The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) dropped the 2022 preseason debut to the Dolphins (1-0) 26-24 on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The Bucs offense stalled on the game's opening drive after a holding penalty; the Dolphins took over at Tampa's 38-yard line, eventually scoring first courtesy of a 33-yard field goal from Jason Sanders. The Bucs answered back quickly, taking their first lead of the ball game following a 23-yard throw and catch from QB Blaine Gabbert to WR Jaelon Darden. The Bucs led 7-3 after the first quarter.
Bucs QB Kyle Trask took over under center to start the second quarter and connected with WR Tyler Johnson early for a gain of 23-yards. Tampa's offense marched 86-yards down the field in 15-plays with RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn punching it in from a yard out, giving the Bucs a 14-3 lead with 6:34 left in the first half. The Dolphins gained momentum late in the 2nd quarter, grabbing a 20-14 lead over the Bucs heading into halftime.
Miami received the opening kickoff to start the second half and marched down the field quickly, setting up another Jason Sanders field goal, giving Miami a 23-14 lead. Kyle Trask and the Bucs offense moved the ball down the field following completion to JJ Howland for 30-yards. Trask connected with WR Jerreth Sterns on a 19-yard TD pass, cutting Miami's lead to just 23-21 mid-way through the third quarter. The Bucs took a 24-23 lead a few drives later following Jose Borregales' 55-yard field goal with 4:14 left in the 3rd quarter.
Both offenses slowed down in the 4th quarter before the Dolphins drove the ball 60-yards down the field, setting up a 53-yard field goal by Jason Sanders, giving the Dolphins a 26-24 lead with just under seven minutes remaining in regulation. Deven Thompkins had a crucial catch with less than 30-seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. The Bucs lose 26-24.
The Buccaneers will return to action in Nashville next Saturday as they take on the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff at 7:00 PM.
PHOTO COURTESY: GETTY IMAGES