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August 24, 2013

PS4: Tampa Bay 17, Dolphins 16 (Final): Four turnovers doom Miami in sloppy dress rehearsal, but Tannehill-led positives outweigh negatives

1) It is SUNDAY, AUGUST 25. Click on Random Evidence for today's latest Sunday notes column, leading with the onset of college football and the Canes' opener. 2) Rachel Ray turns 45 today. Is there is max age for acceptable perky? 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Marlins attendance surge, my White House visit, T.O. sues Drew, NFL award odds, Richie Incognito, coffee rage & more. 4) Follow us on Twitter (gregcote), on Instagram (Upsetbird) and on Vine (Greg Cote).

"Geno Smith three interceptions. Mark Sanchez hurt. I don't wanna say the Jets QB situation is pretty dire, but I just saw Joe Namath warming up."  --Greg Cote

Dolfan Satisfaction Meter note: We return for sixth season of Dolfan Satisfaction Meter polls appearing in the blog right after every Dolphins game. They begin with regular season, so watch for first DSM Sept. 8.

PS4: TAMPA BAY 17, DOLPHINS 16: FOUR TURNOVERS HAND GAME TO BUCS: FINAL: The good news? The Miami starters won the first half, the defense generally dominated and Tannehill looked pretty sharp. (Tanny has a 98.6 passer rating with zero picks in the preseason). The bad news? Much sloppiness from a team that has played one more exhibition game than other teams. Four turnovers were the difference, and five penalties and a handful of dropped passes didn't help. The offense stalling in the red zone also was an issue. I think this can be a playoff team, but Saturday's mistakes sinking the preseason mark to 1-3 does not feather those thoughts. That record isn't the concern; the turnovers are. Coach Joe Philbin was a bit harsh afterward, saying, "We didn’t play well enough at any phase of the game to win the game." Well, the starters did, so overall I'd give the performance a modest thumbs-up based on the first half when the real team was deployed. Share your own positives, negatives and overall thoughts coming out of the game. ..... 4Q: Devlin interception in closing seconds is fourth Miami interception and ends the loss. ... Dolphs give up lead with 1:03 remaining on 12-yard Mike Glennon to David Douglas scoring pass. The Gray fumble led to the score. DEMON TURNOVERS! ... Miami's third turnover of game is a Jonas Gray fumble returned 47 yards to Dolphins 25. ... Rookie Sturgis swings in a 28-yard FG for 16-10 lead after offense hits another stone wall in red zone. ..... 3Q: Uneventful third Q other than a couple of more defensive sacks and a long look at Devlin, who was 4-for-6 for 32 yards as team weighs whether to keep a third QB. ... Starters out, reserves in for Miami to start quarter, with Pat Devlin at QB aheda of backup Matt Moore. ..... Halftime: Miami's narrow lead does not reflect its dominance, with a 3-1 margin in total yards and all Tampa's points coming off two special-teams flubs. Tannehill a pretty sharp 17-for-27, with 12 of the strikes to primary wideouts Gibson/Hartline/Wallace. Clay only one short catch off six targets in his effort to mend the tight end position. Big story might be how Lamar Miller (8-35) seems to have seized the starting RB job over Daniel Thomas (7-3). Hope starters play at least a little into the third Q. ..... 2Q: Miami regains lead 13-10 just before half on Tanny 4-yard TD pass to Gibson. Play began near midfield with a fumble recovery by Derrick Shelby. ... Nice punt return isn't fully cashed in as Miami settles for 23-yard Sturguis FG and 10-6 score. Brandon Gibson dropped a shoulda-been TD pass in end zone. ... Olivier Vernon sack forces punt, Thigpen makes amends (somewhat) with 38-yard return. ... Charles Clay with a drop, Tanny takes a coverage sack, punt. ... Bucs 10-3 on Rian Lindell 38-yard FG, set up by Thigpen's goatdom. ... Again! Thigpen with a second turnover on a punt return. Dolphins defense is dominating but mistakes are steering the game. ... Jared Odrick sack and exultant Pee-Wee Dance forces punt. Score does not reflect Miami domination thus far. ..... 1Q: Tanny ends 7-for-10 in first Q. ... Just noticed Dolphins TV announcer Jesse Agler sometimes refers to regular seaseon as "the regular year." Stop that! It's Al Michael's phrase. ... Bucs 7-3 on a 1-yard Brian Leonard run, a score made easy by that muffed punt-return turnover. Turnovers are evil! ... Dolphs force punt but muff return and give it right back after botchery by Marcus Thigpen and blocker Nolan Carroll. ... Steady, impressive opening drive but it stalls in red zone and settles for 22-yard Sturgis FG and 3-0 lead. Ryan Tannehill 6-for-8, Mike Wallace 2 catches, Lamar Miller with a 20-yard run. ..... Original post: NFL teams call their next-to-last preseason game the dress rehearsal, in which starters play longer than usual, and so tonight's visit 

1aa1bucsdolsby the Buccaneers should give Miami fans their best look yet at the Dolphins, their best gauge yet. (It'll also 1aa1ps4be the first actual look, since this is the first home exhibition). Being the home debut and with the starters playing at least a full half, you can expect an emphasis on result (on winning) that you haven't necessarily seen in the first three fake games. Miami plays Tampa in the regular season, too (Nov. 11, there), so I wouldn't expect to see the full playbook, but winning will matter, especially against an opponent Miami should be better than. Individually I'll be looking at several key areas tonight and into next week as the preseason winds down: A continued growth of chemistry between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace. Charles Clay stepping up as the tight end heir to injured Dustin Keller. Performance at left tackle and stability at right guard. Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas showing something that demands they start at running back. And somebody besides Brent Grimes standing out at cornerback. Also waiting (patiently) for top draft pick Dion Jordan to get fully beyond his shoulder issues and be in a position to unleash that potential Miami thinks it saw.

THE LIST: DOLPHINS VS. STATE TEAMS: The Dolphins' won-lost records in their history vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, including last night's game:

Opponent            Season    Playoffs  Exhibitions

Buccaneers          5-4           0-0        16-12  

Jaguars                3-2            0-1        6-4

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