Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley summed up the seventh week of NFL games for Florida teams pretty well: “It was very, very disappointing.” All three teams played for the first time in three weeks, and all three teams lost.
The roundup begins in Miami, where the Dolphins were almost evenly matched with the Buffalo Bills in an AFC South tussle. Other than the start of the game, when neither team had scored, the teams were never tied.
The first score came 93 seconds into the game, when Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a dart toward wide receiver Brandon Gibson. Undrafted rookie defensive back Nickell Robey jumped the pass and took it 19 yards to complete the pick-six, complete with front flip for style into the endzone.
Gibson would come back with an impressive leap of his own. With 24 seconds left in the first half, he took off three yards away from the endzone. He hit three different Bills defenders while airborne but would complete the flip and the play, cutting the lead to three.
In the fourth quarter, Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter would send his third field goal of the day down the middle of the uprights, putting the Bills up 23-21 with 33 seconds left. Four straight incomplete passes by the Dolphins would end the game.
The loss ultimately came down to the Dolphins' inability to protect Tannehill, who was sacked twice while throwing three interceptions. Tannehill said the Bills had good pass rushers and the Dolphins didn't step up when they needed to.
The Atlanta Falcons broke their three-game losing streak as they captured a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are still looking for their first win of the season.
Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, filling for injured star receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, shined with seven receptions for a career-best 149 yards. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 20 of 26 passes for 273 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Tampa had some notable plays called late in the game. Down 14 points with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Tampa would drive to just outside Atlanta's 23-yard line after penalties took the Bucs outside of the redzone.
While most would expect a team losing by two touchdowns to go for touchdowns themselves, Schiano and the Bucs opted for a field goal, which Rian Lindell would make.
Down 11 points with just under two minutes, the Bucs would find themselves in the redzone again. The drive would stall like before, and the Bucs would kick another field goal. Tampa would fail to recover the onside kick attempt and never touched the ball again.
Tampa quarterback Mike Glennon made his first road career start, completing 26 of 44 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Tampa head coach Greg Schiano said he is impressed by Glennon's progression.
“We've got a good, young quarterback who continues to continues to progress,” Schiano said about Glennon.
The Bucs continued to struggle with penalties – they had 11 for 103 yards. Schiano said he is frustrated by this ongoing problem.
“It's been a long time since a team I've coached had this kind of issue,” he said. “I put that on me. I think we do all of the right things, and it's worked over the years, and yet it's not working right now.”
Tampa has a quick turnaround; they play the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.
The Jacksonville Jaguars also remain without a win as they suffered a 24-6 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Jacksonville has lost every game this season by double digits, the first team to do so since the 1984 Houston Oilers.
Jacksonville only scored twice during the game; Josh Scobee kicked a field goal in each half.
The Chargers, meanwhile, scored in every quarter. Two different running backs scored in the first and fourth quarters to bookend the game, and Phillip Rivers got a passing touchdown in the second quarter. Nick Novak nailed a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter to round out San Diego's scoring.
“We talk about playing with toughness, playing with effort, playing with enthusiasm and playing smart,” Bradley said about the Jaguars. “I don't think we did any one of those four today.”
Jacksonville stays home next week to face another team from California, the San Francisco 49ers.
To hear what players and coaches said about the games, click the sound below.