Matchup: Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Sunday, October 10, 2021; 1:00 PM EDT/12:00 PM CDT/6:00 PM BST
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Miami Dolphins Head Coach: Brian Flores (1-3 record 2021 record)
Tampa Bay Bucs Head Coach: Bruce Arians (3-1 2021 record)
After winning a nail biter against the New England Patriots to open the season, the Miami Dolphins have lost three consecutive games in a row. Now, the Dolphins will try to stop that losing streak against one of the best NFL quarterbacks this era, who is a game winning magnet.
Tom Brady has only lost 70 games out of 303 career starts. For those doing the math, Brady has won 77% of every game he has played during his NFL career. Those aren’t good odds for Dolphins backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who has only won 12 of his 34 NFL starts.
The Buccaneers are favored to win over the Dolphins by 10.5 points. However, all is not lost. Brissett has indeed proven that he is capable of winning games and Brady has proven that he is capable of losing games. But if Miami is going to defeat the Buccaneers, they will have to do it without two of the receivers they had in last Sunday’s game.
Will Fuller, who has only seen time in two games this season is now on the injured reserve and Jakeem Grant was traded this week. They will also have to do it without starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa who will still be on the injured reserve Sunday.
With the Dolphins offensive line struggling this season, it will definitely be a challenge for Brissett to get the ball to their top two receivers, DeVante Parker and rookie Jaylen Waddle. That will most likely leave the chance for a Dolphins victory in the hands of the Dolphins defense. It was questionable earlier this week if Xavien Howard would play Sunday since he appeared on the injury report with a groin injury. However, latest reports indicate he is now good to go for Sunday’s game. Also returning from injury is Raekwon Davis.
Howard is the best option in the secondary for Miami against a talented Buccaneers receiving corps. Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin with Tom Brady as their quarterback throwing to them is a nightmare for any NFL team; but the Rams have already shown this season that the Buccaneers can be beat.
There is hope for Miami going into Tampa Bay with a 1-3 record. The last time the Dolphins faced a reigning Super Bowl Champion team that was led by Tom Brady one season after he won that Super Bowl, the Dolphins went to New England in December 2019 and defeated Brady and the Patriots. Before that game, the Dolphins had only won 4 games with 11 losses. For Brian Flores and Miami, they are hoping that bit of Dolphins history will repeat itself this Sunday.
Other than the injury bug, that has plagued both the Buccaneers and the Dolphins this season, the weaknesses for the Buccaneers are few, considering that this team is the reigning Super Bowl champions with almost the same depth chart as last season.
If the Dolphins come away with a victory against Tampa, it will give them momentum with a 2-3 record, traveling to London next week to play their international game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who is still winless on the season.
If everything goes well with Tua Tagovailoa’s prognosis this week, this will most likely be the last game before Tagovailoa returns to his starting role.
Kickoff for Miami at Tampa Bay is set for 1 PM EDT on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.