Dolphins vs. Buccaneers 2013 game preview: Florida teams meet under storm of controversy

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins and Bucs are both dealing with huge off-field issues, but there is still a football game to be played. Here's your preview for the Monday night game.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football in Week 10, but both teams are getting far more attention for off-field issues than the on-field product.

The Bucs fell to 0-8 after blowing a 21-0 lead to the Seahawks, and the heat continues to rise on Greg Schiano. The Dolphins finally snapped their four-game losing streak, but are embroiled in a bullying controversy involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.

Meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another week, another second-half meltdown. The Bucs were on their way to pulling off the upset of the year after taking a 21-0 lead over the Seahawks on the road. Things fell apart down the stretch, and the Seahawks scored 20 unanswered points to win in overtime.

That leaves the Bucs winless on the season and their fans looking towards the draft. If the season ended today, Tampa would have the No. 1 pick.

Meet the Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely for the harassment of Jonathan Martin, and the coaching staff is coming under fire for their alleged involvement in the case.

The ongoing story has overshadowed a team that remains decent, even with a depleted offensive line. Cameron Wake took home AFC Defensive Player of the Week after Miami's 22-20 overtime win over the Bengals. The Dolphins are 4-4 and still in good position to make a playoff run, but it's hard to say how much the team holds together on the field with so much scrutiny off it.

Local Takes: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sander Philipse from Bucs Nation isn't asking much anymore -- he just wants the Bucs to win a game:

I want to be able to tell people that the Bucs are going to the Super Bowl just win a game and not have it be an exercise in self-delusion.

I won't tell anyone they're not a real fan for feeling any way about their team's performance. I'm just saying this for my own sake: I can't stand the losses. I will not be happy when the Bucs lose, and I will continue to celebrate any victory that comes the Bucs' way. Because I'm a Bucs fan, dammit, and I want the Bucs to win.

Local Takes: Miami Dolphins

Dolphins blog The Phinsder hasn't been talking much about actual football, for obvious reasons. In lieu of a blurb, we direct you to their excellent and quick-updating stream of the ongoing Martin/Incognito saga.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Bucs Nation and The Phinsider for more analysis and highlights from the game.

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Five out of six experts on SB Nation's panel are taking the Dolphins. Matt Ufford is going off the beaten path, picking the Bucs in an upset.


The Dolphins are favored by 2.5 or three points, according to Oddshsark. One book favors them by just one point.

Next Week

The Bucs take on the Falcons at home. Miami is hosting the Chargers.

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