What we learned from Dolphins-Bucs preseason contest

Latest coverage from the Dolphins-Bucs preseason game

By: Sam Moores

Last week saw Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Miami Dolphins for a few joint practices before they faced off in Saturday night’s preseason game. As always with the pre-season, the football wasn’t the best of quality, and the game had the vast majority of starters rested. Even so, we still learned little bits about both teams. Here’s what we learned if you were unable to catch the game.

Miami has a QB problem, a good one

Neither of the team’s top two quarterbacks on the depth chart took a snap in Saturday’s game, meaning that Skylar Thompson played the entire game. He’s had a good training camp, backing that up on the field. The 7th-round pick out of Kansas State went 20/28 for 218 yards and a touchdown. 

Thompson has an impressive arm, the best of the three quarterbacks on the roster, but is raw. That being said, he’s been so impressive that some of those reporting on the team are beginning to wonder what this means for Teddy Bridgewater. Although you’ve got the veteran experience that Bridgewater has, he has a cost. On the contrary, you do have to bear in mind that Skylar is an unknown entity, whilst Teddy is a reliable backup who can step right in.

Both teams are stacked at receiver

Even without Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle, both the Bucs and Dolphins WR units look good. Strength in depth. All of these guys are fighting for a roster spot, which with the strength both teams have at the position is difficult to get. Performances in these pre-season games don’t go unnoticed. 

Tyler Johnson and Jerreth Sterns looked particularly good for Tampa Bay, whilst Lynn Bowden Jr put on a show on his return from injury. Both Bowden and teammate Preston Williams are believed to have been made available for trade. He’s playing for his future right now, and it got off to a good start, with 55 yards and a touchdown from his three receptions. 

Johnson was active too, with 6 grabs for 73 yards. After the acquisition of Julio Jones, he too had something to play for. There’s one less roster spot now, this is the time when you have to show that you’re worthy. Also competing for that spot is Sterns, another who was particularly impressed. The rookie out of Western Kentucky had a nice TD grab from Kyle Trask, the play of the game. Mo Sanu Jr, and Kaylon Geiger also had success towards the end of the game. Cedrick Wilson had a couple of grabs to start it.

Who else performed well? Any injuries?

Dolphins defensive back, Keion Crossen, had a strong game with a pass breakup. His teammate Elijah Campbell’s was even stronger, with an interception on top of a PBU. It’s a good job they impressed too, as Trill Williams went down with an ACL injury. Expect Miami to look to bring in a veteran DB, because, beyond these guys, there’s no real DB depth. Campbell was PFF’s highest-graded defensive player from the game (92.3). 

Anthony Nelson looked like a threat off of the edge for the Buccaneers, he produced three pressures, two hurries and a sack. His teammate Kyle Trask got an extensive period of play at QB, he looked impressive too, earning a 77.7 grade in his 258 yard, 1 TD, 1 INT game. The 5th highest (with min 50% snaps) from a QB this preseason.

Olakunle Fatukasi was Tampa’s highest-graded player. His six tackles, four being run stuffs, as well as a PBU earned the linebacker a 90.8 grade. His teammate Gio Bernard sadly sustained an ankle injury, hopefully, it’s not too serious.

Miami hosts Las Vegas for another pre-season matchup next Saturday, whilst Tampa travels to Nashville to play the Tennessee Titans. These games should feature more starters

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