Tampa Bay Buccaneers outlast turnover-plagued Miami Dolphins

By Bill Whitehead, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 19, 2017 at 5:56 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Patrick Murray drilled a 35-yard field goal with seven seconds left and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended up with a 30-20 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami attempted two laterals and a handoff on the kickoff after Murray's field goal. Tampa Bay's Adarius Glanton recovered a fumble on the handoff in the end zone for the final margin.

The game was originally scheduled as the season opener for both teams on Sept. 10, but the league postponed it to Week 11 in preparation for Hurricane Irma as the storm was tracking through the Caribbean.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led Tampa Bay on a nine-play, 58-yard drive in the last three minutes to set up Murray's winning kick with the score tied at 20.

The Buccaneers (4-6) forced three interceptions of Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler and a key fumble inside the two-minute warning in the first half to build a 20-7 halftime lead.

The Tampa Bay defense stopped Miami on its first series after the Dolphins moved down to the Buccaneers' 9-yard line when cornerback Justin Evans intercepted Cutler in the end zone.

Murray connected on the next drive on a 30-yard field goal with 7:13 remaining for the game's first score.

Miami (4-6) pulled ahead 7-3 when Cutler tossed a 2-yard score to Jarvis Landry with 4:23 left.

However, Murray added another 30-yarder to make it 7-6 with 14:10 left in the second quarter.

Fitzpatrick later tossed two touchdown passes -- 6 yards to tight end O.J. Howard with 12:14 remaining in the second quarter and 4 yards to DeSean Jackson with 45 seconds left in the half.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander's interception of Cutler set up the scoring pass to Howard. Jackson's touchdown was a result of cornerback Ryan Smith's forced fumble and recovery.

Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 37 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Cornerback Robert McClain also intercepted Cutler, who appeared to be shaken up while being tackled on a scramble late in the first half.

Miami started the second half by putting in Matt Moore to replace Cutler, who was evaluated for a concussion.

Moore went 17 of 28 for 282 yards, including a 61-yard scoring pass to Kenny Stills to tie the score at 20 with 3:00 left.

Cutler finished 6 of 12 for 83 yards to go along with the passing touchdown and three interceptions.

The loss was the fourth straight for Miami.

NOTES: Among Tampa Bay's seven inactives were QB Jameis Winston, CB Vernon Hargreaves III and DE William Gholston. They were replaced by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, CB Ryan Smith and DE Darryl Tapp, respectively. ... The Buccaneers improved to 1-4 on the road. ... Undrafted rookie free agent Chase Allen made his first NFL start at linebacker for Miami. Allen played into the third quarter, but was taken out and evaluated for a concussion. He replaced starter Rey Maualuga, who was arrested early Saturday morning on a battery charge and waived later that day by the Dolphins. ... Miami promoted former Michigan RB De'Veon Smith from the practice squad to replace Maualuga and made him inactive.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories