The Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, the last three coming on a 48 yard field goal by rookie kicker Matt Gay with six seconds left in the game to beat the Miami Dolphins 16-14 on Friday night.
Tampa Bay won the toss & elected to receive the opening kickoff. After a 15 yard return then an incomplete pass on the team's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jameis Winston hit tight end O.J. Howard for a 16 yard pass play. That was the first of back to back completions by Winston, as he connected with his other tight end Cam Brate for an eight yard gain, setting up a short second down & the Buccaneers were able to get another first down when running back Peyton Barber.
That first down got Tampa Bay into Miami territory. But after a defensive holding penalty & a strong 10 yard run by running back Ronald Jones, Winston threw an incomplete pass then was sacked on a third down play by Miami defensive end Charles Harris, ending a 10 play drive & forcing a punt.
Following a touch-back, Miami started their first drive on the 20 yard line. But the drive ended quickly with a three & out. And after a 42 yard punt, Tampa Bay started their second drive with quarterback Blaine Gabbert taking over for Winston, who completed just two of four passes for 24 yards.
Tampa Bay second drive, which started on their own 33 yard line, was just three plays & ended when running back Andre Ellington fumble on a screen play, which was recovered by Miami cornerback Eric Rowe.
With a chance to get on the scoreboard first, Miami started with good field position & got inside the red-zone with a pass completion from quarterback Josh Rosen to running back Mark Walton for 12 yards. Although consecutive plays with a penalty from each team kept Miami from advancing the ball into the endzone, two completions by Rosen set the Dolphins up for a fourth & goal from the two yard line. But Rosen threw his next pass incomplete to wide receiver Isaiah Ford, ending the drive.
On his second drive of the game, Gabbert fared slightly better than his first, as running back Dare Ogumbowale ran up the left-side for 10 yards to give the Buccaneers a first down. But the drive just three plays later & after a 45 yard punt by Bradley Pinion. the Dolphins started an eight play drive that ended with a 45 yard field goal by kicker Jason Sanders, giving the visitors a 3-0 lead. During the 35 yard drive, Rosen completed three passes for 27 yards.
Trailing 3-0 with over 10 minutes left in the first half. Tampa Bay again was unable to put together a drive longer than three plays. After another Pinion punt, the Buccaneers were able to pin the Dolphins back in their own territory. And after a sack on Rosen by defensive end Patrick O'Connor on a third & 12 play, the Dolphins punted the ball back to the Buccaneers. And after two plays that gained a combined five yards, Gabbert connected with wide receiver Bobo Wilson for a 30 yard pass play, giving the Buccaneers the ball inside the red-zone. A second completion on the drive by Gabbert to tight end Tanner Hudson got the ball to the Dolphins six yard line. But on a third & goal play, Gabbert was sacked by rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, forcing the Buccaneers to settled for a 32 yard field goal from rookie kicker Matt Gay to tie the score at 3.
With the score now tied at 3, neither team was able to move the ball on their next possessions. But before the end of the half, Dolphins rookie wide receiver Preson Williams returned a punt for 11 yards, bringing the ball into Buccaneers' territory. And after a first down 15 yard completion by Rosen to Ford, the Dolphins managed to set up another field goal by Sanders. Sanders kick was good, giving the Dolphins another three point lead, with less than 10 seconds left in the half.
After the kick to start the second half, Miami started former Buccaneer Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, but was only able to manage six yards before having to punt the ball away. The Dolphins did catch a break on fourth & four when the Buccaneers were called for too many men on the field during the Dolphins punt, giving the Dolphins a first down. Fortunately for the Buccaneers, the Dolphins offense was unable to take advantage of the new set of the downs & punted the ball away just three plays later.
On their first drive of the second half & with Ryan Griffin taking over at quarterback, the Buccaneers got two first downs, the first one after two carries by Ogunbowale netted 12 yards combined. Then two more touches for 10 yards by Ogubawale got the Buccaneers to their own 35 yard line. And it looked like Ogunbowale made an even bigger play getting the Buccaneers to the Dolphins 30 yard line on a 45 yard screen pass play. But the play was called back after a questionable holding call on Buccaneers' offensive lineman Cole Boozer. And three plays later, the Buccaneers were forced to punt.
The Dolphins next drive started on their own 9 yard line & included two first downs, one courtesy of a roughing the passer penalty on outside linebacker Demonte Harris & the other on an 11 yard run by running back Patrick Laird. But on a third & 13, Fitzpatrick was only able to pick up two yards on a scramble, resulting in another punt.
On their next drive, the Buccaneers got a first down on third down run by Ellington. But on another third down running attempt, Ellington was stopped for no gain, forcing Pinion to punt again.
Starting at their own 10 yard line, the Dolphins got a 34 yard run by running back Kenneth Farrow. But a 10 yard holding penalty pushed the Dolphins back & after a incomplete third down pass, the Dolphins gave the ball back to the Buccaneers, who were able to string together a 10 play 66 yard drive, that included a 23 yard pass from Griffin to Watson. Plus the biggest play on the drive came when Ogubowale took a screen pass & scampered for 41 yards. But as impressive as the drive was, it stalled at the five with Buccaneers kicker Cairo Santos tying the score up at six with a 23 yard field goal.
With the number six was on both sides of the scoreboard, the Dolphins were able to drive into Buccaneers territory & inside the red-zone but on a third & seven play Buccaneers' rookie cornerback Jamel Dean intercepted a thrown by third string quarterback Jake Rudock in the end-zone, squashing Miami's attempt to break the tie.
Starting from their own 20 yard line, Tampa Bay went 80 yards, 53 of those yards on pass plays by Griffin, with the final four coming on a 4 yard touchdown pass from Griffin to Hudson to give Tampa Bay a seven point lead.
Both teams exchanged punts before Miami third team offense made it a one point game with an eight yard touchdown pass from Rudock to Laird, then Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores elected to go for two & the conversion was good after Rudock found wide receiver Trenton Irwin, putting Miami on top 14-13.
With 34 seconds left in the game, after a first down incompletion, Griffin first found Hudson for 18 yards, then on his own 43, Griffin dropped a pass over a defender into Hudson's hands for 27 yard gain, setting up Gay's game-winning 48 yard field goal.
Tampa Bay will play their third preseason game next Friday at 7:30 pm against the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium.