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Falcons vs. Dolphins: Hat tips & head-scratchers

Do you enjoy Kyle Pitts?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The hats are a’tippin’ and the heads are only briefly scratched in this week’s Hat tips & head-scratchers. Trying to get Mike Jones to sponsor the good versions of these posts but his old number doesn’t seem to work anymore.

Hat tips

Fabian Moreau’s first half

Well, that was certainly not expected. Fabian Moreau has had an uneven go as a starter through his first five games in an Atlanta Falcons uniform. The Falcons signed him to a one-year deal for some veteran chops to guide the secondary through a year of transition. It has not really gone according to plan, with Moreau giving up some big plays to start the season.

He came to play in this one.

Fabian Moreau started his day by setting the tone in the secondary with a great coverage play in the end zone on Miami’s opening possession to prevent a touchdown. He later defended a pass intended for tight end Mike Gesicki to prevent a first down in the second quarter.

It’s been tough sledding thus far, but the veteran corner had a couple marquee moments in the first half.

Ade Ogundeji blocks the field goal

Courtesy of a collapsed offensive line courtesy of defensive tackle Marlon Davidson (honorable hat tip mention), rookie defender Ade Ogundeji was able to blast through the front to block Miami kicker Jason Sanders’ 49-yard attempt.

Jaylinn Hawkins picks off Tua in the red zone. Pass intended for Durham Smyth. Kept Miami off the board at the end of the half. The play kept the Dolphins off the board and the momentum on the Falcons’ side entering the locker room.

Kyle Pitts #content

What a day. What an absolute joy to watch this rookie play football. Given his veritable absence on the stat sheet through the first four weeks, it’s astounding that Kyle Pitts is currently sitting on 471 receiving yards and a touchdown. He’s the first rookie tight end to tally consecutive 100-plus receiving yards since Raymond Chester in 1970.

He’s on pace to shatter Mike Ditka’s long-standing record for a rookie tight end’s receiving yards, which sits at 1,076 yards. He set that mark in 1961.

The truly impressive thing about Kyle Pitts, however, is what he does with the volume — and the situations in which the receptions occur. His highlight on Sunday was obviously his one-handed, over-the-shoulder snag while the defender had a hold of his right arm.

The key catches were the two he made on Atlanta’s final drive to set up Younghoe Koo’s field goal to come back and seal the win.

You’re gonna see a lot of Kyle Pitts #content in this weekly feature.


Matt Ryan’s fourth-quarter fumble

Disaster: avoided, but Matt Ryan’s fumble late nearly cost the Falcons the game. Hit by Emmanuel Ogbah with six minutes remaining on the clock, Ryan lost the handle and the Dolphins were able to recover and were able to score on their ensuing offensive drive.

This was meltdown mode.

No challenge?

Was slightly baffled by Arthur Smith’s (in)decision to not challenge Miami wide receiver Jaylen Waddle’s fourth-quarter catch. The Dolphins rushed to the line, so possibly he didn’t have time and was waiting for word on the replay and just couldn’t get the flag at the ready in time — but it appeared close enough in real-time to at least warrant a second look.

It was definitely a bang-bang play, but it didn’t appear that Waddle was able to get both feet down to complete the catch. Water under the bridge at this point, however, as the Falcons overcame the Dolphin’s late rally to win the contest and get to an even 3-3 on the season.

Carolina up next.