Dolphins 26, Bucs 24: Everything you need to know

·3 min read

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped their 2022 NFL preseason opener Saturday night, losing 26-24 to the Miami Dolphins in front of their home crowd at Raymond James Stadium.

Here’s everything you need to know about how things went down in this exhibition matchup:

Final Score: Dolphins 26, Bucs 24

(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Keys to the Game

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Turnovers

Tampa Bay lost despite outgaining the Dolphins 389-242 in total yardage, thanks in large part to a pair of turnovers that led directly to back-to-back touchdowns for Miami just before the half. The Bucs didn’t force any takeaways on defense, and the Dolphins made the most of their opportunities to turn Tampa Bay mistakes on offense into immediate points.

Penalties

Only six total flags were thrown in this game, but the Bucs had four of them, a couple of which came at inopportune times. Big plays were taken away, and offensive drives were set back, sometimes even before they started.

Questionable Ending

Tampa Bay had moved the ball to the Dolphins’ 32-yard-line, and still had a timeout with 26 seconds left in the game. Instead of running another play to make the potential game-winning field goal a bit more manageable for kicker Jose Borregales, the Bucs opted to run the clock all the way down and set him up for a 49-yarder. He drilled his practice kick after the Dolphins called a timeout to ice him, then bounced the second try off the upright at the buzzer.

It was over when...

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Borregales bounced his second try at a 49-yarder off the right upright, despite having drilled a 55-yarder earlier in the game that looked like it would have been good from even longer.

Stars of the Game

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

QB Kyle Trask

After two drives from veteran Blaine Gabbert, Trask took over at quarterback for the rest of the game, and looked impressive for most of it. He finished the night completing 25 of his 33 passes for 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He showed poise and mental toughness, bouncing back from the costly turnovers to get the lead back in the second half. Gabbert might have a worthy challenger on his hands for the right to back up Tom Brady this year.

Young WRs

Tyler Johnson led the Bucs with six receptions for 73 yards, while Jerreth Sterns and Kaylon Geiger combined for 103 yards on eight receptions, with Sterns hauling in a sweet 19-yard touchdown over his shoulder from Trask. Jaelon Darden’s only catch was a 23-yard touchdown from Gabbert.

Pass Rush

Tampa Bay bagged three sacks in the game, one each from Cam Gill, Anthony Nelson and Pat O’Connor, all of them coming on third down to end Miami drives. With most of the starters sitting this one out, that trio was among many who made the most of their chance to shine under the bright lights in a game situation.

Injury News

(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Three Bucs left the game with injuries and didn’t return: Inside linebacker Grant Stuard (hamstring), running back Giovani Bernard (ankle), and outside linebacker Cam Gill (foot). It’s possible they were all held out as a precaution, but there should be further updates in the coming days.

What's Next?

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Bucs travel to Tennessee for their next preseason game, facing the Titans next Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.

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Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire