WHAT HAPPENED IN TAMPA BAY’S 17-16 WIN AT MIAMI?
Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon led Tampa Bay to its first victory of the preseason, a 17-16 come-from-behind triumph over Miami. After safety Sean Baker scooped up a fumble and returned it 55 yards to the Miami 25-yard line, Glennon hit wide receiver David Douglas with a 12-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining in regulation. Free safety Keith Tandy picked off quarterback Pat Devlin to seal the win for Tampa Bay.
Glennon only saw action in the final quarter and a half and completed 3-of-9 passes for 41 yards as Tampa Bay’s offense struggled all night, generating just 160 yards, including 70 through the air. Miami picked off 25 first downs and gained 312 yards while owning a 35:30 to 24:30 time of possession advantage, but had four costly turnovers that allowed the Bucs to stay in the game and win it at the end.
A week after the Buccaneers came out sluggish on offense and defense against the Patriots in last week’s preseason loss at New England, Tampa Bay opened Saturday night’s contest at Miami with a same type performance.
For the second straight preseason game, the Buccaneers starting defense could not get off the field on the opening possession as the Dolphins took a 3-0 lead with a 17-play drive, which ended in Caleb Sturgis 22-yard field goal.
The starting offense, which was bolstered by the return to action of right guard Davin Joseph, who started opposite Gabe Carimi, who was filling in for Carl Nicks at left guard, was sluggish to say the least. Playing without running back Doug Martin, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman did little to silence his critics, missing several open receivers and fumbling the ball at midfield. That led to a Dolphins touchdown that put Miami up 13-10 at halftime.
"We were a little out of sync and it just didn't feel like we got into a rhythm," Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said. "It wasn't like we didn't have opportunities. We dropped balls. We didn't protect effectively, and when I say that I don't just mean the offensive line. I thought we took a big step in our running back protection a week ago, and we took a step backwards on that. Because of those things the quarterback play wasn't what you want it to be. I don't think it's a single thing. The good news is that we have two weeks before the Jets game. We're going to need every day of it.
"I'm confident, but we need to get to work, though. Having confidence and doing it are two different things. We have to do
it. We have to catch the ball and we have to protect better."
The Bucs were outgained by the Dolphins in the first half 180-63 yards as Freeman was 4-of-11 for 51 yards before finishing 6-of-16 for 59 yards with no touchdown and no interceptions. Freeman was sacked four times and had three drops – two by Vincent Jackson and one by Mike Williams.
"It's preseason," Freeman said, shrugging off his lackluster performance.
Tampa Bay’s special teams units created two turnovers in the first half on punts. Michael Adams drove a Dolphins blocker into the returner, who muffed a punt that was recovered by linebacker Adam Hayward in the first quarter at the Miami 23. That set up a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Brian Leonard to give Tampa Bay a 7-3 lead.
Hayward also recovered another punt in the second quarter when tight end Tom Crabtree forced a fumble by Marcus Thigpen at the Miami 41. That set up a 38-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to increase Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-3.
"With the exception of one punt return I thought the play of the special teams was outstanding," Schiano said.
Although the Bucs had two dropped interceptions in the first half, the bright spot for the defense was new defensive end Trevor Scott, who had three sacks and a forced fumble in his Tampa Bay debut. The Bucs came into Saturday’s game with just one sack through the first two preseason contests.
"It was a good beginning for him," Schiano said. "We signed him for that reason and believed that's what he could be. I like his demeanor and the way he carries himself. Hopefully that will continue."
Rookie defensive end Steven Means recorded his first NFL sack as Tampa Bay recorded a total of four quarterback captures in Miami.
