The previously win-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers put the explanation point on the Miami Dolphins recent woes with a 22-19 win at home in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
A week after a season-high 24 points wasn’t enough for a Tampa Bay win against Seattle, 22 was enough for the Buccaneers against in-state rival Miami. The Buccaneers, 0-8 heading into the Monday Night Football match-up, held the Dolphins to a franchise-low 2 yards rushing on 14 attempts.
Yes, 2, as in single digits.
On double-digit rushing attempts.
Averaging just over 5 inches per run.
A running performance measured better with a ruler than with the chains.
Let that sink in.
Of course, it’s not hard to believe the Tampa Bay defense’s triumph when considering Miami is without two of their starting offensive linemen, with guard Richie Incognito indefinitely suspended for his harassment of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.
The story of this Buccaneers-Dolphins game is one of mutual offensive struggling, with Miami and Tampa Bay combining for just over 500 yards of total offense. In typical Buccaneers fashion, the Tampa Bay team was behind heading into the final frame, but managed to score a touch down on its opening possession of the fourth quarter, a one-yard run by running back Bobby Rainey. Miami got the ball back twice after that, but, on both possessions, the Tampa Bay defense kept them from progressing further than their own 33-yard line.
It was the right time for the hapless Buccaneers to win a game—especially with a defensive stand—as Tampa Bay inducted former Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp into the team’s Ring of Honor. Sapp, a symbol of the one-time league-best Buccaneers defense, had a message for Tampa Bay left tackle Donald Penn before the game.
“He told me before the game, ‘You guys cannot lose on my day,'” Penn said via ESPN.
Penn clearly took the message to heart and brought down his first touch down catch, a 1-yard pass from Buccaneers rookie QB Mike Glennon, to open the scoring.
While the Buccaneers ending the possibility of a win-less season is not likely to change the fate of embattled Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, it was certainly nice for Bucs fans to get a win at home on such a stage and with one of their greatest ever in attendance.
[Photo Courtesy of Buccaneers.com]