The last time we saw Miami, they won a Thursday Night football game on Halloween in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals. They had lost four straight before that game, and entered Monday Night’s contest at 4-4. Another win (on another holiday) would put Miami in good position to compete for a playoff spot.
First Quarter: Tampa Bay opened the game with a nice drive, and scored a TD on a Glennon pass to left tackle Donald Penn. The drive featured 5 Mike James carries for 41 yards. Unfortunately, James suffered an injury on the play before the TD, and did not return to the game.
Miami did not respond, and went 3 & out. The Buccaneers brought it right back down the field, but settled for a red zone field goal. Another Dolphins’ punt gave the ball back to Tampa Bay. Miami had just 30 yards of offense in the first quarter.
Second Quarter: The Buccaneers pinned Miami on the 2 yard line on a punt. Two plays later, Lavonte David tackled Daniel Thomas in his own end zone for a safety. Miami just did not look like a team that was ready to compete. The Bucs took the ensuing drive for another field goal.
Just when the game looked like a blowout, the Dolphins put together a great touchdown drive just before halftime to make it a one-possession game. It was a Tannehill-to-Matthews TD pass.
Ryan Tannehill finished the half with 12 straight completions; however, the Dolphins had 0 rush yards in the entire half.
Score at half: Miami Dolphins 7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15
Third Quarter: Miami’s opening drive resulted in a punt, but the special teams unit came up big and pinned Tampa Bay on their own 1 yard line. The Bucs punted back to the Dolphins, who added a field goal to make it a five-point game. Miami looked much better than they did the first 25 minutes of the game.
Another quick score from Miami, this time a 19 yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to Rishard Matthews, his second of the night. Miami looks like a completely different team. The Buccaneers got the ball back after the kick, only to hand possession to the Dolphins on a Glennon interception. Miami got a field goal off the interception, adding to their lead.
Score after three: Miami Dolphins 19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15
Fourth Quarter: Tampa Bay finally ended the Dolphins’ 19 point streak with a Rainey rushing TD. This gave the Bucs a three point lead. Both teams traded punts, and the ball wound up in Miami’s possession before the 2-minute warning. Down by three, Tannehill had the opportunity to lead another fourth quarter comeback. Back-to-back sacks on Ryan Tannehill left the Dolphins in a 4th and 28, which ended in a hail mary pass intercepted by Revis.
Miami finished with a franchise-low 2 rushing yards for the entire game. The Buccaneers got their first win of the season, one day after the Jacksonville Jaguars got theirs.
Final score: Miami Dolphins 19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22
The entire Buccaneers’ offensive line gets a game ball. It didn’t matter which back was getting carries, because there was always lanes and running room made for them by the line. Glennon had plenty of time to stand in the pocket for the majority of the night. Tampa Bay had 3 different backs total 143 yards.
Rishard Matthews had more receptions on Monday Night than he had totaled in the previous eight games combined. Two of his 11 catches went for touchdowns, and he had his team in position to win the game.
Greg Schiano dialed up some well timed, creative plays to keep the Dolphins guessing. A tackle eligible touchdown pass to the Donald Penn, crafty fourth quarter blitzes, and trick plays on special teams contributed to the win.