If anything, this was a game that showed the two best teams in the state of Florida can battle it out for four quarters and the last team to score wins.
Sounds more like something out of sandlot football, doesn’t it?
It wasn’t pretty and it did nothing to make statements on position battles but in the end, Tampa Bay came away with a 17-16 win on the road. It gives them some momentum going into the final preseason contest of the season.
For the Dolphins, it drops them to 1-3 on the preseason and opens the doors for many questions to still be answered.
Remember, cutdown day is this week. Lot’s of decisions to be made and the play tonight should have a big impact on that.
Here is what we learned from Saturday night.
Ryan Tannehill was efficient
He was 17 of 27 for 150 yards and a score. A decent night for Tannehill, but he needs to be better. While the third preseason game is usually a rehearsal of sorts, the Dolphins need to finally unleash this passing attack we have all heard about.
Where was the Tampa Bay quarterback play?
While I still think Mike Glennon is the better long-range solution for this team, the quarterbacks for the Buccaneers showed nothing tonight. Both were a combined 9 of 25 for 70 yards and a score. You do know there are some high school quarterbacks who will be better than that - in one half of play.
The running game needs to get better
For both sides. While Lamar Miller is the undisputed starter for this team, he only had 35 yards on the ground, and the Dolphins managed 71 yards on the ground total.
We know what pathetic looks like.
Tampa Bay wasn’t much better. They managed 90 yards for the contest without their star runner, Doug Martin, in the contest.
Time of possession concerns
How do you hold the ball for 11 minutes more than your opponent and only score 16 points? Better yet, how do you hold the ball for over 35 minutes of the game and lose? There must be better offensive game calling and less mistakes.
Defense, defense, defense
Obviously, the defenses were the stars of the game. Each team put pressure on the quarterbacks tonight, so there must be better play up front. Miami sacked he passer six times, while Tampa Bay managed to get to Tannehill and Pat Devlin four times.
Also, Miami lost the turnover battle again, coughing it up three more times against the Buccaneers.