Final

Buccaneers 31

(2-1, 1-1 away)

Dolphins 28

(2-1, 1-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 25, 2007

 

1 2 3 4 T
TB 7 10 0 1431
MIA 14 0 7 728

Buccaneers 31, Dolphins 28

Associated Press

EDS: Optional.

By STEVEN WINE

AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- Jeff Garcia saved his best for last.

Garcia played three series Saturday, and he helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Miami Dolphins 31-28 with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway on his final snap.

Bruce Gradkowski brought the Bucs from behind twice in the fourth quarter and threw touchdown passes of 6 yards to Earnest Graham and 1 yard to Paris Warren.

"I like some of the things we did offensively," said Bucs coach Jon Gruden, whose team improved to 2-1. "Defensively we have to play better."

Dolphins rookie John Beck played the entire second half and threw for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

"This was good for me," the second-round draft pick said. "The more experience I can get, the better."

The first-team units played to a 14-all standoff before both teams began substituting liberally midway through the second quarter.

Miami's Trent Green, formally awarded the No. 1 job this week, pulled off a trick play for one touchdown and threw for another to cap an 18-play drive. He also threw a screen pass that linebacker Cato June intercepted and returned 2 yards for a score.

The Dolphins fell to 2-1.

"We stayed healthy with all the starters," coach Cam Cameron said. "That's the first thing you feel good about."

Garcia threw an interception to set up a Miami score, then directed a 76-yard drive capped by his touchdown pass to Galloway on third-and-11.

"We need more of those, and more consistency," said Garcia, who went 4-for-10 for 54 yards. "It's still a work in progress."

Former Bucs starter Chris Simms played for the first time since a spleen injury sidelined him last season. He took six snaps in the third quarter, threw an incomplete pass and was penalized for an illegal forward pass.

"It wasn't the most productive night, but it was great to be back out there," Simms said. "Physically I'm fine. As far as throwing the ball, I'm nowhere near 100 percent yet, but it is getting better week to week."

Beck entered the game to start the second half and promptly led the Dolphins on a 79-yard touchdown drive, all of it through the air. The score came on a 51-yard pass to P.K. Sam, putting Miami ahead 21-17.

After Tampa Bay regained the lead, Beck directed a 76-yard touchdown drive. On third-and-5, he beat a blitz by going long to Derek Hagan for a 31-yard score.

Beck's unit was stopped on downs on its final two possessions, and he finished 11-for-22.

Dolphins first-round draft pick Ted Ginn Jr. made catches to convert third- and fourth-down situations. He finished with three receptions for 29 yards.

"They called my number, so I had to get open," Ginn Jr. said.

The Bucs' Carnell Williams carried four times for 25 yards -- after rushing for 3 yards on four attempts in the first two games.

"Just getting a couple of those runs tonight really has me looking forward to the regular season," Williams said.

The Dolphins' first-team offense scored two touchdowns and gave one up in the opening period.

Miami's first score came on a 73-yard drive that took more than nine minutes. Two catches by Ginn Jr. kept the drive going, which set up a 1-yard touchdown pass from Green to new tight end David Martin.

The Dolphins scored again after defensive end Matt Roth intercepted a Garcia pass intended for Williams deep in Bucs territory.

On third-and-9, Miami resorted to razzle-dazzle. Green held the ball out behind his back with his left hand and faked a pass. Jesse Chatman took the no-look handoff and ran 11 yards for the touchdown.

"A good idea is a good idea -- youth football, college football," Cameron said. "It is nice when it works."

Green went 7-for-11 for 42 yards. His first pass was a screen to Ronnie Brown, but June snatched it out of his hands and took two steps into the end zone for the opening score.

New Dolphins kicker Jay Feely hit the upright when he missed a 54-yard field goal attempt to end the first half.

Game notes


Bucs tight end Alex Smith left the game in the second quarter with a left ankle injury. ... Dolphins rookie nose tackle Paul Soliai limped off in the second quarter with a knee injury. ... The Bucs' David Boston, arrested Thursday and charged with driving under the influence, gained 18 yards on an end-around.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTBMIA
tbTD11:13Cato June, 2 yd interception return (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 2 yds, 0:40
70
miaTD1:58David Martin, 1 yd pass from Trent Green (Jay Feely kick is good)
Drive info: 18 plays, 73 yds, 9:13
77
miaTD0:58Jesse Chatman, 11 yd run (Jay Feely kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 12 yds, 0:59
714
SECOND QUARTERTBMIA
tbTD11:49Joey Galloway, 26 yd pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 76 yds, 3:58
1414
tbFG0:53Matt Bryant 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 52 yds, 3:28
1714
THIRD QUARTERTBMIA
miaTD12:42P.K. Sam, 51 yd pass from John Beck (Jay Feely kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yds, 2:26
1721
FOURTH QUARTERTBMIA
tbTD14:19Earnest Graham, 6 yd pass from Bruce Gradkowski (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 62 yds, 5:01
2421
miaTD10:23Derek Hagan, 31 yd pass from John Beck (Jay Feely kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 76 yds, 3:55
2428
tbTD4:59Paris Warren, 1 yd pass from Bruce Gradkowski (Matt Bryant kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 61 yds, 5:25
3128