The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face an AFC East rival for the second week in a row, but this time they'll get to do it on their home turf. After a two-game road swing that included the historic return of Tom Brady to New England in Week Four, the Buccaneers will return home in Week Five to take on the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium.
Brady and the Buccaneers beat his former team, 19-17, on a 48-yard Ryan Succop field goal that capped the 50th game-winning drive of the former Patriot's career. After every other team in the NFC South lost on Sunday afternoon, the Bucs won before a huge national audience to improve to 3-1 and move into a tie with the Carolina Panthers for first place in the division.
The Dolphins dropped a home game, 27-17, to the previously-winless Indianapolis Colts in Week Five to fall to 1-3 on the young season. They have lost three in a row after an opening-weekend win over the Patriots and have fallen two games behind Buffalo in the division standings. Miami is also playing without second-year starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a ribs injury in Week Two and is currently on injured reserve. Jacoby Brissett has taken over in his place but the Dolphins have lost both of his starts.
The Buccaneers and Dolphins will kick off their October 10 tilt at 1:00 p.m. ET, which is a rare mote of early-afternoon football for a Bucs team that is getting plenty of prime-time exposure as they attempt to defend their Super Bowl LV title. This visit from the downstate Dolphins is only one of two 1:00 home games on Tampa Bay's schedule in 2021, and the next one doesn't come until Week 18.
The Bucs will continue to try to patch lineup holes caused by injuries as they prepare for the Dolphins. The issue is particularly severe at cornerback, where the team could be without all three of its Week One starters next Sunday. Sean Murphy-Bunting is on injured reserve for an indeterminate amount of time, Jamel Dean missed the game in New England with a knee injury and Carlton Davis was carted late in the first half Sunday night with a quad injury. The Buccaneers played much of Sunday's game with Richard Sherman and Pierre Desir as their outside cornerbacks; neither was with the team three weeks ago.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski is also dealing with fractured ribs and is likely to miss a second straight game. Outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul has already missed two games while dealing with a shoulder injury. Running back Giovani Bernard was held out of Sunday's game due to a knee ailment.
The Dolphins went into Week Four ranked 29th on offense in yards per game and 30th in points scored. In their loss to the Colts, they managed just 203 yards, though Brissett was efficient with 199 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions on 20 of 30 passing. The Dolphins have allowed Brissett and Tagovailoa to be sacked a combined 13 times already. Rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle leads the passing attack with 25 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Miami's defense was giving 401 yards and 27.3 points per game before giving up 349 and 27 to the Colts. The Dolphins have already forced seven fumbles, however, and the star cornerback duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones has a combined eight passes defensed and one interception.
The Bucs and Dolphins will meet for just the 12th time in the regular season and Tampa Bay holds a 6-5 edge in the series. The Buccaneers have won the last two meetings, in 2013 and 2017, and five of the last six overall.