The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) and Miami Dolphins (1-2) will square off in their third preseason game on Aug. 24, as both teams will try to rebound after losing tight games in their previous matchups.
The Buccaneers are coming off a 21-25 loss to the New England Patriots, where quarterback Tom Brady drilled their first-team defense with perfect laser passes. At one point, he completed 11 straight passes. Although the Buccaneers played without their shutdown corner Darrelle Revis, coach Greg Schiano has to be shaking his head after they finished 32nd in passing defense in 2012.
As Brady and his Patriots kept it rolling, the Buccaneers were having a tough time just protecting their quarterback in passing situations, as they gave up four sacks in the first half. However, once Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph return to the starting lineup after being sidelined with injuries, their pass protection should be much better moving forward.
On a night where the Patriots bombarded the Buccaneers through the air, they did answer with a strong running game that cannon balled through the Patriots’ defensive walls. Tampa Bay racked up 158 yards on the ground without their top running back Doug Martin, who left the game with a minor injury.
Down in the south, the Dolphins were battling the Houston Texans, as they came up short in a 17-24 loss. Coach Joe Philbin‘s Dolphins played an extraordinary game despite the loss. Not only did Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas had a great game in the rushing category, but more importantly, young quarterback Ryan Tannehill is creating a nice chemistry with Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace.
Tannehill connected with the speedy Wallace three times that went for 58 yards, which included a nine-yard touchdown pass that tied the game in the first quarter 7-7.
Although the Dolphins are seeing major improvements offensively, they will need to learn to stop teams if they want to make a playoff push in 2013. The Fins gave up 415 yards of offense to the Texans, and will need to address this against their next opponent in the Buccaneers.
The talented Buccaneers are ready to plunge the Dolphins, and hope to clean up their passing defense that will face a challenge in covering Wallace on the outside. They will also focus in continuing their dominance in the ground game, as they feature one of the more talented backs in the league.
On the other side, the Fins will shift their focus defensively and try to limit the yards they give up in both the passing and ground attacks. Tannehill will once again continue his development with receiver Wallace, and try to go over the top of a secondary that has had some trouble on the outside so far into the preseason.
The Dolphins are ready to swim back up from the trenches of the abyss, in hopes of getting their franchise back on the winning side, while the Buccaneers are preparing to show the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with in 2013. May the clash begin.