Bucs crack win column, lose RB James

The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- Even on the night when the Buccaneers finally earned their first win of the season, Tampa Bay couldn't avoid bad news.

The Bucs beat the Miami Dolphins 22-19 Monday night despite losing rookie running back Mike James to a reported broken left ankle.

"It feels good to finally get that first one," Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon said. "Now we know going forward we have a lot of confidence."

Tampa Bay (1-8) led 15-0 late in the second quarter, but the Dolphins (4-5) staged a furious rally, scoring on their final drive of the first half and outscoring the Bucs 12-0 in the third quarter to take a 19-15 lead.

The Bucs replied in impressive fashion, and they did it behind a fourth-string running back. Doug Martin went on injured reserve last week due to a shoulder injury, and James' injury left Brian Leonard as the primary ball carrier. Leonard gained 57 yards on 20 carries.

Still on the decisive drive, running back Bobby Rainey had a 31-yard carry to Miami's 1-yard line. He then ran for his first career touchdown to give the Bucs a 22-19 lead with 10:26 left to play.

"I felt confident this whole week," Rainey said. "My mindset was just to go in, do my job and protect the football. It's a blessing, and that's a thing that I've battled my whole career, was just being patient."

After the teams traded possessions, the Dolphins nearly forced the Buccaneers to punt from their own 15-yard line with 5:50 to play, but a personal foul on linebacker Philip Wheeler for hitting quarterback Mike Glennon in the helmet after a third-down incompletion gave Tampa Bay a new set of downs.

Tampa Bay eventually was forced to punt, backing the Dolphins up to their own 5-yard line with 3:08 to play, with Miami needing a field goal to tie the game. After a few first downs, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked on back-to-back plays immediately following the two-minute warning, then threw an incompletion to set up fourth-and-27 with 1:44 left.

Tannehill's deep pass to receiver Mike Wallace was intercepted by cornerback Darrelle Revis, sealing the Bucs' win. One day earlier, Florida's other NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, earned their first win of the year.

"We didn't play well enough in any phase, offense, defense or special teams, to win the game," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. "We had plenty of opportunities, but they played better in the fourth quarter."

Glennon completed 11 of 21 passes for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Tampa Bay ran the ball 37 times for 140 yards.

Tannehill went 27-for-42 for 229 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews caught 11 passes for 120 yards, but Miami's running game was non-existent. The Dolphins gained 2 yards on 14 carries.

The defeat followed a tough week in which the Dolphins faced scrutiny over their treatment of departed offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.

"To lose this game with our backs against the wall was very tough," Miami center Mike Pouncey said. "We've got to go and watch the film to see what went wrong and just go back to work. We control our own destiny, we just can't lose another game. The character in this locker room is very strong."

The Dolphins got off to a slow start, with the Buccaneers jumped out to a 15-0 lead before settling for a 15-7 halftime edge.

James carried the Bucs down the field on the opening drive, setting up an unlikely 1-yard, third-down touchdown pass from Glennon to left tackle Donald Penn, who had reported as an eligible receiver.

On the previous play, James was injured, and he was carted off the field. NFL.com reported James is out indefinitely.

After the Dolphins went three-and-out, the Bucs' offense again raced toward the end zone before settling for a 24-yard Rian Lindell field goal with 5:31 left in the first quarter.

Tampa Bay didn't have to punt the ball until the second quarter, when Michael Koenen's kick was downed on Miami's 2-yard line. On second-and-11, Bucs linebacker Lavonte David broke through the Dolphins' offensive line and tackled running back Daniel Thomas for a safety.

Lindell added a 35-yard field goal on the ensuing Tampa Bay drive to give the Bucs a 15-0 lead.

The Dolphins got on the board with 28 seconds left in the opening half on a 6-yard pass from Tannehill to Matthews that finished a nine-play, 90-yard drive.

NOTES: Warren Sapp was placed in the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor on Monday night, becoming the fifth player to receive that recognition. The defensive tackle joins coach John McKay, defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon, tight end Jimmie Giles and tackle Paul Gruber in the Ring of Honor. Twenty-one of Sapp's teammates from the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl-winning team were on hand to support Sapp. ... The Dolphins were nearly shut out in the first half for the first time this year. Their previous low for first-half points was six in a season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 8. Prior to their scoring drive late in the first half, the Dolphins had just 31 yards of total offense.
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