"I thought there were some bright spots with the defensive fronts," Schiano said. "Some guys got after the quarterback and we hit the quarterback a lot tonight. That was good."HOW DID THE TEAMS SCORE? – BUCS vs. DOLPHINS SCORING SERIES
First Quarter – Dolphins 3, Buccaneers 0
The Dolphins used 17 plays to drive 67 yards while consuming 8:25 off the clock for the first score of the game. Ryan Tannehill completed 6-of-7 passes for 41 yards, including two throws to Mike Wallace for 20 yards. Running back Lamar Miller ripped off a 20-yard run to get the ball into Buccaneers territory. The Dolphins went for it on fourth-and-3 and Tannehill’s slant pass to Brian Hartline picked up seven yards down to the Tampa Bay 5. On third-and-8 at the Bucs’ 8, an illegal contact penalty gave the Dolphins a new set of downs. But on third-and-4 at the Tampa Bay 4, cornerback Johnthan Banks broke up a pass intended for Hartline in the end zone, which forced a 22-yard field goal attempt by Caleb Sturgis, which was good.First Quarter – Buccaneers 7, Dolphins 3
The Dolphins muffed a punt that was recovered by linebacker Adam Hayward at the Miami 23. On second down, cornerback Brent Grimes was flagged 17 yards for a pass interference penalty on Vincent Jackson. After a 7-yard run by Brian Leonard, he capped off the scoring drive with a 1-yard touchdown on second down to put the Bucs up 7-3 in the first quarter.Second Quarter – Buccaneers 10, Dolphins 3
Bucs tight end Tom Crabtree forced a fumble on a punt return by Marcus Thigpen that was recovered by Hayward at the Miami 41. After a 13-yard pass to Vincent Jackson, the Bucs’ drive stalled at the 20 and that set up a 38-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to give Tampa Bay a 10-3. Second Quarter – Buccaneers 10, Dolphins 6
Miami had great field position due to 38-yard return by Thigpen down to the Tampa Bay 42. The Dolphins’ drive stalled at the Bucs’ 5-yard line and Miami had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Sturgis.Second Quarter – Dolphins 13, Buccaneers 10
Miami recovered a Freeman fumble at the Tampa Bay 48 and drove in for a touchdown with 10 seconds left before the end of the first half. Tannehill was 5-of-7 for 48 yards, including a 5-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on third-and-4 at the Tampa Bay 9. On the next play, Tannehill hit Gibson with a 4-yard touchdown pass to push Miami ahead of Tampa Bay at the half, 13-10.Fourth Quarter – Dolphins 16, Buccaneers 10
On third-and-11 at the Tampa Bay 48, Pat Devlin hit David Sims with an 18-yard pass down the middle to convert the first down. A pass interference penalty on cornerback Anthony Gaitor gave Miami 15 more yards. But Miami’s drive stalled at the Tampa Bay 10 and Sturgis came on to hit 28-yard field goal to increase the Dolphins’ lead to 16-10.Fourth Quarter – Buccaneers 17, Dolphins 16
A forced fumble by William Gholston was recovered by safety Sean Baker, who returned the ball 55 yards down to the Miami 25. Peyton Hillis rushed four times for 13 yards, and Mike Glennon hit wide receiver David Douglas for a 12-yard touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner.WHAT WAS NOTABLE ABOUT SATURDAY’S GAME FOR THE BUCS?
Gabe Carimi started at left guard in place of Carl Nicks (MRSA infection). … New defensive end Trevor Scott recorded his first sack as a Buccaneer and finished the game with three sacks and a forced fumble. … Bucs linebacker Adam Hayward recovered two fumbles on special teams. … New Tampa Bay kicker Rian Lindell made his first field goal for the team, a 38-yarder in the first quarter. … Bucs rookie defensive end Steven Means had a sack in the fourth quarter. … Cornerback Leonard Johnson led Tampa Bay with six tackles. … The Bucs had seven penalties for 51 yards. WHICH BUCCANEERS WERE INACTIVE?
The following Bucs did not play against the Dolphins: kicker Lawrence Tynes, quarterback Adam Weber, quarterback Dan Orlovsky, cornerback Darrelle Revis, running back Doug Martin, cornerback Danny Gorrer, fullback Erik Lorig, guard Carl Nicks, wide receiver Chris Owusu, wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, running back Michael Smith, defensive end Earnest Owusu, defensive end Aaron Morgan, tight end Zach Miller, defensive end Markus White and wide receiver Torrian Crump.WHICH BUCS GOT HURT?
• The Buccaneers did not report any injuries at the conclusion of the Dolphins game.WHAT WILL UPSET GREG SCHIANO WHEN HE WATCHES THE FILM?
• The inability of Tampa Bay’s first-team defense to generate a three-and-out in surrendering a 17-play drive on the opening series.
• On third-and-4 at the Tampa Bay 11, the Bucs gave the Dolphins a first down at the Bucs 4-yard line.
• Tampa Bay cornerback Michael Adams and middle linebacker Mason Foster dropped possible interceptions in the first half.
• The Bucs missed three tackles on Marcus Thigpen’s 38-yard punt return in the second quarter, which set up Miami’s second quarter field goal.
• Tampa Bay’s offensive line, backs and tight ends surrendered a combined six sacks to Miami. Rookie running back Mike James was beaten for two sacks on Saturday night.WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR THE BUCS?
Tampa Bay (1-2) returns to Raymond James Stadium to play the Washington Redskins (3-0) on Thursday, August 30 at 7:30 p.m. for the preseason finale. The game will not be televised locally on WFLA Channel 8 (NBC).
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