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August 10, 2012 @ 11:06 pm
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PR Game Analysis: Bucs Impressive In 20-7 Preseason Win At Miami

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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PewterReport.com chronicled all of the action and the big plays from Tampa Bay's 20-7 victory over the Dolphins in Miami. Find out who was the Bucs' MVP and get the analysis and break down in the first win for new Bucs head coach Greg Schiano in this report.
Aside from too many penalties, the Buccaneers starters and second-stringers started fast and outplayed the Dolphins in Greg Schiano’s first game as Tampa Bay’s head coach, taking a 14-0 lead into halftime en route to a 20-7 victory. The offense scored on its first two possessions, which was a rarity in 2011, while the Bucs defense produced an early interception and a goal line stand to end the first half.

Schiano wants to establish the rushing attack early and then run the ball at will in Tampa Bay, and that’s what we saw in the first half as the Bucs out-rushed the Dolphins 56-19 and scored both of the team’s touchdowns on the ground as team team held a 18:31-11:29 time of possession advantage.

Tampa Bay quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky combined to complete 12-of-13 passes (92.3 percent) for 132 yards against Miami. Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the team’s first-round draft pick, completed 14-of-21 passes for 167 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his NFL debut.

The Bucs’ third-team defense only surrendered a touchdown and produced another goal line stand in the fourth quarter. The Bucs were out-gained 354 yards to 269, but came up with timely turnovers and held a 33:39 to 26:21 time of possession advantage.

Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan had to be pleased with the Bucs’ 53 percent conversion rate on third down (8-of-15), and 100 percent fourth down conversion rate (1-of-1) against Miami. Meanwhile, the Bucs defense under coordinator Bill Sheridan held the Dolphins to 3-of-13 (23 percent) on third downs and 2-of-4 (50 percent) on fourth downs.

First Quarter – Bucs 7, Dolphins 0

After the Bucs defense held the Dolphins without points on its first possession, the offense drove down the field in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. True to Greg Schiano’s script of wanting to establish a rushing attack, the Bucs ran the ball eight times on the initial drive with LeGarrette Blount carrying the ball seven times for 30 yards, including a 16-yarder and a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-1. Quarterback Josh Freeman was 4-of-5 for 41 yards on the drive.

Second Quarter – Bucs 14, Dolphins 0
The Buccaneers’ second offensive series finished in the end zone, too. Dan Orlovsky replaced Freeman and rookie Doug Martin and new wide receiver Tiquan Underwood carried the workload. Martin rushed six times for 18 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to give Tampa Bay a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Underwood caught passes of 23 yards and a 44-yarder down to the Miami 4 to set up the score.

Second Quarter – Bucs 14, Dolphins 0
With rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami appeared to answer with a touchdown pass on cornerback Myron Lewis with 58 seconds left in the first half, but instant replay overturned the call after the official saw evidence that the ball hit the ground. Two plays later, cornerback Anthony Gaitor broke up a pass on fourth-and-goal and the score remained 14-0 with the Bucs leading at the half.

Third Quarter – Bucs 14, Dolphins 7
The Dolphins finally scored a touchdown as Tannehill’s 11-yard strike hit Charles Clay, who beat rookie middle linebacker Najee Goode, to the end zone.  The touchdown capped off a nine-play, 70-yard touchdown drive.

Third Quarter – Bucs 17, Dolphins 7
After Miami’s touchdown, rookie running back Michael Smith ripped off a 74-yard kickoff return. After the Bucs’ drive stalled after four yards on three plays, Kai Forbath’s 41-yard field goal increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 17-7.

Fourth Quarter – Bucs 20, Dolphins 7
Forbath’s second field goal, this time from 28 yards, gave the Buccaneers a 20-7 lead after Brett Ratliff led the team 50 yards in seven plays.

Fourth Quarter – Bucs 20, Dolphins 7
After driving 71 yards, the Dolphins’ drive stalled on fourth-and-goal at the Tampa Bay 2-yard line when Pat Devlin’s pass to rookie Jeff Fuller was broken up by cornerback James Rodgers. That was the Bucs’ second goal line stand of the night.

There were several standout performers in Tampa Bay’s 20-7 victory in the team’s 2012 preseason opener, but speedy new wide receiver Tiquan Underwood stole the show. Underwood had a huge night for the Bucs, catching a 23-yard pass on third-and-5 on Tampa Bay’s second offensive series. Then Underwood hauled in a huge, 44-yarder down to the Dolphins 4 in between two Dolphins defenders. Underwood, who has been a star in training camp, also converted a first down on third-and-6 with a 9-yard reception. All three of Underwood’s catches produced first downs.

The Bucs secondary was a bit thin in the 2012 preseason opener as cornerback Aqib Talib (hamstring) and rookie strong safety Mark Barron (toe) didn’t play. Anthony Gaitor and Cody Grimm started in place of Talib and Barron, respectively.

