An ugly loss

Coach Nick Saban continued to stand by his team Monday in the aftermath of a 27-13 loss to Tampa Bay that featured the Dolphins' worst performance of the season. It was a case of the same problems showing up again for Miami, with a couple more thrown in for good measure.

For the first time this season, the Dolphins didn't reach double figures in penalties, but they still had nine and there were several penalties that were declined by the Bucs.

For the third consecutive game on the road, the Dolphins gave up a touchdown on the first drive of the game and quickly found themselves behind 7-0.

The passing game again failed to connect, with Gus Frerotte off target all day and the receivers not coming up with some catchable passes.

But the run defense sprung some leads for the first time all season, giving up runs of 33 and 57 yards to Michael Pittman. That led to a 180-yard rushing day for the Bucs and it sent the Dolphins from having the second-ranked run defense in the league to the No. 14 unit.

As for the much-anticipated debut of Ricky Williams, it turned into no big deal. He rushed for only 8 yards on five attempts and led the team with six receptions for 22 yards.

He did have a nice 13-yard run called back because of a bogus holding penalty on fullback Heath Evans.

Saban said Williams might have gotten more playing time had it not been for a minor hip injury the running back sustained while making a block.

As for injuries from the game, Saban indicated that Jason Taylor would be re-examined on Thursday to determine the extent of a foot injury he sustained on the first drive of Sunday's game.

Linebacker Junior Seau, who was inactive against the Bucs because of a calf problem, also will be re-examined later this week.

Both players figure to be listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Kansas City.


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