MIAMI GARDENS – The Miami Dolphins were their own worst enemy in their 30-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The Dolphins’ valiant comeback effort led by Mat Moore’s 282 passing yards fell short as a result of four turnovers that changed the course of the game.
Miami (4-6) had success one the ground in the first quarter as running back Damien Williams raced 69-yards down the field on his first carry of the game. Williams run placed the Dolphins in field goal range, but they would come away empty handed as Jay Cutler’s pass intended for DeVante Parker fell into the hands of Buccaneers Justin Evans while Parker fell to the turf.
The Buccaneers capitalized on the turnover and kicked a 30-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. The Dolphins responded with a seven-play, 63-yard touchdown drive of their own which culminated in a two-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to Jarvis Landry to reclaim the lead 7-3.
Unfortunately for Cutler, that would be his lone scoring drive of the game. The Dolphins committed three more turnovers, and the Buccaneers scored on two of the three possessions following turnovers by the Dolphins.
Cutler threw two more interceptions in the first half and Jarvis Landry also contributed to the Dolphins’ turnover woes with a fumble of his own. Cutler took a hit by Buccaneers defensive end Ryan Russell at the end of the half and did not return after being evaluated for a concussion.
Tampa Bay closed the first half scoring 17 unanswered points to go into the locker room 20-7.
Matt Moore entered the game in the second half and led the Dolphins to two consecutive field goal drives to close the Tampa’s lead to one score. Down 20-13 entering the fourth quarter the Dolphins appeared to be unable to move the football, but with three minutes remaining, Moore connected with Kenny Stills for a 61-yard touchdown to tie the game at 20.
The Dolphins’ defense had been relatively stout all day, but they allowed the Buccaneers to march down the field to seal the game with a 35-yard field goal by Patrick Murray.
Miami has dropped four straight games and the road won’t get any easier for them when they face the 7-2 New England Patriots in Week 12.