8:30 PM ET, November 11, 2013
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Very little talk surrounding the Miami Dolphins this week has had anything to do with what happens on the field or the strategy for Week 10.
On Monday night against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dolphins will try to move past a week full of headlines involving alleged internal harassment between players and a league investigation into the matter.
"Right now we're focused on sticking together as a team, having each others' backs as a team, and getting ready to play a football game," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "At the end of the day, we're playing a Tampa Bay team on the road on Monday. So we have to deal with this, yes, but we also have to get ready to play a football game."
A second straight win would move the Dolphins (4-4) above .500 and get them back into the forefront of the AFC wild-card discussion.
They've had a streaky first eight games, winning their first three before dropping the next four. A 22-20 overtime win over Cincinnati at home Thursday night ended with a safety when Cameron Wake sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
"It's almost like a movie moment," said Wake, only the third player in NFL history to end an overtime game with a sack.
Behind Lamar Miller's first career 100-yard rushing day, Miami's ground game has continually gained steam in recent weeks. Miller ran for 105 yards on 16 carries, helping the Dolphins set a season high (157) for the third straight week after they totaled 156 and 120 yards in the previous two games.
"You never want to lose four games in a row," coach Joe Philbin said. "And we had an excellent football team coming in town. It was time for us to step up and we had to make a decision -- what are we going to be? And I thought they answered the bell pretty well."
Miami forced four turnovers for the first time this year and Tannehill didn't throw an interception after tossing four in his previous two games. The Dolphins lost one fumble and evened their season turnover ratio heading into the Tampa Bay game.
Tannehill was 20 of 28 for 208 yards, but was sacked three times. He's absorbed three or more in seven of eight games, giving him an NFL-high 35.
Consistent protection has been made even more tricky with starting offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito sidelined. Martin left the team before last week's game due to alleged bullying by Incognito, who was suspended indefinitely this week.
The Bucs (0-8) remain winless after blowing a fourth-quarter lead for the fourth time this season in Sunday's 27-24 loss at Seattle.
"Tough loss, but there's a lot of good things on that tape. ... Things we can build off of," coach Greg Schiano said.
They led 21-0 late in the second quarter, but didn't score after Rian Lindell's 33-yard field goal with 9:48 left in the third gave them a 24-7 lead. The Seahawks scored the final 20 points, including the winning field goal in overtime.
The 24 points were a season-best for Tampa Bay, which ranks second to last in points per game (15.5) and yards per game (304.4).
Glennon connected on 17 of 23 passes for 168 yards and has thrown five touchdowns with no interceptions in the last three games. His 123.1 rating against the Seahawks ranks third among rookie quarterbacks this year.
James ran for a career-high 158 yards on 28 carries as he continues to fill in for the injured Doug Martin.
"Those are things that are getting us excited and encouraged," Schiano said. "Three games without an interception. That's how we have to play the game. I'm mad at myself for not getting us there sooner."
The Bucs have won three of four against the Dolphins, including the last two meetings in Tampa Bay. The Dolphins haven't won there since Oct. 30, 1988.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Avg Points Allowed||23.2||23.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||MIA|
|Rush Yds Allowed||MIA|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|Tampa Bay leads 2-1|
|Nov 15, 2009||MIA 25, TB 23|
|Oct 16, 2005||MIA 13, @TB 27|
The Dolphins have set season-highs in rushing yards in each of the last 3 weeks after not having much success to start the season.[+]
Dolphins Running Game - This Season
Ryan Tannehill has been sacked on 10.7 percent of his dropbacks this season, highest in the NFL. Tannehill's sack rate is highest despite posting the sixth lowest time before pass, scramble or sack (3.3 seconds).[+]
Ryan Tannehill has been sacked an NFL-most 35 times, as many in eight games this season as he was all of last year. He's not holding the ball either- Tannehill has averaged two-tenths of a second fewer in the pocket this season compared to last, and has the sixth-lowest average time in pocket among qualified quarterbacks.[+]
Dolphins QBs, Last 2 Seasons
Dolphins had 2 rushing yards, the fewest in a game in franchise history.[+]
Fewest Rush Yards in a Game - Dolphins History
The Buccaneers held the Dolphins to 2 yards on 14 rushes Monday, the Dolphins' fewest rushing yards in a game in franchise history, and the fewest by any team since Week 17 of 2007 (Cowboys: 1 rushing yard against Redskins). Dolphins ball-carriers were first contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage on 12 of their 14 rushes. Their -11 yards before contact are the fewest for any team in a game since 2009, and they did not have more than 1 yard before contact on any rush. The Dolphins managed 13 rushing yards after contact, their third game this season with fewer than 20 YAC. No team in the league has more such games.
Ryan Tannehill was 0-for-6 with an interception on throws 15 or more yards downfield Monday. Coming into the game, the Buccaneers ranked in the bottom three in the league in completion percentage and yards per attempt allowed on such throws. -Tannehill has seven interceptions on throws 15 or more yards downfield this season, tied for second-most in the league, and has thrown an interception on 10.9% of such throws, the third-highest rate among qualified quarterbacks.[+]
Buccaneers Pass Defense 15+ Yards Downfield, This Season
Dolphins had 2 rushing yards, the 4th-fewest in a game since 1990.[+]
Fewest Rush Yards in a Game - Since 1990
Mike Glennon is attempting to become the 6th rookie in NFL history to earn his first career victory in a Monday Night Football game.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information