NFL Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Preseason Game 1 Recap (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

With preseason game number one in the books for the Miami Dolphins, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in the 20-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


It may surprise some to see Matt Moore listed in this category, but for the most part I did like what I saw from him. The numbers are not great at all. Moore went 7 for 12 for just 79 yards, and an INT. However I did feel that Moore deserved a better fate. I found him to be pretty accurate, and he is already establishing his connection with Anthony Fasano. The TE was targeted 3 times by Moore, and he made receptions on all 3. (I am a big believer that Fasano has to be a major target, especially in the red-zone…Previous Fasano article HERE). Moore’s teammates struggled in this game, and he paid the price.

Clearly the offense has miles of work to do, but the pace was very good. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is installing the west-coast offense, and the no-huddle aspect looks like it is going to be a lot of fun.

In the second half Ryan Tannehill looked comfortable, and accurate. He led a TD drive early in the 3rd quarter, and was 7 for 8 on that drive. He actually led a few lengthy drives vs the Buccs subs. Tannehill finished with these numbers: 14 for 21, 167 yards, and QB rating over 100 (plus he threw a TD pass for Miami’s only score)

Reggie Bush ran between the tackles very well.

Cornerback Richard Marshall was active, and supported vs the run well.

LB and special teams contributor Jason Trusnik had a nice game. He was blowing up screens on defense, and recovering fumbles on special teams. Trusnik finished with a team-high 6 tackles.

Rookie Rishard Matthews showed flashes during his kick-returner playing time.


Chad Johnson had a sure 1st down pass go through his hands on 3rd down of the opening drive. This was a drive that was looking productive, but came to a screeching halt because of the Ochocinco miscue.

I thought the offensive line was poor. The pass protection was decent, but there were zero running lanes all night. Rookie Jonathan Martin is going to get a ton of playing time, but he clearly has work to do. In practice every day he is being beat by the speed rush of Cameron Wake, and his struggles vs the speed rush were on display vs the Buccaneers as well.

Pro Bowl kicker Dan Carpenter missed from 51 and from 50. Both times wide right. Also on special teams, Buccs rookie Michael Smith carved the Dolphins kick coverage for impressive returns.

The offense did not have any deep threats. All threats were short-mid range. Just 6.2 yards per pass vs this questionable Buccs secondary. Furthermore, Bush, Johnson, Legedu Nannee, and Davone Bess (starters) combined for just 2 catches during their playing time.

The defense did not come close to creating any turnovers. This is an issue that has plagued this franchise. Also, the defense was mediocre on Friday night.


Finding out moments before the game that your starting QB David Garrard is about to undergo knee surgery is about as ugly as it gets.

One area that defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is sure to address is the tackling. It was ugly, especially from the starters. Certain area of concern.

The NFL all about 3rd downs. Can you convert on offense and extend drives? Can your defense get the opposition off the field? Well the starters for Miami were dreadful on 3rd down vs the Buccs. Overall Tampa Bay went 8 for 15 on 3rd down, but the starters were 6 for 7 (plus 1 for 1 on 4th down – that play resulted in a TD). On the other side of the ball the ‘Phins offense went a putrid 3 for 13 on 3rd down, plus just 2 for 4 on 4th down. Ugly numbers.

Reggie Bush had 4 carries, totaling 17 yards. 4.2 yards per carry…But…the rest of Miami’s backfield combined for a horrid 6 yards on 9 carries (yikes). Miami rushed for a first down just twice (yikes).

The Buccs starting QB (Josh Freeman) and the back-up (Dan Orlovsky) dissected the Dolphins secondary to the tune of (combined) 12 for 13 completions, plus each had a QB rating north of 100.

Buccs WR Tiquan Underwood torched the Dolphins secondary with ease. He had a measly 3 catches in 2011, yet he matched that # vs the Dolphins secondary in the first half.

Work to be done for Joe Philbin and his team? You bet…

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