found wide receiver Rishard Matthews 11 times for 120 yards with two touchdowns before backup running back Bobby Rainey raced for a 31-yard gain down to the Miami 1-yard line before scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the next play to put Tampa Bay in front 22-19.
Rainey finished the game with 45 yards on eight carries (5.6 avg.), while running back Brian Leonard rushed for 57 yards on 20 carries (2.9 avg.) to help Tampa Bay rush for 140 yards on 37 carries.
“A win cures everything,” Revis said. “We’ve been 0-8 and been struggling to get wins this year, but it [feels] good to get our first win. Especially at home, [where] the fans were into it, it was Veterans Day. It was an emotional game for us and we knew the type of game it was going to be on Monday night as well. It’s great. It’s great for the fans. It’s going to give us confidence to move forward week in and week out.”
The confident Bucs host the 2-7 Atlanta Falcons next week in an NFC South rematch at Raymond James Stadium.
HOW DID THE TEAMS SCORE? – BUCS vs. DOLPHINS SCORING SERIESFirst Quarter – Buccaneers 7, Dolphins 0Tampa Bay drove 76 yards on nine plays on its opening possession, which was keyed by rookie running back Mike James, who picked up 41 yards on five carries, including a 24-yard run behind right guard Davin Joseph. James was injured on the drive and would not return. Mike Glennon hit Tiquan Underwood with a 30-yard pass. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard pass from Glennon to left tackle Donald Penn. That gave the Bucs a 7-0 lead.
First Quarter – Buccaneers 10, Dolphins 0After a 17-yard punt return by Skye Dawson advanced the ball to the Miami 40, the Bucs drove 24 yards in six plays to get into field goal range. Running back Brian Leonard rushed for 20 yards on three carries, including a 14-yard jaunt to move the Bucs down to the Miami 6, but the drive stalled and the team had to settle for a 24-yard Rian Lindell field goal to give Tampa Bay a 10-0 lead.
Second Quarter – Buccaneers 12, Dolphins 0Bucs weakside linebacker Lavonte David tackled Daniel Thomas in the end zone for a Tampa Bay safety.
Second Quarter – Buccaneers 15, Dolphins 0Glennon completed a 14-yard pass to Leonard and then hit Underwood for a gain of 17 yards down to the Miami 26. But the drive stalled at the Dolphins’ 17 and Lindell was called on to kick a 35-yard field goal to give the Bucs a 15-0 lead.
Second Quarter – Buccaneers 15, Dolphins 7Ryan Tannehill completed two passes of seven, 11 and 12 yards to Rishard Matthews and then Bucs free safety Dashon Goldson was flagged 15 yards for a personal foul that gave Miami a first down to the Tampa Bay 45. Brian Hartline hauled in a 19-yard pass to the Tampa Bay 28. Matthews caught two passes for gains of four and 11 yards before hauling in a 6-yard touchdown pass with 32 seconds left before halftime to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 15-7.
Third Quarter – Buccaneers 15, Dolphins 10Marcus Thigpen’s 34-yard punt return set the Dolphins up at the Tampa Bay 29. But the drive stalled at the 22 when the Bucs defense forced a three-and-out. A 40-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 15-10.
Third Quarter – Dolphins 16, Buccaneers 15, After a 21-yard punt by Koenen, the Dolphins drove 41 yards in five plays to score the go-ahead touchdown. Tannehill hit Matthews for a 10-yard gain on first down and then again on second-and-10 for a 19-yard touchdown to give Miami a 16-15 lead. Miami’s two-point conversion pass failed.
Fourth Quarter – Dolphins 19, Buccaneers 15After Jimmy Wilson’s interception was returned 23 yards to the Tampa Bay 7, the Dolphins lost five yards and had to settle for a 30-yard field goal from Sturgis.
Fourth Quarter – Buccaneers 22, Dolphins 19Brian Leonard carried the ball five times for 30 yards before Underwood hauled in a 17-yard catch down to the Miami 33. After a 1-yard gain, Bobby Rainey ripped off a 31-yard run down to the Dolphins 1 before scoring his first NFL touchdown on the next carry to give Tampa Bay a 22-19 lead. WHAT WAS NOTABLE ABOUT MONDAY’S GAME FOR THE BUCS?Tampa Bay kicker Rian Lindell kicked field goals of 24 and 35 yards against Miami, and has now made 12 kicks in a row as a Buccaneer. Lindell is now 13-of-15 on the season for Tampa Bay (86.6 percent). … Bucs linebacker Lavonte David recorded the first safety of his two-year NFL career in the second quarter of the Miami game. He finished with seven tackles. … Tampa Bay free safety Dashon Goldson had a team-high eight tackles in his return from a knee injury. … Bobby Rainey saw his first action as a Buccaneer running back, rushing for 45 yards on eight carries and also returning a kickoff 15 yards. Rainey scored his first NFL touchdown on Monday, and it was also the first rushing touchdown for the Buccaneers since Week 1. … Return specialist Eric Page had a 52-yard punt return in the second quarter. … Rookie Skye Dawson had a career-long 17-yard punt return in the first quarter. … Defensive end William Gholston recorded half a sack on Monday Night Football, and it was the first time he has recorded a sack as a pro. … Bucs defensive end Da’Quan Bowers also recorded his first half sack of the season. … Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had a sack against the Dolphins and now has three sacks on the season. … Tampa Bay wide receiver Tiquan Underwood led the Bucs with three catches for 64 yards.
WHICH BUCCANEERS WERE INACTIVE?The following Bucs were inactive against the Dolphins: CB Deveron Carr, CB Danny Gorrer, S Bradley McDougald, G Patrick Omameh, G Carl Nicks, WR Chris Owusu and DE Steven Means.
The following Dolphins were inactive against the Bucs: QB Pat Devlin, RB Mike Gillislee, CB Dimitri Patterson, LB Koa Misi, OL David Arkin, G Dallas Thomas, OT Jonathan Martin.
WHICH BUCS GOT HURT?• Bucs rookie running back Mike James was carted off with a broken left ankle on the first drive of the game and did not return. James was replaced by Brian Leonard.
• Tampa Bay right tackle Demar Dotson was injured with 5:33 left in the fourth quarter and was briefly replaced by Gabe Carimi, but returned a play later.
WHAT WILL UPSET GREG SCHIANO WHEN HE WATCHES THE FILM?• Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson missed a block on Eric Page’s 52-yard punt return that would have given Tampa Bay a touchdown in the second quarter.
• Tampa Bay free safety had an unnecessary roughness 15-yard penalty on Rishard Matthews on Miami’s first half touchdown drive.
• Michael Koenen had a 21-yard punt in the third quarter that led to a short Miami touchdown in the fourth quarter.
• On third-and-1 at the Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon rolled to his right and inexplicably ran out of bounds with 3:00 left in the fourth quarter to stop the clock and that forced the Bucs to punt the ball back to Miami.
WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR THE BUCS?Tampa Bay (1-8) stays at home to play the Atlanta Falcons (2-7) on. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. ET and the game will be televised locally.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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