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Week 11 Game Recap: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, Miami Dolphins 20


What you need to know

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay's defense intercepted Jay Cutler three times in the 1st half before Cutler left at halftime with a concussion. Tampa Bay guard Evan Smith left in the 1st half with a concussion as well. Tampa Bay kicked a go-ahead field goal late in the 4th quarter to take a 23-20 lead. The Bucs scored a final touchdown on the last play of the game as Adarius Glanton returned the ball after Miami fumbled a desperate lateral attempt with the clock expired.

Miami Dolphins

Jay Cutler was shaky, throwing three interceptions in the first half, two that were his fault, and he left with a concussion. Matt Moore came in and revived the downfield passing game, eventually tying the game late in the fourth quarter with a bomb to Kenny Stills. The running game couldn't get going other than a 69-yard run by Damien Williams on a defensive breakdown on the first drive of the game. If Moore remains the starter in Week 12 against the Patriots, the passing game should have more vertical looks for Stills and Jarvis Landry, who was getting open at will, including on his short touchdown from Cutler.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 37 - 275 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0
Fitzpatrick minimized mistakes and the offense capitalized on several Miami turnovers in the 1st half, scoring two touchdowns and kicking two field goals. The offense was particularly effective with play action, as both of Fitzy's touchdown passes were to wide-open receivers freed up by an effective play fake. Fitzpatrick found rookie TE Howard for his first touchdown of the day, a couple of plays after Kwon Alexander returned an interception to the Miami red zone. Fitzpatrick took the snap and faked a handoff, rolling right while Howard leaked across the formation in a shallow crossing pattern from the left tight end position. Fitzy bought time with his feet until Howard separated from the trailing linebacker, hitting him near the back right corner of the end zone. The offense capitalized on another Jay Cutler interception just before halftime. Fitzpatrick hit Mike Evans for a big gain down the left seam to set the Bucs up inside the Miami red zone with a minute left in the 1st half. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick faked another handoff to Martin and found Jackson running an out route completely uncovered. Fitzpatrick and the offense were lucky to avoid a safety in the 4th quarter, as Fitzpatrick was sacked very close to the goal line in the end zone, but deemed down at the half yard line after an official challenge from Miami. The offense marched down the field and kicked a go-ahead field goal at the end of the 4th quarter, forcing Miami to try a desperate lateral-filled effort to score as time ran out.

RB Doug Martin, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 38 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)
Martin averaged a miserable 2 yards per carry as Tampa's run game continues to be completely ineffective. Martin burst up the middle for a 13 yard run in the 1st quarter, his longest gain of the day. He did dominate the touches with 19 carries compared to one each for Rodgers and Sims. LB Kiko Alonso sniffed out a screen pass to Martin late in the 1st quarter, hitting the running back as he was securing the ball behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 3 yards. Martin had a huge gain on another screen pass that was called back for a block in the back late in the 2nd quarter.

RB Charles Sims, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (5 targets)
Sims entered the game late in the 1st quarter on a 3rd down inside the Miami red zone. Fitzpatrick targeted him with a swing pass out of the backfield, but a linebacker keyed on the play and knocked the ball loose as soon as it hit Sims' hands. Sims split out wide left on the next offensive drive and caught a slant route, converting 3rd and 4 with a gain of of 8. Sims split out wide right in the 2nd quarter and caught a bubble screen for a minimal gain. Sims hauled in another bubble screen just before halftime that nearly converted 3rd and 17. Sims carried the ball once for 3 yards.

RB Peyton Barber, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)
Barber entered the game late in the 2nd half for a brief series. He was targeted on an out route out of the backfield, catching the ball cleanly but stumbling for a short gain. Fitzpatrick hit him on the same route on the next play for a similar gain. Barber did not carry the ball.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, 2 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0
Rodgers only saw the field for one offensive drive in the 3rd quarter, carrying the ball once for a minimal gain. He also returned kickoffs, averaging 26.5 yards on his two returns.

WR Mike Evans, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 92 - 0 (10 targets)
Evans returned from his one-week suspension in week 10 and lead the Tampa Bay receivers in targets, catches, and yards. Fitzpatrick made Evans his go-to target, finding him on a skinny post for a big gain on the Bucs' first offensive snap of the game. Evans had a deep post route knocked out of his hands near the end zone midway through the 2nd quarter. Evans lined up in the left slot and caught a seam route for a big gain, setting the Bucs up inside the Miami 10 yard line just before halftime. Fitzpatrick targeted him in the end zone on the next play, but the ball clanged off Evans' hands. Evans also had a big reception down the right seam late in the 4th quarter, helping move the Bucs down the field for the go-ahead field goal at the end of the game.

WR DeSean Jackson, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 1 (3 targets)
Jackson hauled in his first target on an out route late in the 1st quarter for a big gain. It was his only reception of the 1st half until Fitzpatrick hit him for a touchdown just before halftime. Jackson lined up tight to the right side of the offensive line and ran a crossing pattern, to the left on play action, confusing the defense and leaving him wide open for an easy touchdown connection. Despite the score, the two catches tie for Jackson's lowest of the season.

WR Chris Godwin, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 38 - 0 (2 targets)
Godwin did not see much action until the 4th quarter, but his two receptions moved the Bucs down the field for the go-ahead field goal at the end of the game. He hauled in a deep comeback route on the right sideline for a 24 yard gain, then caught another comeback up the left seam for a gain of 14, putting Tampa in field goal range with his only two targets of the day.

