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  • 04 Jun
    Buccaneers at Dolphins final score and immediate reactions
    The Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have completed their Preseason Week
    1 contest Larry
    Csonka Jersey
    , with the Buccaneers coming away with the 26-24 victory.The
    Dolphins have some things to clean up, but it was, overall, a fairly good
    performance for Miami. There were not nearly as many flags and pre-snap
    penalties as was feared pre-game. Ryan Tannehill came out and immediately rolled
    out of the pocket in a designed bootleg, showing that he can still run and that
    the knee seems to be fine. Some of the rookies, like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Jerome
    Baker, and Kalen Ballage were strong in the game as well. Overall, this game was
    fairly vanilla, which is exactly what the first preseason game should be. The
    defense basically ran cover two most of the night, and the offense was going
    through many of the basic plays in the playbook. There are still some areas of
    concern, especially with the cornerbacks outside of Xavien Howard. No one seemed
    to step up in this game, and the Dolphins will continue to hold a position
    battle for whomever wants to claim the job.The only really major issue for the
    night was the injury to linebacker Mike Hull, who sustained an injury to his
    left knee and had to be carted off the sideline after being helped walking over
    there.The main take-away for this game is simply that the guys are back on the
    field and starting to play football. This game means nothing in terms of record
    or how the team plays in the fall, but it was important to get the players some
    game experience. It was good to see some of the younger players have strong
    games. Now the team will get back to training camp practices and continue to
    build up toward the regular season.Game RecapThe Dolphins get the ball first and
    immediately go uptempo, which is exactly what Adam Gase has wanted since he
    became head coach. Ryan Tannehill rolls out on the first play, looking like the
    pre-injury Tannehill. The Dolphins convert on a quick 4th-and-1 attempt.
    Tannehill throws some nice passes on the opening drive, but cannot connect on
    Danny Amendola and Kalen Ballage on the final two pass attempts of the drive and
    Jason Sanders misses a 53-yard field goalattempt.The Buccaneers come out and
    look to be uptempo as well. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the start for Tampa Bay, who
    will be without Jameis Winston for the first three weeks of the regular season.
    Davon Godchaux gets called for encroachment early in the drive, and pre-snap
    penalties continue to be an issue for Miami. The short field comes back to haunt
    the Dolphins, with the Buccaneers quickly finding the end zone on a Peyton
    Barber 4-yard run, but then miss the extra point.Buccaneers 6-0.David Fales
    comes in for the Dolphins at quarterback, ending Tannehill’s day. Ballage
    bounces the first play outside and gets the edge, picking up 14 yards. After a
    sack, Fales found Albert Wilson for two quick long passes, picking up first
    downs on both. Jakeem Grant then drew a defensive pass interference penalty.
    Fales then missed an open Mike Gesicki in the end zone, then missed him again on
    a crossing route, leading to a 29-yard field goal from Sanders. Buccaneers
    6-3.Fitzpatrick stayed out on the field for the second drive for Tampa Bay, but
    it was another Fitzpatrick who stared on the possession. Dolphins rookie Minkah
    Fitzpatrick showed up on multiple plays, breaking up one pass like a free
    safety, then playing a short pass like a linebacker and breaking it up too. The
    Buccaneers punted. The Dolphins changed their quarterback to Brock Osweiler on
    the next drive. Ballage picked up nine yards, with tight end Thomas Duarte
    making a beautiful block to spring the rookie. End 1st Quarter.Osweiler looks
    deep on second
    down Dan Marino
    Jersey
    , slightly underthrowing Grant who goes up and lets the ball go
    right through his hands. On third down, Osweiler somehow avoided a sack, and
    found Ballage sprinting toward the line of scrimmage from the backfield. Ballage
    got to the first down marker, then jumped a defender and knocked the ball out of
    his hands with his knee. The Buccaneers recovered as the ball just lay on the
    turf.Jameis Winston entered the game for Fitzpatrick, quickly moving the ball
    downfield and into scoring position. Dolphins linebacker Mike Hull was injured
    on the first-and-goal play, with trainers tending to his left knee then having
    to help him walk off the field. On second-and-goal, Ronald Jones scored, giving
    the Buccaneers a second rushing touchdown.Buccaneers 13-3.The Dolphins went
    three-and-out in their next possession, losing yards on a sack.Winston would
    then again carve the Dolphins defense up through the air. Linebacker Jerome
    Baker, however, would come up big a couple of times, both with a play in the
    backfield and on a third-and-ten play to sop the Buccaneers a yard short of the
    conversion, leading to a field goal. Baker has been quiet so far this summer,
    but his instincts appear to be putting him in the right place to make a play in
    the second quarter of the game.Buccaneers 16-3.Miami then brought David Fales
    back into the game. Fales looked for Leonte Carroo on first down, but the pass
    was broken up. The Dolphins running backs then took over the drive, with Ballage
    picking up ten yards on a pass, then two yards on a carry, with Senorise Perry
    then picking up eight yards on a reception, 15 yards on a carry, 16 yards on a
    pass, 12 yards on a run, and a seven yard touchdown pass. The Dolphins running
    backs are looking to prove they are not a two-headed monster with Drake and
    Frank Gore, but rather a four-headed behemoth coming with Drake, Gore, Ballage,
    and Perry.Buccaneers 16-10.After the kickoff went out of bounds, the Buccaneers
    started their next possession at the 40-yard line. Jordan Phillips came to play
    on the possession, starting with a tackle for a loss on first down, then blew up
    the line of scrimmage on the next first down, leading to a Vincent Taylor sack.
