Bucs get first win of season

Miami running back Lamar Miller is stuffed by Bucs defenders in Tampa on Monday.

Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 12:13 a.m.

TAMPA — Heading into the weekend, two of the state’s three NFL teams had zero wins between them. After Monday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars were both in the win column.

The Buccaneers took advantage of the distracted Miami Dolphins, embroiled in a highly public locker room controversy, for a 22-19 win.

While it’s been a tough week for the Dolphins (4-5), it was a feel-good night for the Buccaneers (1-8), who also inducted former defensive tackle Warren Sapp into the team’s ring of honor at halftime.

After allowing 19 straight points from the Dolphins in the second and third quarters, the Buccaneers sealed the win with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that running back Bobby Rainey finished with a 1-yard touchdown run, the first of his NFL career, for the final margin.

Tampa Bay started the game fast with a nine-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard pass from quarterback Mike Glennon to offensive tackle Donald Penn. Rookie running back Mike James, coming off a breakout 158-yard performance in Tampa Bay’s 27-24 overtime loss last week at Seattle, carried the ball five times for 41 yards on the drive, but was carted off the field with an ankle injury.

After a quick Miami three-and-out, Tampa Bay used great field position to set up a 24-yard field goal by Rian Lindell to take a 10-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Buccaneers pinned the Dolphins deep at their own 2-yard line. Two plays later, Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David wrapped up Miami running back Daniel Thomas for a safety to give the Bucs a 12-0 lead that turned into a 15-0 advantage when Glennon drove them into range for a Lindell 35-yard field goal.

The Dolphins answered before halftime with a nine-play, 90-yard drive that saw Ryan Tannehill throw a 6-yard touchdown pass to second-year receiver Rishard Matthews, his first career touchdown.

After a 40-yard field goal by former Gator Caleb Sturgis that cut the Bucs’ lead to 15-10, Matthews went on to help Miami take a 16-15 lead with another touchdown catch late in the third quarter.

The Dolphins’ attempt at a two-point conversion was incomplete, but Miami quickly got the ball back after safety Jimmy Wilson intercepted a Glennon pass and returned it 23 yards to the Tampa Bay 7. Miami would settle for a 30-yard field goal by Sturgis to extend the lead to 19-15 shortly before the Bucs’ fourth-quarter comeback.

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