WR Adam Humphries, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (4 targets)
Humphries had great separation on a corner route in the Miami red zone to start the 2nd quarter, but Fitzpatrick sailed the ball out of bounds. Humphries secured a comeback route from the left slot in the 2nd quarter for his first catch of the day. Humphries caught a WR bubble screen from the slot late in the 3rd quarter, his only other catch of the day. Humphries appears to have settled into a low-floor, low-ceiling role in the Tampa Bay offense with Evans, Jackson, Howard and Brate getting more attention in the passing game.

TE O.J. Howard, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 52 - 1 (4 targets)
Fitzpatrick found Howard up the right seam for a big gain in the 1st quarter. The two hooked up again on a play action pass on the very next snap. Howard split off the line a few yards and took off up the sideline while Fitzpatrick faked the handoff. Howard had a big cushion as he hauled in the wide-open pass. Howard scored early in the 2nd quarter, lining up on the left side of the formation and running a shallow crossing route in the end one as Fitzpatrick rolled out right after a play action. Howard scored again on the very next drive, catching a tight end screen behind the line of scrimmage and showing some serious athleticism as he burst down the field for the touchdown. Unfortunately, the play was called back for an illegal block-in-the back penalty. Howard had a bad drop on a deep post that would have gone for a big gain in the 2nd quarter.

TE Cameron Brate, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)
Brate secured just one reception for the third week in a row as his role in the offense continues to dwindle. He split out wide right in a triple receiver bunch formation in the 2nd quarter and hauled in a crossing route for 12 yards. Brate did have another nice catch in the 4th quarter that was nullified by a holding penalty. He was targeted again up the seam later in the 4th quarter, but the ball was batted away by a defender. Rookie TE OJ Howard was drawing targets early in the game and may be moving to secure a bigger share of Tampa's targets on a more permanent basis. Brate could get a boost if starting QB Winston returns.


Miami Dolphins

QB Matt Moore, 40 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 28 - 282 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0
Moore came in to open the second half and immediately started firing downfield, stretching the Bucs defense. A long bomb to Kenny Still was on target, but broken up. The passing rhythm of the Dolphins offense picked up when Moore came in, and Jarvis Landry moved them into the red zone with a long catch and run and by drawing a pass interference penalty. Anthony Fasano caught a score on a scramble by Moore, but it was called back as Fasano had stepped out of bounds before the throw. The Dolphins settled for another field goal after Moore moved into range by finding Kenny Stills open downfield on a play he extended. After a failed fourth down run, Moore got the ball back one more time and found Stills streaking downfield on third and long (one of many he converted) when the line gave him time to throw. The play went the distance for the game-tying score. Moore has earned the right to start again, although Adam Gase might not see it that way.

QB Jay Cutler, 24 offensive snaps, Pass: 6 - 12 - 83 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0
Cutler was picked on two unforgivable throws to well-covered receivers, one into the Tampa end zone and one in his own end of the field. He was productive on a few plays that worked by design, including a fade to Jarvis Landry in the end zone. Cutler threw a third pick on a drop by Devante Parker and eventually left the game with a concussion suffered on a meaningless play at the end of the first half.

RB Damien Williams, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 78 - 0, Rec: 1 - 24 - 0 (1 targets)
Williams had a 69-yard run on the opening drive on a play where the Bucs seemed to all be downfield once he broke through to the second level. His lack of long speed kept it from being a touchdown. Williams had a nice gain on a reception, also created by an alarming amount of space in the Bucs defense. Otherwise, he was easily contained on his touches, including a fourth down attempt late in the fourth quarter that was stuffed.

RB Kenyan Drake, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 4 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets)
Drake was ineffective as a runner, with no lanes or room to operate on most of his carries. He did show good moves on a carry in the red zone. The running backs weren't used as much as receivers with Matt Moore, so Drake wasn't as involved in the passing game this week.

WR Kenny Stills, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 180 - 1 (8 targets)
Stills had a red zone catch from Jay Cutler, but was otherwise quiet in the first half. The well-established connection between him and Matt Moore was revived in the second half. He was immediately targeted downfield, but it was broken up by a good defensive play. Stills converted multiple third and longs, including a long bomb from Moore than tied up the game with only a few minutes left. As long as Matt Moore is in, Stills will be a high ceiling WR2/WR3 for fantasy.

WR Jarvis Landry, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 95 - 1 (11 targets)
Landry was open downfield all day whether it was Jay Cutler or Matt Moore at quarterback. He had a sweet one-handed catch from Cutler and eventually finished a drive with an easy catch on a cornerback he handily beat on a fade. He had a long bomb catch called back by penalty and also fumbled on a short reception in the first half. When Moore entered the game, Landry immediately had a long catch and run and then drew a pass interference in the red zone on a play that might have been a scoring pass if he hadn't been held. Landry gave way to Kenny Stills more often as the game went on, but is playing at a very high level right now.

WR DeVante Parker, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 26 - 0 (9 targets)
Parker wasn't much of a downfield target in this one and had a drop that led to Jay Cutler's third interception. He was semi-effective on a few wide receiver screens, and had multiple red zone targets, including one in the end zone. He is the third receiver and not as emphasized with Matt Moore.

TE Julius Thomas, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 30 - 0 (4 targets)
Thomas was more involved with Matt Moore in during the second half. He had a few catches in the red zone and showed some stubbornness running after the catch, even breaking a tackle on one of his receptions.