    Taylor made the next play, stopping a screen pass for no gain, and the
    Buccaneers would end the drive with a punt.Osweiler returned to quarterback the
    Dolphins after the punt. Miami could not do anything with the
    ball Bob Griese
    Jersey
    , however, as Ballage picked up two yards, then Osweiler found
    Rashawn Scott for nine yards then Duarte for three yards, then Ballage for four
    yards, before an incompletion led to a punt.The Buccaneers attempted to run
    their two-minute offense after getting the ball back with 30 seconds to play,
    but were only able to pick up 16 yards before the half.Half time.The Buccaneers
    got the ball to start the second half, with Ryan Griffin coming into the game at
    quarterback. On second down, however, the Buccaneers would fumble, giving Miami
    the ball at their own 13-yard line.Miami could not do much with the ball,
    however. They started the possession with a delay of game penalty. After Thomas
    Duarte caught a short pass and turned up field for a 13-yard gain, Ballage could
    not pick up any further yards and Osweiler threw incomplete on third down. The
    team settled for a 23-yard Jason Sanders field goal.Buccaneers 16-13.Tampa Bay
    took control of the game then, running a nearly eight-minute drive. Griffin
    continued as the quarterback, and the team just picked apart the Dolphins. The
    drive featured a 12-yard and a 14-yard gain, but everything else was basically
    dink-and-dunk and short runs. The Buccaneers gained 88 yards on the drive, using
    17 plays to do it and ultimately scoring on a 10-yard pass. Buccaneers 23-13.The
    Dolphins moved quickly on their next drive, with Fales under center again. On
    first down, Fales threw a perfect pass to Francis Owusu on a deep post pattern,
    picking up 45 yards on the play. After that, however, the team only picked up
    another six yards before having to settle for another field goal.Buccaneers
    23-16.Tampa Bay would go three-and-out on their next possession.Miami would put
    their own long drive together on the next drive, with Osweiler back under
    center. Unfortunately, a 16-play, 58-yard drive would result in no points as a
    false start penalty backed up the team from the five yard line. On
    fourth-and-goal from the three, Osweiler threw an incomplete pass and the
    Buccaneers took over on downs.The Buccaneers again held the ball for a long time
    of possession, putting together a 61-yard drive on 13 plays, taking up 6:14 on
    the clock. However, the drive would still at the Miami 35-yard line, with Tampa
    Bay missing a 53-yard field goal attempt.The Dolphins replaced the
    Osweiler/Fales quarterback duo with Bryce Petty on the next possession. He
    immediately found Buddy Howell on a short pass, then saw the rookie running back
    run for 18 yards. Then Petty connected with Owusu deep for 23 yards, getting
    down to the Buccaneers 16-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Howell picked up
    ten yards on a
    rush Minkah
    Fitzpatrick Jersey
    , then Petty found Isaiah Ford for the six-yard
    touchdown. On the two-point conversion attempt, Petty again found Ford to give
    Miami the lead.Dolphins 24-23.The Buccaneers, with no timeouts remaining, drove
    straight back down the field. Griffin completed passes of 12 yards, 18 yards, 8
    yards, and 20 yards before the team ran the ball for two yards and seven yards
    to set up a short field goal with just 26 seconds remaining.Buccaneers
    26-24.Miami tried to make a last second drive, but, after a roughing the passer
    penalty appeared to give the team hope, Petty threw an interception and the
    Buccaneers killed the clock.Final Buccaneers 26-24. If the Dallas Cowboys are
    for real, they will win their sixth straight game and clinch the NFC East at
    Indianapolis on Sunday.If the Colts are for real, they will knock off the
    Cowboys and stamp themselves as true contenders for the AFC playoffs.With three
    games remaining, Dallas (8-5) is in control of its division, thanks to a staunch
    defense and a revived air game with the addition of Amari Cooper. Has any
    veteran been more worth a first-round draft pick in a midseason trade?“I didn’t
    know we were going to get all that, honestly,'” says NFL rushing leader Ezekiel
