Bucs Central

Game Preview: Pre-Season Week 3 Bucs vs Dolphins

Tampa Bay hosts the Dolphins, marking the 18th time in the last 19 seasons that the two teams square off in the preseason. The Bucs and Dolphins are meeting for the 26th time in the preseason, the most meetings for either team in the preseason. Miami leads the series 16-9, but Tampa Bay has won five of the last nine meetings. The first preseason contest between the two teams was on August 21, 1976, a 28-21 Miami win in Tampa.

The Bucs have claimed wins in 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. During the regular season, Miami leads the all-time series 5-4, with Tampa Bay winning three of the last four meetings. The Buccaneers won 27-13 in 2005 in Tampa, 16-13 in 2000 at Miami and 31-21 in 1997 in Tampa. The Buccaneers also won, 23-17, in 1982 in Tampa.

The first meeting between the two clubs was in the Bucs’ first season in 1976, a 23-20 Miami win in Tampa. The Dolphins also captured wins in 1985 (41-38 in Miami), 1988 (17-14 in Tampa), in 1991 (33-14 in Miami) and 2009 (25-23 in Miami).

Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,908)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 10-6, Miami 7-9
Buccaneers Television: WTSP-TV
Play-By-Play: Chris Myers, Color: John Lynch, Sideline: Dave Wirth
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Up Next: Tampa Bay at Washington (9/1), Miami vs. Dallas (9/1)

Passing Yards: 213, QB Josh Johnson
Passing Touchdowns: 1, QB Josh Johnson
Rushing Yards: 81, QB Josh Johnson
Receiving Yards: 67, WR Dezmon Briscoe
Receptions: 5, WR Dezmon Briscoe
Tackles: 11, LB Dekoda Watson
Sacks: 2.0, DE George Johnson, DE Kyle Moore

Roster cutdown to maximum of 80 players August 30
Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players September 3
Clubs may establish practice squad of eight players September 4

The Buccaneers starting lineup currently contains 19 players that began their playing careers with the team. That is to say, of the 22 players listed as first string on the Buccaneers depth chart, only three players debuted in a regular-season game with a different team (C Jeff Faine, TE Kellen Winslow, S Sean Jones). In fact, of those 19 players to first appear with the Buccaneers in a regular-season game, 15 were originally drafted or signed by Tampa Bay and have appeared exclusively on the Buccaneers roster during their careers.

In all, the Buccaneers have 51 players on the current 90-man roster that were either drafted or originally signed by Tampa Bay and have only appeared on Tampa Bay’s roster. Though free agency grabs the headlines, a few organizations have proven that drafting and developing talent, followed by re-signing that talent, is the best way to have sustained success. As a prime example, in 2010, three of the traditionally most successful teams in the league – including the season’s Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers – featured 18 or more usual starters who had spent their entire career with the team.


Players To Watch
Run Defense
After allowing 200-yards last week against the Patriots on the ground. The run defense needs to show marked improvement. Whether it is by scheme, individual players or a combination of both, it’s been two years and counting that the defense has leaked like a sieve. Run defense is a mentality, which has to be forced at times. It’s about playing assignment sound fundamental football. Quality defensive teams stop the run first, by staying in their gaps and controlling the line-of-scrimmage.

Offensive line
After underwhelming last week against a ferocious assault by the Pats defense, look for the line to get some redemption. From penalties to blown assignments this unit needs to pick up the intensity level and begin to give Freeman a clean pocket to throw out of while opening some holes in the running game.

Back-up CB Myron Lewis & EJ Biggers
With reports surfacing that Aqib Talib will be suspended for a minimum of at least four games. Either Lewis or Biggers needs to come up big to fill the potential void that will be left in the early part of the season. Biggers is the odds on favorite at this point, after subbing for Talib for six games last years. But the team is high on Lewis, who’s been battling injury issues thus far in game, but will see his first action of this pre-season tonight.

Official Injury Report begins with regular season games

Dolphins Head Coach: Tony Sparano
Dolphins Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll
Dolphins Defensive Coordinator: Mike Nolan
Dolphins Special Teams Coach: Darren Rizzi

Overall: 9th (339 ypg)
Rushing: 15th (113.5 ypg)
Passing: 8th (225.5 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (3)
Points Scored: 5th (24 ppg)
Overall: 8th (266.5 ypg)
Rushing: 5th (86 ypg)
Passing: 12th (180.5ypg)
Sacks: na (4)
Points Allowed: 15th (16.5 ppg)

Overall: 21st (298.5 ypg)
Rushing: 24th (101.5 ypg)
Passing: 16th (197 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (6)
Points Scored: 14th (19.5 ppg)
Overall: 5th (260 ypg)
Rushing: 26th (143 ypg)
Passing: 1st (117 ypg)
Sacks: na (8)
Points Allowed: 12th (15.5 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.


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