It's only two games, but the Bucs have reason to believe in Josh Freeman.
For the second straight week, the 21-year-old rookie quarterback engineered a fourth-quarter comeback, this time on the road at Miami.
The Bucs took the lead on Cadillac Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 1:14 remaining in the game. But the Dolphins won it when quarterback Chad Henne drove them 77 yards in five plays to set up Dan Carpenter's game-winning 25-yard field goal.
Still, Freeman was impressive.
He had a bad start to the game, fumbling the ball four times, including two center/quarterback exchanges. But he recovered to complete 16 of 28 passes for 196 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
"The first half was a disaster," Bucs coach Raheem Morris said. "He did everything you can do wrong, from fumbled snaps, called plays, miscommunications, just rookie mistakes that he's going to make. That's part of the patience you talk about having for Freeman. But to bounce back like he did in the second half and the fourth quarter, those are where quarterbacks are made, those are the guys you look for, those are the guys your team stands behind.
"When he got the ball with some clock left, that whole sideline felt like he was going to do it and he did. We ran out of bullets to give him another opportunity."
Freeman, who threw three touchdown passes to upset Green Bay in his first NFL start last week, has won over his teammates.
"I know it's a dark day for us, but man, with guy at the helm, the future is bright for this organization," Williams said.
"He moved around a little bit and he's a hard guy to bring down because he's so big. He can get around a little bit, they started chipping a little bit and changed the protections. They adjust at halftime just like everybody else does," Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor said.
"I tell you what, the kid is going to be good. I could be wrong, but in my opinion, he's going to be a really, really good quarterback. He's got tremendous poise for a young guy, he has tremendous size, and he moves around looking to throw the ball downfield, and still checking down, and running for the first down. I don't know how many yards rushing he had. I've got respect for the young kid."
TRENDING: TE Kellen Winslow is the go-to receiver for the Bucs. He leads the team in receptions and yards. On Sunday at Miami, Winslow had seven catches for 102 yards.
--LB Quincy Black recorded his first career interception, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Cadillac Williams.
--QB Josh Freeman fumbled four times on Sunday, losing two. Two of the fumbles were mishandled center/QB exchanges.
--WR Antonio Bryant missed his second straight game with a knee injury.
--K Conner Barth in only his second game with Tampa Bay, set a club record and became only the fourth player in NFL history to kick three field goals of 50 yards or more in a single game. Barth connected on FGs of 51, 50 and 54 yards.
--RB Cadillac Williams had 14 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins.