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Who deserves the MVP nod for Atlanta’s victory over the Dolphins?

Atlanta has some worthy contenders after a nice preseason effort against Miami.

Atlanta Falcons v Miami Dolphins Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images

Most valuable player awards for preseason may not shake the world, but we still like to recognize the players and coaches who do stellar work for this Falcons team.

Following Friday night’s 19-3 victory over the Dolphins, it’s only appropriate to recognize the stars of that fun win and ask you to vote for your MVP choice. Let’s get right to it.

Dee Alford

The rising cornerback made the most of his limited time, and it was something of a surprise to see him at all given that he’s expected to have a major role for this Falcons defense. Alford came up with a pass deflection on that side of the ball, but he also had one of the plays of the game, turning a couple of nice blocks into a 79 yard punt return for a touchdown that extended Atlanta’s lead to 13-3.

A virtual roster lock and now someone who appears to be jockeying hard for the punt returner role, Alford is a player I’m excited about. He also has a strong case for yesterday’s MVP.

Breon Borders

A roster hopeful facing a two game suspension to kick off the season, Borders has been playing like a man on fire for a bit now, piling up turnovers and big plays in training camp and joint practices. That continued in the Miami game in a big way.

Borders had five tackles in this game, got his hand on and deflected three passes, and picked off Skylar Thompson and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Nobody had more splash plays against the Dolphins than Borders, who has to be drawing consideration for a spot when his suspension ends.

DeMarcco Hellams

The team’s leading tackler delivered some big hits and looked like one of the most physical and fundamentally sound defenders on the field for Atlanta, and certainly a player the Falcons are going to love in run support throughout his time with the team. He added in a pass deflection and a heads-up interception, grabbing a Tre Flowers-deflected pass in the end zone to end Miami’s drive and returning it 15 yards. It was an incredibly strong all-around day for the rookie safety.

He’s battling Lukas Denis (who had an interception of his own) and Micah Abernathy for a role, and I’d say he’s in a good spot to get it if he can keep up the level of play.

Godwin Igwebuike

He did it all. Igwebuike took advantage of some nice blocking for an untouched touchdown, but it was his consistent burst and willingness to fight for yards that really stood out. He finished the day with 70 yards and a touchdown—Atlanta’s only one on offense—on the ground and also picked up 24 yards on a kickoff return, potentially foreshadowing a role as Cordarrelle Patterson’s relief on kickoffs.

Igwebuike needs to beat out Carlos Washington Jr., who had a nice night in his own right, and his special teams value and hard running probably helped a lot in that regard.

Ryan Nielsen

You have to appreciate the underpinning work done by Nielsen and the defensive coaching staff, which saw Atlanta do incredible work in the red zone to limit Miami to three points despite several trips inside the 20. Nielsen figured to try to bring a physical, aggressive defensive style to Atlanta after New Orleans boasted some terrific defenses while he was on their coaching staff, and the early returns are positive after his Falcons defense picked up multiple turnovers, sacks, and big plays en route to allowing only a field goal.

Who wins MVP in your mind?


Who is the Falcons’ MVP for Week 1 against the Dolphins?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Dee Alford
    (167 votes)
  • 15%
    Breon Borders
    (112 votes)
  • 19%
    DeMarcco Hellams
    (138 votes)
  • 4%
    Godwin Igwebuike
    (34 votes)
  • 37%
    Ryan Nielsen
    (272 votes)
723 votes total Vote Now