Miami Dolphins Tampa Bay Bucs Preview

The Miami Dolphins will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final preseason game of 2015.

The game between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is set to start at 7 PM from Sun Life Stadium on Thursday night.

After watching Mike Pouncey leave last game against the Falcons with a knee injury, don’t expect to see the Miami Dolphins’ starters last more than a series or two in this game.

The fourth preseason game is all about narrowing down the rosters to that final 53. The Dolphins will have to figure out which players they want to send packing. Here are my most anticipated position battles heading into this final game.

1. Caleb Sturgis vs. Andrew Franks

There is still no clear favorite here for who will win the job. Sturgis was a fifth round pick, and any time a team spends a draft pick on a kicker, they expect him to be the guy for a while. That hasn’t been the case for Sturgis, who just can’t seem to steadily hit from the 40-49 yard region. Meanwhile, the rookie Franks has gained some consistency as of late, and I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that Franks wins this job come week 1 against the Redskins. This game will be crucial for both players.

2. Josh Freeman vs. Matt Moore

This is all but over. Freeman just hasn’t produced like Miami hoped he would. He now faces his old team in what could be the final nail in his career (at least with the ‘Fins). The Dolphins, who basically never keep three quarterbacks on the 53 man roster, will likely cut Freeman following Thursday’s game against the Bucs. Barring some kind of miracle…

3. A.J. Francis vs. Anthony Johnson

Uber or no Uber, Francis has been better than Johnson this year, at least according to ESPN’s James Walker in his most recent article. With Mosley, Suh, Phillips and Mitchell locked in, it comes down to Francis and Johnson for what is likely the final defensive tackle spot.

Again, don’t expect an exciting final game from the Miami Dolphins. They will play the first team offense and defense almost simply as a warm up, and then they will turn to their second, third and fourth stringers to fight in the trenches the rest of the way. Still, this is the last serious test for a lot of these roster players, so tune in and keep an eye out!

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