Game Ball: It's Keith Tandy in a thrilling, late-game comeback. If we're talking which player helped himself in a final roster audition, it's probably rookie WR Adam Humphries. If we're talking which player made the most impressive Buc debut, it has to go to K Kyle Brindza. And if we wanted to honor the single most important play to the game's outcome, we'd have to give it to LB Khaseem Greene and his James Harrison Super Bowl impersonation. But Thursday's game ball goes to the player that helped a Buccaneer victory remain a Buccaneer victory, even when it seemed likely Miami would get the comeback win. Preseason Ws and Ls may not truly matter, but Tandy's two interceptions in the game's final two minutes were thrilling nonetheless, and worthy of a game ball. Oh, and Tandy also recovered a fumble in the first quarter that set up the Buccaneers' first touchdown.
Play of the Game: Anyway, this is where we can give Greene his due. His diving interception and subsequent 98-yard return didn't have quite the drama of Harrison's 100-yard pick-six in Super Bowl XLIII in Raymond James Stadium, but it represented the same sort of dramatic swing in the game's fortunes. It also had some similar "wow" moments, beginning with the sprint and dive to snare the short out intended for RB Jay Ajayi near the Bucs' goal line. Greene wasn't touched when he landed, so he got up and set out towards the opposite end zone. As traffic began to converge on him near midfield, Greene leapt on a dead run over a Dolphins defender, got one more key block and was off to the races.
Turning Point: The Buccaneers won Thursday's game because they won the turnover battle, 5-2. It's as simple as that (from a scoreboard standpoint; the roster decisions that will come out of this contest are much more complicated). Nearly every takeaway either directly set up Buc points or prevented a likely Miami score. So let's go with the first of those turnovers, since the touchdown that Humphries scored off Tandy's fumble recovery gave the Bucs a lead they would never relinquish.
It Was Over When: Tandy got his hands on the football for a third time, and not a moment sooner. The safety's interception in the end zone shortly after the two-minute warning seemed like a game-ender, but the Dolphins still had all three of their timeouts and they used them to get the ball back with 1:40 remaining. Completions of 19 and 20 yards got the Dolphins back within striking distance, but a corner blitz off the left edge hurried Josh Freeman into a quick throw into the flat and Tandy was waiting to pounce.