    Elliott about Cooper, acquired from Oakland. “But when I finally saw him in
    person, when I saw him catch the ball, I saw him run around and run after the
    catch, that’s when I really realized he’s truly special.”A Cowboys win does the
    trick in the NFC East, as would losses by Philadelphia and Washington. Dallas
    has almost no chance at a first-round playoff bye, though.So what? The Cowboys
    were 3-5 and sinking and now look where they are.Talking about sinking,
    Indianapolis was 1-5 two months ago. Then the Colts (7-6) won five straight
    before that string ended with an awful performance at Jacksonville. So they went
    to AFC South leader Houston, winner of nine in a row, and won.In his comeback
    from a 2017 season lost to a shoulder injury, Andrew Luck has been sensational,
    working behind an offensive line that has gone from sieve to sturdy. Luck has
    been sacked 16 times, second fewest in the league.Indy is in a four-way tie for
    the second AFC wild-card slot with Baltimore, Tennessee and Miami.“Most people
    call this the dash for cash,” Colts tight end Eric Ebron says. “So you just try
    to win.”Two road teams won Saturday, with Cleveland edging Denver 17-16, and
    Houston beating the New York Jets
    29-22 Kenny
    Stills Jersey
    , and.Baker Mayfield’s 2-yard TD toss to Antonio Calloway
    with just under 12minutes left provided the winning margin for the Browns
    (6-7-1). They snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Broncos (6-8).Houston’s
    Deshaun Watson threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins with 2:15 left.
    The Texans are 10-4, and the Jets 4-10.The weekend began Thursday night with the
    Los Angeles Chargers‘ 29-28 comeback victory at Kansas City.Philip Rivers led
    the Chargers to a pair of touchdowns in the final minutes, then hit Mike
    Williams for the go-ahead 2-point conversion with 4 seconds remaining. The
    Chargers (11-3) trailed 28-14 before Justin Jackson scored with 3:49 to go.Not
    only did the Chargers clinch a playoff berth, they forged a first-place tie with
    the Chiefs (11-3) in the AFC West while ending a nine-game losing streak to
    their longtime division rivals.New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1)Tampa Bay
    (5-8) at Baltimore (7-6)The AFC North has become a jumble with Pittsburgh’s
    slump (three successive defeats) and Baltimore’s resurgence.These matchups don’t
    bode well for the Steelers, especially if Ben Roethlisberger’s rib and James
    Conner’s ankle are factors.The Patriots have won the past five meetings. Of
    course, the 2017 version is unforgettable: Roethlisberger threw an interception
    in the end zone with 5 seconds remaining after tight end Jesse James‘ apparent
    go-ahead touchdown with 29 seconds left was overturned on review. Officials
    ruled the catch did not “survive the ground;” James jostled it after stretching
    across the goal line.So the league amended the rule in the offseason to allow
    some movement by the ball if a receiver maintains possession.New England can
    clinch its 10th straight AFC East title with a win or tie and a Miami loss or
    tie.Baltimore, meanwhile, will sit the now-healthy Joe Flacco behind first-round
    pick Lamar Jackson, who has won three of his four starts with Flacco (hip)
    sidelined. The Ravens‘ ground game has been sensational with the rookie behind
    center:Jackson has 336 yards rushing over the past four games, the most by any
    NFL quarterback in his first four starts during the Super Bowl era. Baltimore
    also is allowing an NFL-low 18.5 points per game.Philadelphia (6-7) at Los
    Angeles Rams (11-2)New Orleans (11-2) at Carolina (6-7), MondayTop seed in the
    NFC is what it’s all about for the Saints and Rams, who lost to New Orleans this
    season.The Rams and Saints each clinch a first-round bye with a win and a
    Chicago loss or tie, or a tie and a Chicago loss.New Orleans has struggled
    offensively the past two weeks, but this is a matchup Drew Brees enjoys. The
    Saints beat the Panthers three times last season, including the playoffs. Brees
    has completed 76.7 percent of his passes for 2,714 yards with 21 touchdowns and
    four interceptions in the past 10 NFC South games and has 46 TDs and 20 INTs vs.