Tampa Bay was also without starting left tackle Donald Penn (calf), cornerback E.J. Biggers (foot), wide receiver Arrelious Benn (knee), defensive tackle Gary Gibson (Achilles) and tight end Dallas Clark (rest). All three players were inactive for the game.

Reserve Bucs guard Mike VanDerMuelen injured his leg during the fourth quarter and limped off.

The Buccaneers featured several new faces in red and pewter in Miami. The starting defense featured three brand new starters from a year ago in cornerbacks Eric Wright and Anthony Gaitor and linebacker Lavonte David, while the offense saw new starters in left guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. There were plenty of new faces in the Bucs’ backup ranks, as well. Here is who stood out for the Bucs in the team’s preseason opener at Miami:

• Backup QB Dan Orlovsky started the game 7-of-7 for 89 yards in the first half. Despite not having overwhelming arm strength, Orlovsky pushed the ball down the field to Tiquan Underwood twice on the opening drive. He finished the game 8-of-8 for 91 yards in his Buccaneers debut.

• New cornerback Eric Wright had a solid night with good coverage, a tackle and a pass breakup on the first two series.

• Rookie running back Doug Martin, who was the second of Tampa Bay’s two first-round draft choices, picked up a first down on his first NFL carry, which was three yards on third-and-2. He got the majority of his workload on Tampa Bay’s second series where he rushed six times for 18 yards, including a 10-yard dash and a 2-yard touchdown. Martin also caught a 7-yard pass on the only pass thrown his way.

• New Bucs defensive tackle Amobi Okoye tipped a Matt Moore pass that was picked off by rookie linebacker Lavonte David to end Miami’s third offensive possession. David showed off his speed with an open-field tackle on a punt return in the second quarter. David also knifed in and had a tackle for loss on Tampa Bay’s third defensive series.

• Rookie Michael Smith had a 34-yard kickoff return out to the Tampa Bay 30-yard line on his first NFL touch. His second kickoff was returned 74 yards down to the Miami 27 to help set up a 41-yard field goal by Kai Forbath. Smith did struggle to run the ball on offense, though, gaining just 10 yards on nine carries (1.1 avg.) with a long of five yards.

The only real negative for the Buccaneers in the 2012 preseason opener was the number of penalties the team committed to start the game. In the first half the Bucs were flagged five times as offsides penalties were called on defensive tackles Roy Miller and Gerald McCoy on the first defensive series, followed by a dead ball personal foul on wide receiver Preston Parker on Tampa Bay’s first offensive series.

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn was offsides on Tampa Bay’s second series. Two more offsides penalties occurred as defensive end George Johnson committed one on the Bucs’ second kickoff, as did defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry on defense.

The Bucs seemed to get the penalty situation under control in the second half and finished with just six for 36.

Other things that won’t make Schiano happy included zero sacks from the defense and a muffed punt return by Preston Parker that resulted in a turnover.

Tampa Bay hosts the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium on Friday, August 17 in the preseason home opener for the Buccaneers. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. and the game is not sold out.

Last modified on Friday, 10 August 2012 23:19

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  • avatar

    I am looking forward to the Titan Game this Friday. They have a very elusive running back who is a veteran and they should be a better test than Miami playing a pure rookie back. I am hoping our new coaching staff will evaluate the Miami game and keep up the great training and we should see even more improvedment by this Friday. I also liked the TE play in the Miami game and I hope Dallas Clark will play Friday so the fans can see first hand how great an asset he willl be to the passing game this season when the games start counting.
  • avatar

    I thought the play of the game was David's punt coverage. That was nothing but pure speed, desire and great fundamental tackling. How can the other players not put out full effort if they see their teammate out there flying around. But as good as I thought David played, Lewis played than bad. Terrible tackle early and Black had to save the touchdown. He got beat on that reviewed TD also.
  • avatar

    Glad to see all is good with the DL. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Horse: I said Miller "looked better than last year". I didn't say he looked good. At least I saw him getting in the backfield a few times. Didn't see that last year. No one is saying our D-Line is the Steel Curtain or Fearsome Foursome but I thought they played respectably.
  • avatar

    While Miami is less than a good team, our team still had impressive overall play. And while there were some really exciting moments like Underwood's catch between two degenders, Smith's 74 yard return and others....I was happy that Tampa did not look flashy but rather MORE SOLID. Solid may not be exciting, but I think it does win games and comes from a deep sense of confidence within each player and trust between players. I thought it an excellent beginning. Lose the penalties. Maybe just first night jitters???? But penalties break your heart especially when they bring back great plays and now you're 22 yds behind the line of scrimmage.... Good job by all.
  • avatar

    Dan Orlovsky should get some credit he played a solid game...hope he continues it throughout the preseason. i would like to have a little confidence in the back up if Josh goes down. all in all i think the team looked good for the first pre season game...definitely need to fix some things but overall i think its a great start.
  • avatar

