Head coach Arthur Smith and his Falcons offense are back after a bye with a 2-3 record to face an inconsistent Dolphins defense. Falcons fans had to be encouraged to see the offense show some efficiency in the red zone as well as in play calling against the Jets in London.
More importantly, we saw Arthur Smith learn from his mistakes against the Washington Football Team and remain aggressive when it became a one possession game down the stretch. Can the Falcons offense build on that and continue to progress against the Dolphins? Let’s take a look at how the offense matches up against the Dolphins defense.
In the trenches
Although the Dolphins have a defensive line led by former 1st round pick Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis, they’ve been pretty inconsistent to start the season. They’re allowing 125 yards rushing a game and have 11 sacks on the season. Although they have been inconsistent, the Dolphins certainly have some talent up front and things can turn around for them at any time.
The Falcons offensive line is showing consistent improvement, whether big or small, on a weekly basis. They allowed no sacks against the Jets, which is kind of impressive considering the talent New York has up front. Kaleb McGary will likely miss the game due to being put on the reserve/COVID list, so Jason Spriggs and Colby Gossett are listed on the depth chart as starters, which is an indicator that both will get some snaps next Sunday. This offensive line is still full of youth, so even though they’re improving, there’s still much work to do.
The Skill Positions
Miami’s linebacker corps and secondary have been just as unspectacular so far at the beginning of the season. The linebacker group features a talented 3 down MIKE linebacker in Jerome Baker, and rookie outside linebacker Jaelen Phillips is certainly showing promise as a pass rusher. The secondary group features a very solid starting cornerback duo in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe round out the back end at the safety position. Considering the talent, it’s surprising that the Dolphins are giving up close to 300 yards passing a game.
We finally got to see what Kyle Pitts can do when given the opportunity. Between Pitts, Cordarelle Patterson and contributions from Mike Davis, Tajae Sharpe and Olamide Zaccheaus, the Falcons showed plenty of offensive ability without Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage. Now that Ridley and Gage are both slated to play against the Dolphins, the Falcons will be a full force at the skilled positions.
In my opinion, there hasn’t been a team as surprisingly inconsistent and underwhelming as the Dolphins defensively. The hope here is that Coach Smith and the Falcons offense can take advantage of their inconsistencies and put together a solid and productive game plan in all facets.
Although we got to see some explosive plays against the Jets, it would be nice to see Coach Smith be just as aggressive against the Dolphins. If the offense as a whole continues to progress, they can certainly put together a solid outing against a reeling Dolphins defense.