- Dolphins Drop 17-16 Decision To Buccaneers
- Dolphins Postgame Notes
- Dolphins-Buccaneers Final Statistics
- Dolphins Pregame Notes
- Analyst Game Balls
- 3 Takeaways From Saturday’s Buccaneers Game
- Coach Joe Philbin: We’ve Got To Finish A Game Better
- PHOTO GALLERY: Dolphins Vs. Buccaneers Game Action
- HIGHLIGHTS: Gibson TD
Lamar Miller20-yard Run
- VIDEO: Coach Philbin
- VIDEO: Lamar Miller
The next-to-last preseason game annually is the most telling for all NFL teams, and the Dolphins’ performance Saturday night spoke volumes despite a loss.
Almost all of the Dolphins’ starters were pulled after halftime of the 17-16 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night, but there was a lot of good work accomplished while they were in there.
“You can’t ever be too happy when you lose,” defensive tackle Jared Odrick said. “We did some good things, but we still have a lot of things to correct. What’s encouraging is that we can still get better from here. We played pretty good early on, but we didn’t do enough to win the game. Once we put everything together, it’s going to be a nice showing every time we get out there.”
The loss dropped the Dolphins’ preseason record to 1-3, with the finale coming up Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints at Sun Life Stadium.
Tampa Bay’s game-winning touchdown — a 12-yard pass from rookie quarterback Mike Glennon to David Douglas with 1:03 left — was set up by a 55-yard return by safety Sean Baker after he recovered a
“We had a lot of positives and, of course, we had some negatives,” cornerback
The Dolphins dominated Tampa Bay when both first teams were in the game, and only a couple of special teams miscues and problems in the red zone kept Miami from having a bigger lead than 13-10.
The numbers illustrate how the Dolphins controlled play in the first two quarters, with Miami recording advantages of 15-6 in first downs, 180-63 in total yardage and 18:04-11:56 in time of possession.
“As an offense, I think we moved the ball pretty well,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “We’ve just got to capitalize on a couple of those drives. When we get close, we’ve got to score touchdowns instead of kicking field goals. But I like the way our offense played today for the most part for the first half.”
Gibson gave the Dolphins their 13-10 lead when he scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the first half. The catch gave Gibson five catches in the first half.
“It felt good,” Gibson said. “The coverages dictate a lot of where the ball is thrown. I just wanted to make sure I was in the right spot even though I kind of played a (mediocre) half.”
Earlier in the first half, Gibson had failed to hang on to a pass in the end zone on third down, forcing the Dolphins to settle for a field goal. That came after the Dolphins had a first-and-goal from the Tampa Bay 7-yard line.
On the first drive of the game, the Dolphins put together an impressive 17-play drive but had to settle for a field goal after having a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line.
“I think we need to do better in the red zone as far as coming away with touchdowns,” offensive tackle
The longest play on that drive was a 20-yard run by Lamar Miller to the right side.
“The offensive line did a great job opening up the holes,” Miller said. “I was just following
The first-team defense, meanwhile, held Tampa Bay running backs Brian Leonard and Mike James to 18 yards rushing on 12 attempts and sacked quarterback Josh Freeman three times.
“We did a pretty good job here and there, but we’ve just got to finish on the defensive side no matter what the score is,” nose tackle
The second half was quiet on both sides from an offensive standpoint, but the Dolphins had a nice conversion of a third-and-12 in the fourth quarter when
Tampa Bay’s 10 points in the first half were set up by two Dolphins turnovers on special teams, a muffed punt that bounced off the helmet of
Thigpen would gain a measure of redemption later in the first half with a 38-yard punt return, which set up Sturgis second field goal.
“You really can’t redeem a fumble,” Thigpen said. “I’ve just got to get better. That can’t happen. That’s unacceptable. Especially for myself, I don’t want that to happen ever again. That’s something I’m going to be working on.”
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
• KR Marcus Thigpen on the two special teams turnovers: “It’s tough just because we harp on those things all week, not to have those miscues and have those fundamentals. Just to go out there, we’ve got to work hard on it, especially ball security. That’s the main thing we had a problem with tonight.”
• Rookie CB Will Davis on his first game at Sun Life Stadium as a member of the Dolphins: “That was amazing. Just coming out here in front of everybody. I was looking at (fellow rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor) sometime toward the fourth quarter, I walked up to him and I said, ‘Man, you’ve just got to love life. We’re here. We made it.’ It was a good moment just to be out there in front of everybody.”
• Tackle Tyson Clabo on the progress of the offensive line: “The regular season is pretty much here. I think we’ve made some strides and I think we’re going to be good enough to get the job done for sure. And we’ll continue to improve as the season goes along.”