TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes to Rishard Matthews and the Miami Dolphins rallied to take a 19-15 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after three quarters on Monday night.
After Miami got good field position at the Tampa Bay 41 late in the third following Michael Koenen's 21-yard punt, Tannehill hooked up with Matthews on a 19-yard score for a 16-15 lead. A 2-point conversion try failed.
A nice punt return by Marcus Thigpen setup Miami at the Bucs 29, which resulted in a 40-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis midway through the third that got the Dolphins within 15-10.
Sturgis connected for a 30-yard field goal in the final minute of the third after Jimmy Wilson's interception that made it 19-15.
Miami cut its deficit to 15-7 with 28 seconds left in the first half when Tannehill completed a nine-play, 90-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Matthews.
The Dolphins have been the talk of the NFL, with the league investigating accusations that second-year pro Jonathan Martin left the team because he was being harassed or bullied by fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito, and perhaps by other players.
Mike Glennon threw a touchdown pass to help the Buccaneers take a 15-7 halftime lead.
The Buccaneers took the opening kick and put together an impressive nine-play, 76-yard drive for a 7-0 lead that ended when Glennon threw a 1-yard TD pass to tackle Donald Penn, who lined up as an eligible receiver.
Tampa Bay, looking for its first win this season, went ahead 10-0 when Rian Lindell made a 24-yard field goal on its second first-quarter possession.
Miami running back Daniel Thomas was tackled in the end zone by Lavonte David for a safety and Lindell added a 35-yard field goal to extend the Tampa Bay advantage to 15-0 early into the second quarter.
The Buccaneers were poised to add to their lead when Eric Page returned a punt 52 yards later in the second to the Miami 40, but the Dolphins' defense stiffened and forced a Tampa Bay punt.
Tampa Bay running back Mike James hurt his ankle during the game-opening drive and was taken off the field on a cart. The team announced that James was out for the rest of the game.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org