Bucs edge Dolphins
Roy Cummings, Florida Football Insiders, published 20 November 2017

The Buccaneers are starting to making a habit out of winning ugly football games. They did it a week ago against the Jets and they did it again on Sunday when they rallied late to beat the Dolphins 30-20 in a game that, theoretically at least, keeps their slim playoff hopes alive.

Playoffs, though, should be among the last things on the Bucs minds, especially after they blew a 13-point lead Sunday to a team that turned the ball over four times and committed 17 penalties.

The Bucs pulled the game out, though, with a solid drive as time expired, the march ending with Patrick Murray kicking a 35-yard field goal, his third of the day. As you might expect from a pair of teams that had combined for a 7-11 record prior to Sunday, the Bucs and Dolphins also combined to make a lot of mistakes in this one. It was the Bucs, though, who did the best job of taking advantage of the other teamís errors.

The Bucs turned three of their four first-half takeaways (three interceptions and a fumble recovery) into points in building a 20-7 halftime lead that really could have been a lot bigger. They Bucs would end the game forcing five total turnovers.

The Bucs got a 30-yard field goal off their first pick of Cutler, a 6-yard touchdown pass to Howard off their second and a 4-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson off a late fumble recovery. They failed, however, to get anything off their third pick of Cutler as an illegal blocking penalty wiped out a 25-yard touchdown pass to Howard before Murray missed on a 42-yard field-goal attempt.

The Dolphins countered with only a 2-yard Cutler touchdown to Jarvis Landry, but again, that was much a result of their own mistakes as Cutler was picked off three times inside the Bucs 30. The Dolphins continued to let mistakes derail them early in the second half after they quickly moved the ball to the Bucs 1 on a 49-yard pass to Jarvis Landry and subsequent pass interference penalty.

After being flagged for a pass interference penalty of their own as well as a false start, the Dolphins settled for a 26-yard Cody Parkey field goal to cut the Bucs lead to 20-10. The Dolphins tacked on another field goal, a 31-yarder, on their next possession, to cut the Bucs lead to 20-13 and then forced the Bucs to go three and out on offense to earn a chance at tying the game.