Buccaneers vs. Dolphins game preview: Miami heads home for preseason

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay heads to Miami with a winless preseason record. The Dolphins still have a few kinks to work out in the preseason, especially who will be leading the running game.

The Miami Dolphins head home to close out the preseason with a 1-2 record and a few questions that still need to be answered. The starting running back still hasn't named and neither Daniel Thomas nor Lamar Miller has done anything eye-opening enough to demand the job. The Dolphins lost to the Texans last week, but the offense was clicking. With two more games, coach Joe Philbin still has time to figure out who the focal point of the run game will be.

The Buccaneers are still looking for their first win of the preseason. Tampa Bay fell to the Patriots last week by four points, a much closer spread than the 44-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens to open the preseason. Running back Doug Martin left the game against New England early with an apparent knee injury, but he was back in practice this week.

Meet the Dolphins

Don't tell Richie Incognito preseason games don't matter. One of the big takeaways from the Dolphins loss to the Texans last week was Texans defensive end Antonio Smith tearing off Incognito's helmet and attempting to hit him with it. Incognito came away from the incident unscathed, and Smith will spend the rest of the preseason and the opening game riding the bench with a suspension.

On the field for the Dolphins, there are still plenty of takeaways as well. Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace showed some chemistry with a first quarter touchdown connection. Running backs Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller both have a chance at the starting running back job, according to coach Joe Philbin. The Dolphins also took a big hit last week as tight end Dustin Keller is out for the year after suffering a knee injury against the Texans.

Meet the Buccaneers

Last year the Buccaneers had a high feeling after defeating the Patriots 30-28 in the preseason. Last week, Tampa Bay fell 25-21 to remain winless through two preseason games. There was plenty to be excited about in the loss, however. Even after Doug Martin left the game early, the Buccaneers racked up 158 rushing yards behind Mike James and Peyton Hillis.

The Buccaneers took Josh Freeman out quite early after getting sacked three times in two drives against the Patriots. The defensive line struggled against the Patriots as well.

Local Takes: Dolphins

Kevin Nogle from The Phinsider says the Richie Incognito story is getting overblown:

Nevermind the one line in the story, "One person who knows Incognito says the Dolphins guard was punched first." Schefter speculates, " It is premature, but Incognito's altercation could be a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy."

Local Takes: Bucccaneers

The lovely folks at Bucs Nation say that Mark Barron is improving upon his rookie season and dissect the film to prove it.

To stop being melancholy, things look bright for Barron's future. The frequent technique mistakes that cost him big receptions throughout the season can be fixed. We also have the tape to see it all come together. Very iconically, we see it in the last snap of the year for the defense.

Follow the Fun

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

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@ThePhinsider

@Bucs_Nation

@OmarKelly - Dolphins beat writer

@RCummingsTBO - Buccaneers beat writer

Odds

Miami opened favored by a field goal and that hasn't changed much since, according to Oddsshark.com.

Next Week

The Dolphins get their final preseason tuneup against the New Orleans Saints at home. The Buccaneers head home to close out the preseason against the Washington Redskins.

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