Dolphins vs. Buccaneers: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Tampa Bay

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:   Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers calls a play in the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on November 11, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It was another nail-biter in Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers finally put a mark in the win column with a victory over the visiting Miami Dolphins.

Final Score: Miami 19, Tampa Bay 22

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game Grades
Position UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseBC
Run OffenseA-A
Pass DefenseC-C
Run DefenseA+A+
Special TeamsAB-
vs. Dolphins Week 10



Game Analysis for Tampa Bay

Pass Offense: Thanks to a continuously strong running game, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon was not asked to do too much in this game.

At times, Glennon appeared very poised and collected, and at other times he seemed to be on a different page than his receivers. However, the biggest issue with the Tampa passing game was in protection, particularly in the second half.

Glennon benefited from a mostly clean pocket in the first half, but was harassed, hit and pressured repeatedly in the second.

He finished the game 11-of-21 for 139 yards with a touchdown and one interception.

Run Offense: Rookie running back Mike James left the game with an ankle injury on the opening drive and did not return.

Fortunately, his replacements for the remainder of the game ran well in his stead.

Brian Leonard finished the game with 57 yards on 20 carries, while Bobby Rainey chipped in with 45 yards and a score on just eight attempts.

Pass Defense: While the Buccaneers did manage to get some pressure on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the defense allowed far too many easy pass plays.

Tannehill finished the game 27-of-42 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. However, he was sacked twice and threw a critical interception on Miami’s final drive, which handed Tampa the win.

Run Defense: The Buccaneers made the running game of Miami a virtual non-factor in the first half and continued to do so in the second.

Tampa’s run defense was so dominant that Miami finished the game with just two yards rushing as a team.

Special Teams: After a very strong first half, the Tampa Bay special teams unit fell back to earth in the second.

The Buccaneers punt team allowed a 34-yard return early in the third quarter, which set up a Miami field goal. Michael Koenen’s next punt sailed just 21 yards before going out of bounds.

Fortunately, Koenen was able to recover and pin the Dolphins deep on their final drive of the game.

Coaching: Greg Schiano and his staff called an aggressive first two quarters of football, but seemed to get a little too conservative in the second half.

However, defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan dialed up some creative blitzes that hit home when the game was on the line.

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:   Mike James #25 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers carries the ball in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on November 11, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

First-Half Analysis for Tampa Bay

Pass Offense: Thanks to impressive offensive line play, Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon looked poised and confident in the opening half of this game.

Glennon was rarely pressured and did a nice job of delivering a catchable ball to his receivers. More importantly, he made no game-changing mistakes.

He finished the first half 7-of-12 for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Run Offense: Unfortunately, rookie running back Mike James was injured after gaining 41 yards on the game’s opening drive and did not return.

However, the running continued to thrive even after his departure. Seventh-year back Brian Leonard ran hard behind a motivated offensive line, amassing 42 yards on eight carries.

It will be interesting to see if the Buccaneers can continue to get good production out of the ground game while trying to protect their lead in the second half.

Pass Defense: The Buccaneers did a good job of limiting Miami’s passing attack up until the final drive of the second quarter.

Unfortunately, that drive resulted in a Miami touchdown and may give the Dolphins the confidence to ramp things up in the second half.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 15 of 19 pass attempts for 121 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

Run Defense: Miami got virtually no production from its running game early in this contest thanks to well-timed blitzing by the Buccaneers.

Lamar Miller led the Dolphins with a mere two yards on four carries and there is a legitimate chance Tampa forces Miami to give up on the ground game completely in the second half.

Special Teams: The Buccaneers’ fast start was helped immensely by solid special teams play.

Michael Koenen’s first punt of the game pinned Miami at their own two-yard line and set up Tampa’s second-quarter safety.

Eric Page’s 52-yard punt return later in the same period continued Tampa’s dominance in the field-position battle.

Coaching: It was refreshing to see head coach Greg Schiano make bold calls in all phases during the first half.

Trick plays at the goal line and in the punt return game helped the Buccaneers jump out to an early lead.

Meanwhile, aggressive play-calling by defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan played a major role in Tampa’s ability to maintain a lead through the first two quarters of the game.



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