TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 22, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium
Weather: Low 78, High 89
Line: Miami (-1)
Coming off a solid 2012 season, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to do big things in 2013. However, after an opening-week loss, people were starting to wonder if they had what it took to make it to a Super Bowl. Although the loss came against one of the NFL‘s best teams in the New Orleans Saints, but Falcons looked vulnerable and Matt Ryan failed to deliver in the clutch. The Falcons bounced back with a win in week two and faith in this team has been restored — funny how that works. Ryan has been solid through two weeks, completing 58 of 81 passes for 678 yards and four touchdowns. Losing newly-acquired running back Steven Jackson will hurt the run game drastically, but with Ryan throwing to Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez.
On the other side of the field, the Miami Dolphins have opened some eyes this season. Sitting at 2-0, this team is, all of a sudden, one of the teams to beat in the AFC. Ryan Tannehill is improving game by game and he is starting to look like the franchise quarterback that the Dolphins drafted him to be. He has passed for 591 yards and two touchdowns while leading the 14th best air attack in football. Wide out Mike Wallace stepped up big-time in week two after a poor performance in week one in his first game as a Dolphin. However, the run game is pitiful — or at least it has been — and Lamar Miller has not played up to expectations, rushing for just 72 yards on 24 carries.
Defensively, the Falcons played one of the best offenses in the league in week one, and it shows. They rank 29th in the league in passing yards allowed per game which could be good news for Tannehill and Wallace. Atlanta does own the ninth best run defense in the league so far, however. Miami ranks near the middle of all NFL teams in total defense, allowing about 360 yards per game. The secondary is going to have a tough time stopping Matt Ryan and crew.
PREDICTION: Falcons 34, Dolphins 20