    the Panthers, who have lost their past five overall. But Carolina is 5-1 at
    home.With the Rams coming off the lowest-scoring performance under Sean McVay, a
    15-6 loss to the Bears, they try to avoid falling in consecutive games with
    McVay in charge. Indeed, he has won at least two straight after all seven of his
    career defeats.Eagles QB Carson Wentz is battling a back injury. He tore up his
    knee at LA last year and missed his team’s run to the championship.Tennessee
    (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8)The other weekend game at MetLife Stadium; notice
    the neutral end zones.New York once was 1-7, yet has a very long shot at making
    the playoffs. A retooled offensive line has provided time for Eli Manning to
    show he isn’t over the hill, and for rookie running back Saquon Barkley to go
    wild.Tennessee has had at least 400 yards in each of the past two games, and
    hasn’t managed three straight since Oct. 1-16, 2000. It has allowed the fewest
    touchdowns in the league this season, 27.Green Bay (5-7-1) at Chicago (9-4)Miami
    (7-6) at Minnesota (6-6-1)Chicago’s last-to-first climb in the NFC North could
    be finalized against its biggest rival. A win over Green Bay, which leads the
    NFL’s longest series 97-94-6, gets it done. So does a Minnesota loss or tie.The
    Bears lead the NFL in turnover differential (plus 13) and interceptions
    (25).Green Bay, under interim coach Joe Philbin, must win out for any chance to
    play in January. The Packers have won eight in a row at Soldier Field and nine
    of the past 10 meetings overall. But with a win, Chicago would finish 7-1 at
    home for the first time since 2005.Miami’s stunning “Drake Escape” victory
    against New England kept it viable in the AFC playoff chase. The Dolphins are
    second in the NFL with 19 interceptions and tied for third with 25
    takeaways.Minnesota was overwhelmed last Monday night at Seattle, and fired
    offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. In their past three losses, all on the
    road Reshad Jones
    Jersey
    , the Vikings have averaged just 274 yards and 12 points per game.
    But they’re at home and the Dolphins are 0-5 on the road since beating the Jets
    in Week 2.Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10)Surging Seattle has won four
    straight and its defeats are to opponents who are a combined 36-16, with two of
    losses to the 11-2 Rams. The Seahawks have the league’s top rushing team and
    have become as stingy as anybody on defense despite being in a rebuild.A win
    gets them into the postseason, and they have won 10 straight in this NFC West
    rivalry, starting with the conference title game in January 2014. Linebacker
    Bobby Wagner , making a hefty statement for NFL Defensive Player of the Year,
    seeks his eighth straight game with at least eight tackles. Wagner had 12
    tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, two passes defensed and a 98-yard
    interception return for a TD in the Week 13 win over San Francisco.Detroit (5-8)
    at Buffalo (4-9)Don’t look for much scoring here.With 3,187 yards passing,
    Detroit QB Matthew Stafford is in jeopardy of ending his seven-season streak of
    topping 4,000 yards. His counterpart, first-round pick Josh Allen, has a
    combined 335 yards rushing in the past three games. He’s the second NFL QB to
    top 90 yards rushing in three consecutive games, joining Green Bay’s Tobin Rote
    in 1951.Arizona (3-10) at Atlanta (4-9)Atlanta might do some scoring here, while
    Arizona ranks at the bottom in most offensive categories. Its pitiful 178 points
    are 23 lower than the next-worst team, Buffalo. The Cardinals started five
    rookies on offense last week.After being held without a TD catch in the first
    seven games, Atlanta WR Julio Jones has five in the past six games. Jones leads
    the NFL with 1,429 yards receiving and has topped 100 yards in nine
    games.Oakland (3-10) at Cincinnati (5-8)Banged-up Cincinnati has been in
    freefall, dropping five in a row and seven of eight. This is its final home
    game. The Bengals have averaged 51,673, the second-smallest attendance since
    Paul Brown Stadium opened in 2000. They’re 3-4 at home.The Raiders fired GM
    Reggie McKenzie on Monday, one day after a stunning upset of
    Pittsburgh.Washington (6-7) at Jacksonville (4-9)What does a team do when its
    top two QBs have broken legs and the third guy has a broken career? In
    Washington’s case, it turns to someone who hasn’t started since 2011, is 0-5 in
    the NFL and recently had a contract with the startup Alliance of American
    Football, Josh Johnson.Redskins RB Adrian Peterson needs 112 yards rushing to
    pass Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (13,259) for eighth most in NFL history.