    Preston Parker's mental lapses combined with Tiquan Underwood's outstanding play signal the possibility of a different look in the receiver rotation. Underwood really showed great eye to hand coordination and concentration on the 44 yard catch between 2 defenders. It's just one game, but coach Schiano will not tolerate undisciplined or scatterbrained play. I was impressed with Lavonte David and I thought EJ Wilson was playing very physical at the LOS. The pass rush was very underwhelming. Gaitor stopped a touchdown pass on 4th down to end the 1st half. Miami was missing their starting QB (Gerard) but Tannehill looked really good vs our 2nd and 3rd team defense. Miami was also missing some good receivers. We were missing Talib and Barron in our defensive backfield. Myron Lewis was playing soft all night. He was doing so well in early practices and his play was disappointing to me. Maybe it was a case of early game jitters. Myron needs to ratch it up a few notches if he wants to make the final 53. We could use his size. I'm just thinking if you put V Jack, Mike Williams and Underwood in with Dallas Clark the opposing defense is going to have it's hands full. Blount doesn't even look like the same player we saw last year. I was very impressed with Blount's improved play. Martin looked good as well. Smith had a great kick off return.
  • avatar

    You can tell there where some injuries in the defensive backfield, as they where hardly consistent. They missed so many opportunities to make plays. Inconsistent tackling was obvious. Miller did better, but that still isnt that good. Nowehere near enough of a pass rush from the d line. Miami does have a prety solid o line though. Freeman didnt do anything impressive. Sorry. None of thelinebackers got off their blocks consistently. I thought Cody Grimm was 3rd string on the depth chart?? Benn being shopped? hmm...
  • avatar

    Felt bad for Parker, had a horrible game. Only one game but I loved the way Smith returned the ball, no hesitation took right off up the field. First unit D line looked solid, but the back ups worry me. We need to get more pressure on the Q.B..
  • avatar

    Is Miami really that bad???? Saw some bright spots but against this team I am just going to reserve judgement until after next weeks game. David is running all over the place. Lots of energy and speed.
  • avatar

    It was a good start against a very bad team. Blount had a good game, but Martin is singles out ? Hmm..?? Like Scubog said the sidelines were orderly. You can tell that this team will get better every game and I am encouraged by that. Lets be realistic here fans, this defensive front couldn't stop but a few teams and Miami is one of them. There is no back up DL at all and contrary to scubog I thought Miller wasn't that good and McCoy a couple times was a force which was good. I do see the OL backups in the making; I am not sure that Larsen is a real backup Center as he is small. I enjoyed the game and it is a start. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I agree Chuckbville. I don't know what Gulfstrings saw but everytime I looked for it I saw great tackling. We didn't always shed every block but when we were in position to make the tackle we made it. I would also like to re-submit a comment I made 4 days ago because now it is even more relevant. "I'm not too crazy about the idea of Parker as our main kick and punt returner. Maybe the Jacksonville game last year is still stinging me. It could also be that I can't think of any explosive kick returns he has ever done. I like Parker as a slot receiver, but I think Stroughter is better at returning kicks and punts. I also can't wait to see what Michael Smith can do in a live game as a returner."
  • avatar

    Last year everyone ran the ball against the Bucs. It was good to see them hold Miami to a total of 43 yards on 15 attemps. Less than 3 yards a carry is so much better than 2011.
  • avatar

    I liked the play calling for a change. Play calling under Olson was horrible. The new offensive scheme is light years ahead of last year's. Also, I think the addition of Nicks is going to put the O-line in another bracket. He looked great. David may be something else -- looked great for his first pro game. Still, the jury is out on the D-line. Depth worries me.
  • avatar

    What I liked is that, first it didn't appear that we suffered any injuries and second the sideline always appeared orderly and in control. Not sure some of you noticed, but Gerald McCoy was constantly in the backfield and I thought Roy Miller played better than what he did last season. The D-Line got close to the QB a few times but I was disappointed they didn't put him on the ground and none of the back-ups did much to stand out. The starting O-Line looked good as expected but the back-ups left a lot to be desired, especially in the running game. None of the starters got enough playing time to assess and it looked like the entire healthy roster got some game action so few got a lot of repetitions. Bottom line for me was that the starting defensive unit didn't look anything like the meek group that got bullied so often last season.
  • avatar

    Think it needs to be mentioned that our defense struggle against the run. Too much open space and poor tackling. Miami (and the Bucs, actually) got the ball to the outside effectively and I thought Tampa showed some speed getting out there to make the plays, but again, some poor tackling hurt. Penetration defense can look silly against a well called run play and that worked against us several times as well. Need to tackle. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Super stoked about Lavonte David he looks really good. Also the run game looks like it has the potential to be dominating.
  • avatar

    Should be a good game against the Titans. They have a solid ground game that should be a nice test against the D-line and linebackers. Their defense should also be a nice challenge. I am really excited to see how this team shape up over the coming weeks.
  • avatar

    I see that Tampa bay shock the Fins Maybe Tampa will do the same against Tenn GO BUCS
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