MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Dolphins should have blown the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off the field Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.
The Fins’ red zone offense had plenty of plays inside the Bucs’ 20-yard line and even though the starters finally produced a touchdown in the red zone, it wasn’t enough as Tampa Bay defeated Miami, 17-16.
The Miami Dolphins’ red zone offense took plenty of snaps Saturday night – and finally produced a touchdown.
The first-team offense scored its only TD just before halftime on its 17th play inside the Tampa Bay 20, but the Buccaneers scored with 1:03 left in the game to win 17-16.
Miami’s starters netted 180 yards playing the entire first half, their most extensive outing in four exhibition games. Ryan Tannehil went 17 for 27 for 150 yards and a 4-yard score to Brandon Gibson with 10 seconds left in the half for a 13-10 lead.
The score could have been lopsided in the Dolphins’ favor, but Gibson and Brian Hartline dropped potential touchdown passes, and twice they settled for short field goals.
Miami fell to 1-3 with one exhibition game left. The Buccaneers improved to 1-2, but their first-team offense sputtered again.
If the Dolphins were looking for one positive takeaway from the game, quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed his fourth straight preseason game without throwing an interception.
Next Thursday’s game will be the final preseason game for the Fins and will be largely made up of the backup players seeing the majority of the playing time.
The last preseason game will be the final chance for any of the backups to make an impression on the coaching staff before the final cut down of the roster to the 53-man regular season roster.