Dolphins 26, Bucs 24: Instant analysis of Tampa Bay’s preseason loss

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Sure, it’s just the preseason, but we still wanted that kick to go just a few inches to the left, didn’t we?

Jose Borregales nailed a 55-yarder earlier in the game, but after making a 49-yarder that didn’t count after the Dolphins iced him with a timeout, his second attempt clanked off the right upright.

That miss at the buzzer gave Miami a 26-24 win over the Bucs in their preseason debut Saturday night, a disappointing end to a night filled with tons of reasons for Tampa Bay fans to be encouraged moving forward.

The most impressive (and most important) performance of the night came from second-year quarterback Kyle Trask, who played all but the first two drives of the game. Last year’s second-round pick complete 25 of his 33 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown, and despite a pair of costly turnovers just before halftime that gave Miami the lead, Trask showed tons of poise and mental toughness as he helped get the Bucs back ahead in the second half.

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Tampa Bay’s young receivers came to play, as well. Tyler Johnson led the team with six receptions for 73 yards, while Jerreth Sterns and Kaylon Geiger combined for 103 yards on eight receptions, with Sterns making a sweet over-the-shoulder grab on a 19-yard touchdown toss from Trask. Jaelon Darden continued his impressive start to the year, making his only reception of the night a big one, a 23-yard score from Blaine Gabbert.

Rookie running back Rachaad White, a third-round pick out of Arizona State, showed off his big-play ability by averaging nearly five yards per carry. He led the Bucs with 32 rushing yards on seven carries, adding 13 more yards on a pair of receptions.

The defense had its moments, as well, including a trio of sacks. Cam Gill, Anthony Nelson and Pat O’Connor each got to the opposing quarterback, and all three sacks came on third down to end drives.

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Turnovers were the biggest factor in the loss, but the Bucs outgained the Dolphins 389-242 in total yardage, and held the visitors to just 2-for-10 on third down.

Losses are never fun, even when they don’t really count, but there’s not much for Bucs fans to be disappointed about in this one. The only injuries the Bucs sustained (Gill, running back Giovani Bernard, inside linebacker Grant Stuard) didn’t appear to be serious. Young players flashed upside, the pass rush made big plays in clutch situations, and their potential franchise quarterback of the future looked like he might be ready to supplant a longtime veteran for the backup job behind Tom Brady.

It was a loss for the Bucs, but it was full of wins.

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Dolphins 26, Bucs 24: Everything you need to know

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire