Here are several thoughts at halftime:
The Dolphins started sloppily in two phases of the game. Miami made two crucial mistakes on special teams and one on defense that are sure to upset the coaching staff. Cornerback Nolan Carroll mistakenly touched the football on a punt return when the ball hit his helmet and the Buccaneers recovered deep in Miami territory. Two plays later, Dolphins starting cornerback Brent Grimes was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, which led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Buccaneers tailback Brian Leonard. Marcus Thigpen also fumbled his first punt return, which led to a 38-yard field goal by Tampa Bay kicker Rian Lindell.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins' starting offense played fairly well in the first half. Their first drive was solid. Tannehill completed six of eight passes during a 77-yard drive that led to a field goal by rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis. However, Miami’s offense struggled with penalties and inconsistency for a long stretch after that first drive. Following a Tampa Bay turnover, Tannehill finished the first half strong, with a touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Gibson. Tannehill was 17-of-27 for 150 yards and a touchdown. He was also the victim of a couple drops.
Miami projected starting guard John Jerry made his preseason debut Saturday. Jerry has been dealing with a knee injury suffered in the first week of training camp. Jerry played just one quarter before he was replaced by backup guard Josh Samuda at the start of the second. The goal for Jerry is to work off the rust and be ready for Week 1.
Miami defensive tackle Jared Odrick got off to a fast start. He’s had his way with Tampa Bay’s offensive line and recorded two tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss. Odrick has done a good job in training camp to beat out Randy Starks for a starting job in Week 1.
Miami's starters are expected to play some in the third quarter of this dress rehearsal. We will have a full report on the Dolphins at the end of the game.