The Buccaneers would start with the ball after the Miami Dolphins won the toss and elected to defer. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit wide receiver Mike Evans for a first down on the first play of the game in Evans' first game back. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay would come up empty on the drive and be forced to punt.
Dolphins' running back Damien Williams broke out for a 69-yard run on Miami's first possession of the game but would be stopped by an interception in the end zone by Buccaneers' rookie safety Justin Evans.
The Bucs would capitalize with a 30-yard field goal, giving Tampa Bay the first points of the game halfway through the first.
The Dolphins then answered with a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jay Cutler to wide receiver Jarvis Landry, putting Miami up 7-3.
Patrick Murray would tack on another 30-yard field goal for the Buccaneers after an 11-play, 59- yard drive at the start of the second quarter to close in on Miami's lead.
With Miami on the move, linebacker Kwon Alexander picked Cutler off, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Dolphins' five-yard line. One play later, Fitzpatrick connected with tight end O.J. Howard to give Tampa Bay the lead back, 13-7.
On the Dolphins' next drive, the ball bounced off Miami receiver Davonte Parker and into cornerback Robert McClain's hands for the third Tampa Bay interception of the game. Two offensive penalties would nullify another O.J. Howard touchdown on the Buccaneers' ensuing drive.
The Bucs settled for a 42-yard field goal that went wide right, leaving the score 13-7 with 9:14 to go in the first half.
Tampa Bay's defense would record their fourth turnover of the game inside the two-minute warning, as Ryan Smith recovered a fumble by Miami receiver Jarvis Landry. The Bucs' offense would capitalize again, tacking on seven more before the half expired on a four-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
The Bucs headed into halftime with a 20-7 lead. Miami will receive the ball to start the second half.