Dolphins rally past Falcons

The Falcons came into the game against the Miami Dolphins with a slew of injuries. But they were confident that they can get a win at Sun Life Stadium in a late Sunday afternoon tilt. But they came up short as Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill orchestrated a 13-play, 75-yard drive to late in the fourth quarter to lead the Dolphins to a 27-23 victory.

One of the key plays of the game was when Matt Bryant missed a 35-field goal right before the Dolphins game-winning drive. Bryant made a 52-yarder in the second quarter, a 20-yarder later in the second quarter and a 33-yarder early in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons the 23-20 lead.

Tannehill threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Dion Sims with 30 seconds left. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense had one last shot to win the game as they had three timeouts and the ball at their own 20-yard line. But Ryan’s pass was picked off by Jimmy Wilson on the second play of the series.

The Falcons jumped on the Dolphins early, leading 10-0 at the start of the second quarter. Ryan and the rest of the offense started the game with a 14-play, 80-yard drive which ended with a Ryan 7-yard touchdown pass to Jason Snelling. Ryan finished the game 22-of-38 with 231 yards and two scores. The second passing touchdown came early in the third quarter when Ryan found Levine Toilolo for two yards. That score was possible thanks to Osi Umenyiora sacking Tannehill on the prior series, which led to a fumble by Tannehill and recovered by the Falcons.

That gave the Falcons the 20-10 lead, but the Dolphins cut the lead to one score when Caleb Strugis kicked a 50-yard field goal on the ensuing series. The Dolphins tied the game later in the quarter when Tannehill threw an 18-yard pass to Brian Hartline. They had a short field to work with because Harry Douglas fumbled the punt return and recovered by the Miami.

The Falcons had the numbers to win the game. They had more total yards (377-285), more first downs (24-16) and more time of possession (37:09-22:51). But the Falcons did not win the turnover battle as it was even and they also had seven penalties for 59 yards and they were only 2-of-5 in the red zone.

One of the highlights for the Falcons, though, is they were able to run the ball without Steven Jackson who will be out the next three weeks with a hamstring injury. Jaquizz Rodgers had 18 carries for 86 yards and Jason Snelling had 11 carries for 53 yards. Another highlight is the defense came up with five sacks while the offensive line gave up no sacks. Umenyiora had two sacks while Akeem Dent had one-and-a-half. Robert McClain also had one while Joplo Bartu, who was taking the place of the injured Sean Weatherspoon, was credited with half a sack.

The win gave the Dolphins a 3-0 record which is the first time since 2002 they have won their first three games of the year. Meanwhile, the Falcons drop to 1-2 and are two games behind the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead. The Falcons next opponent will be the New England Patriots on Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.

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