The Miami Dolphins travel to Tampa Bay tonight in an ESPN Monday Night Football game that’s probably the most anticipated game featuring an 0-8 team in MNF history. Unfortunately, it’s anticipated not for the quality of the football, but for the controversy embroiling the Dolphins after starting an investigation of Richie Incognito for bullying. Tonight’s MNF game will be the first time Miami has taken the field since Incognito was suspended indefinitely, and that’s bound to be the lead of every story on TV and online tonight. But there’s still a football game to be played, and it’ll be interesting to see how Miami responds to the hubbub. If you can’t see the game live on ESPN, you can watch Monday Night Football online free using one of several different methods.
It’s a shame the Dolphins have been engulfed in controversy this week, because this is one game the 4-4 Dolphin should win. Miami hasn’t won two games in a row since Week 2 and Week 3, but this could’ve been a great opportunity to break that pattern and hit a bonafide “winning streak” against the 0-8 Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is just one of two teams yet to earn victory this year, and this could’ve been an opportunity for Miami to reverse their fortunes – at least on the field.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has played admirably this season, although he hasn’t put up the numbers he’d like. Through eight weeks, Tannehill has gone 175-289 for 1,977 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s better than his counterpart, Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, who’s gone 123-204 for 1,165 yards and eight touchdowns. Then again, Glennon hasn’t been the starter since Week 1, whereas Tannehill has led the Dolphins since their first snap of the season.
But whether you see the game on ESPN or watch Monday Night Football online, you’ll see a Buccaneers team going up against Tannehill and the Dolphins that’s really been a disaster throughout the 2013 NFL season. After struggling out of the gate, Tampa Bay released quarterback Josh Freeman, who eventually signed elsewhere and has struggled there as well, perhaps justifying his release. Yet Bucs head coach Greg Schiano finds himself in the hot seat having has lost 13 of his last 14 games. And although Schiano considers himself an expert on defense, something the Bucs have prided themselves on since the days of Warren Sapp — whose number will be retired tonight live on MNF — Schiano has watched his team surrender 30 points per game over the past four weeks. Worse yet, analysts have questioned the Bucs’ effort on defense, to the point that that All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis already expressed frustration this season with Schiano after having played previously with the loosey goosey Rex Ryan on the New York Jets.
With that said, Schiano has done a good job keeping his rookies from hitting that proverbial “rookie wall” that happens in all sports, including the NBA. All told, the Buccaneers have three rookies on offense getting significant playing time, including quarterback Mike Glennon, mentioned above. Glennon has made five starts after replacing Josh Freeman, while running back Mike James has been filling-in for the injured Doug Martin for two games, and Timothy Wright has emerged as the team’s best receiving tight end. All three have been playing well, as has starting defensive tackle Akeem Spence, also a rookie.
But you won’t likely be tuning into MNF tonight to watch rookies. You want to see football, and you’ll want to see how the Dolphins respond. You can watch Monday Night Football online via ESPN, which offers subscribers to their cable sports network through a satellite or cable package access to easily watch MNF online on ESPN3. That option is also available through the ESPN mobile app and ESPN app on Xbox 360. You may also be able to watch online with the Verizon NFL mobile app, which costs $5 per month.