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Bucs Defeat Dolphins

Posted Nov 19, 2017

Matt Moore was called on to come into the game at quarterback for the second time this season, but the Dolphins weren’t able to rally for a victory this time.

Moore replaced Jay Cutler, who left in the second half because of a concussion, helped the Dolphins erase a 20-7 deficit but Tampa Bay prevailed in the end, winning 30-20 on a 35-yard field goal by Patrick Murray with 6 seconds left.

Tampa Bay scored a touchdown on the final play on a fumble recovery in the end zone after the Dolphins began using laterals in a desperate effort to score a miraculous touchdown.

The Dolphins (4-6) tied the score 20-20 when Moore hit Kenny Stills with a 61-yard touchdown pass, capping Stills’ seven-catch, 180-yard day.

But Tampa Bay answered with a 58-yard drive that began with a 17-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, starting in place of the injured Jameis Winston, to wide receiver Mike Evans.

Moore helped the Dolphins erase a 28-14 deficit in a 31-28 victory against the New York Jets on Oct. 22.

Before tying the game, the Dolphins missed several opportunities in the second half.

One of those came with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter when Damien Williams was stuffed for no gain on a fourth-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 34-yard line. The Dolphins earlier had to settle for two Cody Parkey field goals after they got into the red zone.

Jarvis Landry scored the first Dolphins touchdown when he caught a 2-yard pass from Cutler in the first quarter.

Tampa Bay got two touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick, a 6-yarder to tight end O.J. Howard and a 4-yarder to DeSean Jackson.

In addition to Cutler, the Dolphins also lost guard Jermon Bushrod to a foot injury in the third quarter.

Moore took over at quarterback at the start of the second half and guided the Dolphins to a 70-yard drive that ended with Parkey’s 26-yard field goal. The Dolphins thought they had a touchdown when Anthony Fasano caught Moore’s pass in the end zone on first-and-goal from the 1-yard, but Julius Thomas was flagged for offensive pass interference.

The drive featured a 49-yard completion to Landry, the Dolphins’ longest pass play of the season.

The Dolphins cut their deficit to 20-13 on their next possession with Parkey’s second field goal, though they failed to cash in after having a first-and-10 at the Tampa Bay 11-yard line. This drive featured a 45-yard completion to Stills.

The first half ended with the Dolphins trailing 20-7 but featured Miami’s longest offensive play of the season, Damien Williams’ 69-yard run on their first drive. That drive ended when Justin Evans picked off Cutler in the end zone, the first of four Dolphins turnovers in the first half.

After Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead, the Dolphins answered with a 90-yard touchdown drive that featured a 24-yard completion from Cutler to Williams and a 26-yard pass from Cutler to Stills. The scoring play was Cutler’s 2-yard pass to Landry.

Things went downhill from there in the first half, though.

After Tampa Bay cut the Dolphins with a second field goal, linebacker Kwon Alexander intercepted Cutler deep in Miami territory to set up Fitzpatrick’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Howard.

After cornerback Robert McClain picked off Cutler’s next pass to set the Bucs up at the Miami 25, the Dolphins escaped damage when Murray was wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt.

Late in the first half, Landry fumbled in Miami territory after catching a short pass, and four plays later Fitzpatrick connected with Jackson for a touchdown.

That set the stage for the Dolphins’ valiant comeback effort in the second half, an effort that unfortunately came up just short.