Dolphins drop high-scoring affair

Rookie quarterback John Beck appeared on his way to his third fourth-quarter comeback of the preseason, but then the Dolphins defense finished off a difficult night in disappointing fashion and the result was a 31-28 loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Beck played the entire second half against the Bucs and delivered two touchdown passes, including a potential game-winning 31-yarder to Derek Hagan with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter.

After Tampa Bay responded with a 61-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass from Bruce Gradkowski to Paris Warren, Beck and the Dolphins turned the ball over on downs. Coach Cam Cameron decided to go for it on fourth-and-7 from the Dolphins 30 with a little over four minutes left, but Hagan dropped a pass that was thrown a little behind him.

It was one of the few throws that were off target for Beck.

On the first drive of the second half, Beck hit P.K. Sam between three defenders, and Sam took advantage of a collision between a couple of Bucs players to complete the 51-yard touchdown that gave the Dolphins a 21-17 lead.

Beck's play was part of an overall terrific effort by the Dolphins quarterbacks.

Trent Green started and played three series, producing two touchdowns after a disastrous start that saw him throw an interception on a screen pass near the Dolphins goal line that was returned for a touchdown.

After getting the Dolphins in a quick 7-0 hole, Green responded by leading a 17-play drive that ended with his 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Martin.

After Matt Roth picked off a Jeff Garcia pass at the line of scrimage to give the Dolphins a first down at the Tampa Bay 12, Green got the Dolphins in the end zone again — although it was running back Jesse Chatman who did the hard work, scoring on a 12-yard run off a Statue of Liberty play.

The Dolphins defense, meanwhile, struggled all night, giving up touchdown passes of 26 yards from Garcia to Joey Galloway and 6 yards from Gradkowski to Earnest Graham before Warren's game-winning score.

After Galloway's touchdown tied the score 14-14, Matt Bryant gave the Bucs a three-point halftime lead with a 26-yard field goal.

Jay Feely had a chance to tie the score on the last play of the first half, but his 54-yard attempt bounced off the left upright.


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