The Falcons first game in Miami since 2005 did not go they way wanted, as the Dolphins mounted a second-half comeback and came away with a 27-23 victory Sunday evening. Atlanta outgained its opponent by nearly 100 yards, held the ball on offense for nearly 15 minutes longer and still managed to fall to 1-2 on the season.
While it's still only Week 3, frustration is abundant at this point. We'll run down some of the main points and highlights from the game.
Matt Ryan was exceptional and sporadic all in one. He can carry the team at times, and he had the ground game working in his favor as well. The Falcons averaged 4.9 yards rushing on 30 carries. The offensive play-calling could still use some work, though. Should they have gone for it on fourth-and-goal early on in the game? I'd like to see more aggression. They leave points on the table, a lot.
Ryan Tannehill played a great game. He deserves plenty of credit, he was finding his open receivers and spreading his targets around. Miami's ground game was kept in check for the most part, aside from a 49-yard burst from Lamar Miller.
Mike Nolan drew up good pressure in key moments. The secondary just couldn't get the job done at the end of the game. Five sacks looks solid, considering Atlanta had two in the first two games. It's hard to pinpoint the real issue, but the Falcons just look like a different team in the second half.
Jason Snelling scored on a shovel pass from Matt Ryan. Falcons took an early 7-0 lead.
- Osi Umenyiora recorded his first sack as a Falcon, breaking inside and crushing Ryan Tannehill from his blindside.
- Matt Bryant nailed a 52-yarder with 13:03 to play; Falcons go up 10-0.
- Daniel Thomas (somehow) broke a few tackles and drove forward into the end zone, 10-7.
- After another Bryant field goal, Caleb Sturgis hit a 46-yarder to make it a 13-10 game heading into the half.
- Levine Toilolo caught his first touchdown pass in the NFL, putting the Falcons up 20-10. This is what Toilolo looks like off the field.
- William Moore picked off a pass just a bit too high intended for Charles Clay. Paul Worrilow was rushing up the middle, which gave Tannehill little room to operate.
- Brian Hartline. Wide Open. 20-20 ballgame.
- Bryant kicked another field goal in there somewhere. The Falcons started bringing more pressure at Tannehill and held strong on defense.
Tannehill engulfed by blitzing linebackers Dent & Bartu, and Atlanta defense forces Dolphins to punt. Falcons with 5 sacks today. #ATLvsMIA— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) September 22, 2013
- After some stat about how many consecutive field goals Bryant had made, HE MISSED.
- Dion Sims hauled in the game-winning score with 43 seconds to play.
It was over when...
Dion Sims one-handed a touchdown pass from Tannehill with under a minute to go. Play-action with Stephen Nicholas in coverage, the throw was on the money. (Photo courtesy of Charles Trainor Jr., Miami Herald)
Julio Jones could easily get it again. I think I'd hand the game ball to Snelling. He works hard, that's all he ever does.
Thomas DeCoud continues to miss tackles, assignments and the overall point of playing defense.
Sound off with your thoughts.