TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Miami Dolphins At Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Dolphins are reeling from the scandal that has left guard Richie Incognito suspended for his role in a bullying or team-hazing incident involving tackles Jonathan Martin. The leadership of the Dolphins has been called into question and that includes quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While he throws a decent pass, a quarterback must find a way to stand up for his teammates.
Winner While Mike Glennon may not be the answer for the Tampa Bay Bucs long term, he has performed better than former quarterback Josh Freeman. Glennon is quick and resourceful, and he has completed 60.3 percent of his passes. Glennon has an 8-3 TD-interception ratio, and that’s something that head coach Greg Schiano would like to build on.
Offense
The Dolphins have been getting some decent production from running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, but with Incognito suspended and Thomas remaining out of the lineup it may be difficult to have a solid ground game. Mike Wallace should be an explosive big-play maker, but he has only scored one touchdown this season. Brian Hartline is a solid possession receiver.
Winner The Bucs had a surprisingly sharp game in Week Nine at Seattle, and head coach Greg Schiano would like to see his team pick up from where it left off in that game. Mike James will get the call at running back if Doug Martin (shoulder) can’t play. Vincent Jackson is a big-time receiver who can use his size and strength to dominate smaller defensive backs.
Defense
Winner The Dolphins rank 23rd in overall defense and that’s a bit worse than last year. Defensive end Olivier Vernon has been the team’s best pass rusher and he leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler leads the team with 58 tackles and he has the speed to go sideline to sideline to make tackles.
The Bucs have not won any games, but they have played with a consistent effort on the defensive side of the ball. They rank 17th overall in yards allowed and they have been a fairly physical defensive team. Linebacker Lavonte David is the team’s leading tackler with 71 stops and he also has 5.0 sacks and six passes defended.
Special Teams
The Dolphins have been decent in the punt and kickoff coverage teams and Joe Philbin would like to see Marcus Thigpen break a long punt on kickoff return. Caleb Sturgis is struggling with his placekicking as has made just 13-of-18 FG attempts. Brandon Fields is a solid directional punter.
Winner The Bucs play hard on special teams and they do a solid job of preventing their opponents from breaking any big returns. However, the Bucs lack the firepower to hit a big return themselves. Rian Lindell has made 11-of-13 FG attempts. Michael Koenen is an ordinary punter.

The Winner Is

(credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Winner Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3 out of 4

The Bucs should have an excellent chance to break into the victory column because they have been playing hard while the Dolphins have been struggling. Even though Miami beat Cincinnati last week, the Incognito bullying incident is staining this team badly.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

  2. PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

    The red-hot Steelers head to KC for a rematch with a Chiefs team they throttled 43-14 in the regular season.

  3. HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans hands off to Lamar Miller #26 at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots points to the defense during the 1st quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

    The Texans head to Foxboro, the site of a 27-0 loss in the regular season and now have to face Tom Brady this time around.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

50 YEARS OF NEWS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live