MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins' red-zone offense took plenty of snaps Saturday night -- and finally produced a touchdown.
The first team scored its only TD just before halftime on its 17th play inside the Tampa Bay 20, but the Buccaneers scored with 1:03 left in the game to win 17-16.
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"We did some good things," Tannehill said. "We moved the ball well. But we didn't finish when we got into the red zone. When you get that close after moving all the way down the field, you really want to score touchdowns."
Gibson and Brian Hartline dropped potential scoring passes, and twice Miami settled for short field goals.
"We have to catch the ball more consistently, no doubt about it," coach Joe Philbin said. "I can't tell you the rhythm offensively was great tonight. It didn't feel that way to me. It's got to get better."
Miami fell to 1-3 with one preseason game left. The Buccaneers improved to 1-2, but their first-team offense sputtered again.
Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman went 6 for 16 for 59 yards, took five sacks and lost a fumble while playing 2.5 quarters. The turnover came at midfield with 1:29 left in the first half and led to Miami's lone touchdown.
"It was an uphill battle," Freeman said. "We really weren't in sync like we'd like to be. There were a number of things that we have to get cleaned up."
"The quarterback play was not what I wanted it to be," he said. "The good thing is that we have two weeks before the season starts, because we're going to need every day of it."
Thigpen later had a 38-yard punt return.
"With the exception of that one return, I thought our special teams played outstanding," Schiano said.
Miami began the game with a 17-play drive that took 8.5 minutes -- but settled for a field goal. Tannehill completed six consecutive passes during the possession, including one on fourth down.
"I'm moving in the right direction," the second-year quarterback said. "There are still some plays I should be better at, but I'm learning and try not to make the same mistake twice."
"Lamar appeared to run the ball well," Philbin said. "Daniel never really got untracked in the running game, it seemed, but I can't tell you it was all his fault."
Notes: The Dolphins outgained the Bucs 312-160 but lost the turnover contest 4-1. ... Tannehill has a 98.6 passer rating this preseason. ... Miami second-year coach Philbin fell to 1-7 in preseason games.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press