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3 Takeaways: Dolphins - Bucs

Posted Nov 19, 2017

1. Explosive Plays Early and Late - The offenses were finding big plays on the ground and through the air throughout the entire game. Both Miami and Tampa Bay started extremely fast and put points on the board. The Bucs created five plays of over 12 yards (plays of 13, 16, 22 and 24) leading to a pair of 30-yard field goals by placekicker Patrick Murray in the first 30 minutes. Miami answered with four plays of over 12 yards (plays of 12, 24 and 26), including a 69-yard run by Damien Williams. The Dolphins offense gained a total of 152 yards in the first 10 minutes of the game alone. Quarterback Matt Moore led the Dolphins offense in the second half and threw the ball down the field, finding wide outs Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills for big plays that kept the Dolphins in the game. Moore found Landry for a 49-yard strike that set up a field goal and later threw a 61-yard touchdown to Stills that tied the score at 20-20 late in the fourth quarter. His effort to find plays down the field was successful, but it was too little too late.

2. Turnovers Lead to Points - Four first half turnovers by the Dolphins offense not only gave the Buccaneers excellent field position, but led directly to points for Tampa Bay. Three interceptions by quarterback Cutler and a fumble by Landry gave Tampa Bay great field position and the Bucs capitalized on the short field chances. The first interception wiped away Miami’s chance to score in the red zone on their first possession of the game. The Bucs turned the opportunity into a seven play, 63-yard scoring drive to open up the scoring. The second interception set up Tampa Bay quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the Dolphins five-yard line. From there, Fitzpatrick found tight end O.J. Howard on second and goal for the touchdown. The Dolphins defense handled the third interception/sudden change opportunity well, turning back the Bucs offense from their own 25-yard line on three consecutive plays. Miami forced a field goal chance and the miss by Patrick Murray from 42 yards away kept the Dolphins in the game. The last mistake proved costly when the Landry fumbled, forced and recovered by Ryan Smith, turned into a four-yard touchdown pass from Fitzgerald to DeSean Jackson. That made the score 20-7 and took the energy directly out of Hard Rock Stadium.

3. Too Many Mistakes - I don’t want to take away the effort from the Bucs, but Miami beat themselves today as much as anything. Seventeen penalties, four turnovers are difficult for any team to overcome, and it’s something that needs to change if the Dolphins want to turn their season around. The effort is there, but the consistent execution, both mentally and physically, must reverse course if Miami wants to compete down the stretch and rescue their season.

Game Pass: Miami Dolphins