We all know that with the fourth and final preseason game every team will be sitting their starters and most of the backups till next week. The 2015/16 NFL season is finally here.
Early in the first quarter, The Dolphins got into trouble early with mistakes. A muffed punt return lead to a Tampa Bay recovery on Miami’s 5-yard line, where Miami’s defense doesn’t hold, and Tampa gets an easy red zone touchdown to take the lead 7-0.
Throughout the game Mike Gillislee gets the majority of the workload at running back and runs the ball well with the given opportunity. McLeod Bethel-Thompson is at the helm for the Miami Dolphins and connects with wide receiver Matt Hazel for most of the game. Late in the first quarter, and buying for the kicker job, Andrew Franks makes a short field goal to cut the score to 7-3. With 6 minutes left in the first, Will Davis makes what will be the first of two great interceptions of Tampa Bay’s quarterback Mike Glennon.
With two minutes left in the first quarter McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw an interception which ended up in a 57-yard field goal by rookie kicker Kyle Brindza to extend Tampa Bay’s lead to 10-3. The next play would be a high and a low. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Christion Jones would receive a kickoff 8-yards deep in the end zone, and return it for a 108 yard touchdown return…now the low, Offensive Lineman Michael Lidkey for the Dolphins would be called on a holding penalty which brought it back. A bad snap leads to a safety and the Bucs lead increases to 12-3.
To start the second quarter, Will Davis caps off his second interception from Mike Glennon to give the Miami Dolphins some life. After the interception, rookie running back Jay Ajayi gets the dolphins offense into scoring position with some hard running and deep carries, where Mike Gillislee takes over in the red zone and gets an easy touchdown which brought the Dolphins within two points.
Kickers and punters would be the talk of the night. For Miami punter Matt Dare had an incredible night with punt after punt making Tampa Bay start their offence between their own five and 10-yard line. Tampa Bay’s field goal kicker Kyle Brindza would nail two insanely long field goals from 57 yards and 55 yards respectively.
After an uneventful start to the third. With Miami in Tampa Bay’s red zone, Khaseem Greene intercepted a Bethel-Thompson pass for a 98-yard touchdown return, which would put the Bucs up 22-10.
Josh Freeman would take over at quarterback with six minutes left in the third quarter. Freeman has had a good preseason with the Dolphins and I believe his career will be rejuvenated in his new home as a Miami Dolphin.
Although the Dolphins lost this game 22-17, there was promise from their two rookies. Wideout DeVante Parker had a good outing while making his NFL debut. Running back Jay Ajayi had over 100-yards of offense before getting hurt and having to leave the game with a chest injury. Here is hoping that he will be okay for the season opener against the Washington Redskins, I still think this kid is going to be very special.
Well, Fins fans. This is a wrap on another exciting preseason that saw the Miami Dolphins end up 1-3, and really… who cares. Now that the real NFL season starts in a week’s time, lets see who makes the team after this Saturday’s deadline for the 53-man roster, and start the season with a win over the Washington Redskins on September 13th.