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Series History: Bucs-Dolphins

Posted Nov 6, 2013

The Buccaneers and Dolphins have played their all-time head-to-head battle almost to a tie, with a Monday Night Football battle and a four-TD game by TE Jimmie Giles highlighting the series

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played the Miami Dolphins roughly three times as often in the preseason as they have in the regular season, but they have still had a very entertaining series with their downstate, cross-conference rivals.  It has also been a very even matchup during the regular season, with the Dolphins holding onto a slim 5-4 edge, both teams owning a three-game winning streak along the way and the overall point total being nearly identical (206 to 203 in Tampa Bay's favor).  In addition, this year's matchup will mark the third time in just 10 games that they Bucs and Dolphins will play a prime-time nationally-televised game, and the second time on Monday Night Football.

-- TE Jimmie Giles caught a team-record four TD passes in a 1985 game in Miami
The drama began right away for the Buccaneers, as they welcomed the Dolphins to Tampa Stadium midway through Tampa Bay's inaugural 1976 season.  The Bucs finished that campaign without a victory, but they may have come closest against the Dolphins even though Miami was coming off six straight seasons of 10 wins or more.  WR Morris Owens caught three touchdown passes for the Buccaneers, two from QB Steve Spurrier in relief of Parnell Dickinson.  A failed extra point on one of those scores meant the game was tied at 20-20 late in the fourth quarter before Garo Yepremian won it for Miami with a 29-yard field goal with less than a minute to play.

The Bucs evened the series at one apiece six years later, in the process getting their first-ever Monday Night Football win.  After opening the season with three losses, the third one coming after a lengthy interruption by a players' strike, the Bucs started a late-season surge with a 23-17 win keyed by another Owens, in this case RB James.  Owens ran 18 times for 82 yards and defensive backs Mike Washington and Neal Colzie each picked off a pair of passes.

Morris Owens' three receiving touchdowns in the aforementioned 1976 game remained a Buccaneer record until the third Bucs-Dolphins meeting, a wild 41-38 shootout victory for Miami at home in 1985.  TE Jimmie Giles caught four touchdown passes from QB Steve DeBerg in that game, which is still a franchise single-game standard, but it wasn't enough to counteract five scores from five different Dolphins, with QB Dan Marino's 302 passing yards leading the way.  The Bucs tied it with 43 seconds left but that left Marino enough time to maneuver his team into position for Fuad Reveiz's game-winning 43-yard field goal.

The Dolphins won the next two games as well, and then the teams didn't meet again until 1997, when the Buccaneers were in the midst of a franchise revival.  Tampa Bay opened that season with a five-game winning streak, of which a 31-21 win over the Dolphins in a TNT Sunday night affair was the fourth outing.  FB Mike Alstott ran in two touchdowns and RB Warrick Dunn iced it with a 58-yard TD catch-and-run in the fourth quarter.  The Bucs won again in Miami in 2000 in a game played mostly under a heavy rain.  Four different Bucs picked off passes, with LB Jamie Duncan returning his for the visitors' only touchdown, and Martin Gramatica hit 30 and 46-yarders in the rain to win it in the fourth quarter.  After one more win for the Bucs in 2005, which tied the all-time series, Miami got back on top with a 25-23 in 2009 keyed by Ricky Williams' 100-yard game.

Bucs' Game-by-Game Record vs. the Dolphins:





L, 23-20



W, 23-17



L, 41-38



L, 17-14



L, 33-14



W, 31-21



W, 16-13



W, 27-13



L, 25-23


Series Notes:
  • Overall Season Series: Miami leads, 5-4
  • Bucs' Home Record: 3-2
  • Bucs' Road Record: 1-3
  • Current Streak: Lose 1 (2009)
  • Buccaneers' Longest Winning Streak: 3 (1997-2005)
  • Dolphins' Longest Winning Streak: 3 (1985-91)
  • Regular Season Point Total: Buccaneers 206, Dolphins 203
  • Most Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Dolphins, 41-38 (1985)
  • Most Points in a Game, Dolphins: Dolphins, 41-38 (1985)
  • Most Points, both teams: Dolphins, 41-38 (1985)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, Buccaneers: Dolphins 33-14 (1991)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, Dolphins: Buccaneers 27-13 (2005)
  • Fewest Points in a Game, both teams: Buccaneers 16-13 (2000)