The final outcome of the game was the Dolphins 20 and the Buccaneers 14. The first team scores reflected a different game with Miami only able to tally 3 points to the Buccaneers 7. That lone touchdown by the Buccaneers came from a short field offensive touchdown from McCown to Jackson. McCoy strip sacked Henne which was picked up by Johnson giving the Buccaneers the ball in scoring range. The Dolphins eventually ran up a score of 20-7 but a late touchdown from the third stringers made the final outcome appear closer than it was. The Dolphins won this game convincingly.
The right guard position for the Bucs was started by Patrick Omameh in place of Meredith who started last week. We had a number of injuries, most notable to Mike James, who suffered a shoulder injury. Other players hurt included linebacker #44, Brandon Magee, who I really like as a bruiser, defensive end William Gholston, #92, with a shoulder injury, and safety Major Wright, #31, with a back injury. Magee was carted off of the field so his injury looked to be the most serious. James and Gholston have been ruled out against the Bills this Saturday.
A number of things stood out from this game. Solomon Patton, #86, might have put a lock on the kick return duties and secured himself a spot on the roster. If he can keep from getting his head ripped off, he might be a good returner, which is vital for Lovie. He needs another Devin Hester. Patton got clobbered on three returns which makes me concerned for his long term durability. He seems to launch himself forward with no regards to injury, which I admire. We will see if he can beat the odds and stick around.
The first string offensive line for the Bucs stayed out longer than the rest of the first team offense. They played until the end of the second quarter. It was a good opportunity to compare the two quarterbacks behind the same line and I would give the victory to Glennon. He had more pocket presence and awareness than McCown displayed. Plus, McCown gets the happy feet too quick. Glennon threw a beautiful pass to Evans for an almost TD while standing tall against an obvious crush. Glennon got put on his back but not before he got the ball off. Evans caught the ball and ran it in for a TD but had it stripped from him right before he crossed the goal line. The ball continued through the endzone which gave the Dolphins a touchback. Heartbreaking for everyone not wearing powder blue.
Gerald McCoy was in for 19 defensive snaps and made the most of it, recording 3 tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, 1 tackle for a loss, and a forced fumble. He was double teamed 6 times with two of them being true (true double teams are defined as having two blockers focus solely on one defender). Every single one of McCoy‘s plays came against the Dolphins right guard, #70, Dallas Thomas. Thomas has zero starts and only two games played in his one year in the NFL. That has been two weeks in a row that McCoy has abused a lineman with little experience. Let’s hope he can continue this aggressiveness and success against the more experienced lineman we will have to play this year.
Clinton McDonald was in for 21 plays and recorded 1 tackle and 1 assist. He was double teamed 8 times with 6 of them true double teams. M. Johnson played 21 plays and is credited with a fumble recovery. Clayborn was credited with one assist.
It looks as though the defense is going to continue with the stunts. This is not surprising as Lovie’s defense in Chicago ran stunts 20% of the time in 2012. The Buccaneers also averaged running stunts on defense 20% of the time over the past two years. During the preseason game against Miami, the starting defensive lineman ran 7 stunts on 22 defensive plays. That is 32% of the plays, far more than we ever ran in the past two years. We will have to wait for the regular season to see if this trend continues. As for blitzes, we ran 3 the whole game and only one with the starters. It appears that Lovie is going to try and get all of his pressure with the front four. Again, assuming that the preseason games are a preview of the regular season.
All in all, I am growing more concerned with the play of our team as the season grows closer. The defensive line has performed well but they have gone up against two offensive lines that are young, inexperienced, and have never played together. Our offensive line performed a bit better this week but not by much. Our run game was practically non existent but not as bad as Miami’s. They had -5 yards rushing at the half and ended up with 46 yards total rushing in 26 attempts for a 1.8 yard average. The Bucs ran 28 times for 91 yards and a 3.2 yard average. The Dolphins had 280 yards passing compared to just 159 for the Bucs. I hope this does not turn out like 2012 where we had the leagues best run stop defense but the leagues worst passing defense.