Fresh off the bye week and with Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage back in the fold, the Falcons will fly south to battle a natural enemy of the raptor: Dolphins.
This team has seemingly made slow but steady progress in the last three weeks, winning two of their last three games and heading into the bye week with a fun London win over the Jets. Whether that progress is linear and this team can do more than just win a few games against the weakest teams on its schedule remains to be seen, and a win over the Dolphins wouldn’t necessarily tell us that this team is going to contend the rest of the way. It would be an affirmation that this team isn’t going to backslide suddenly—we’re a little too used to that—and it would make our Sundays more pleasant, so that’s the hope.
Here’s what we think will happen today.
Falcons 30 - Dolphins 24
I’m not yet in the stage where I feel confident predicting a straightforward, double digit win against anyone. To be clear, if it’s going to happen at any point this season, it’ll be against the Dolphins or Lions.
Miami is simply too talented to be this bad, but the evidence is mounting that at least for 2021, they are indeed going to be this dismal. They’re fresh off a loss in London to the Jaguars, poor Tua Tagovailoa can’t escape the Deshaun Watson trade rumors, and Dolphins fans think the coaching staff is out its depth, particularly on offense. This isn’t a sentence I thought I’d write this year after Week 1, but a rested, healthier Falcons team should be expected to win this one, albeit probably in more frustrating fashion than any of us would like. - Dave Choate
Falcons 28 - Dolphins 26
I’ll be honest, there is a sense of dread hovering over me as I write this. Largely because of the unwillingness to apply 100% conviction in the Falcons walking away with this win. One of those “supposed to win” games that appears on the schedule that often trips them up for some odd reason. I will say this, this Dolphins team is much better in terms of overall talent than their overall 1-5 record. The Falcons may find themselves encountering an angry Dolphins team that is fighting for their season. The key in this one is forcing Tua Tagovailoa into a few mistakes. Which teams have been able to do this season. The return of Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage is a considerable boost and I would not be surprised if one of them has a huge outing that spearheads a victory here. - Eric Robinson
Falcons 31 - Dolphins 21
Do I think the Falcons offense is finally rolling? Yes. Do I think the Dolphins are bad? Yes. Am I ignoring the last time the Falcons came off of a bye week and played a bad Miami team? Also yes. The wild card here being Tua Tagovailoa, who may put together a career day against a bad Falcons defense in response to those trade rumors circling around Deshaun Watson.
Ultimately, both teams have been heading in different directions, with Atlanta coming off of an early bye week. If the Falcons want to make a statement, Sunday is the perfect place to do it. - Matt Chambers
Falcons 28 - Dolphins 20
The Dolphins are one of the only teams in the NFL that rank in the bottom 5 in scoring and points allowed. They’ve scored 21 points only once in 6 games (28 vs. Raiders in week 3) and they’ve lost 5 in a row. They’re also coming off a short week due to playing in London last Sunday. This makes them potentially very dangerous.
That said, Atlanta is coming off a bye week and the offense may finally be kicking into gear with Kyle Pitts looking like the type of weapon we dreamed of. The Dolphins have a talented secondary but I think the Falcons will ultimately overwhelm them. I do think Miami will put up a fight, but right now Atlanta is the team trending in the right direction. - David Walker
Falcons 31 - Dolphins 23
This is the first game all season where the consensus feeling is that the Falcons should win. Coming off the bye week following a convincing victory over the Jets has created some optimism. Getting their two wide receivers should create more big-play opportunities for a surging Matt Ryan. Facing a free-falling Miami team that has no identity offensively and massively underperforming defensively gives them a golden opportunity to build a winning streak. They will capitalize on it led by Ryan, who has been tremendous over the past two games. Expect Cordarrelle Patterson to fill up the stat sheet in an impressive fashion, which has become the norm at this point. - Allen Strk