Coach Mike Smith and the Atlanta Falcons had lost seven straight preseason games dating back to the 2010 season. What’s the remedy for that? How about a game against the Miami Dolphins and a rookie quarterback. The Falcons finally broke through in a preseason game, beating the the Dolphins 23-6 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
The weather was fair in the first half of the game, but yet neither team was able to break through and score a touchdown. It took the monsoon brought about by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Isaac to get the Atlanta offense moving.
After a number of stalled drives and some sloppy play by both teams, the Falcons went into the locker room with a 9-3 lead at halftime. Offensively in the first half, kicker Matt Bryant was the lone bright spot for the Falcons, hitting on field goals of 45, 44 and 51 yards.
When the teams came out for the second half, the skies were pointing towards unleashing some liquid fury, and the Falcons starters were pointing towards the Dolphins endzone. Finally, with about seven minutes left in the third quarter Matt Ryan connected with Roddy White on a 20-yard touchdown pass.
From that point on, the heavens began to open up along with the Atlanta offense.
But the Miami skies weren’t the only things looking dark and cloudy. The Falcons’ challenges at offensive line continued, with Sam Baker being beaten badly several times by Dolphins’ rookie defensive tackle Olivier Vernon, and the right side of the Falcons line is still having problems getting the push needs in the running game.
Rookie Peter Konz got the start at right guard, and looked solid. The battle for a starting spot between Konz and Garrett Reynolds has still yet to be decided, even after tonight.
Rookie quarterback Dominique Davis impressed once again with his grasp of the complex Dirk Koetter offense, including a 39-yard pinpoint accurate touchdown pass to Tim Toone. Incumbent backup quarterback Chris Redman was also briefly in the game, while John Parker Wilson was not. With the first round of cuts coming, that doesn’t bode well for Wilson.
Defensively the Falcons looked solid, allowing only six points and 246 total yards of offense from the Dolphins, but there were still some defensive lapses against rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
The Falcons final preseason game will be next Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL.