The 1-1 Atlanta Falcons are looking to rise up against a very confidant 2-0 Miami Dolphins team this Sunday. The Dirty Birds are hurting, and the Dolphins are seeking their first 3-0 start since 2002. The Dolphins do look much improved from last season, especially in the quarterback position with Ryan Tannehill and with the acquisition of wide receiver Mike Wallace, who will be a game time decision in Week 3. The Dolphins pass rush is dangerous this season as well, already racking in nine sacks after just two games. But there is one particular area in the Dolphins’ pass coverage that has been an on-going concern for the past five seasons, and should also be the No. 1 focus for an already one-dimensional Falcons offense: The tight end position.
Covering tight ends has been the Achilles heel for the Dolphins. According to cbssports.com, opposing tight ends have already been feasting on this weak area against the Dolpins in the 2013 NFL season, recording 15 catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns. This is good news for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has just seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown so far in 2013. Gonzalez, 37, may be on the verge of retirement, but he has already shown age is not a factor for this matchup. Gonzalez is physical, consistent in the receiving game and his size will make him a viable option in the red zone and in third-down situations for Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. As a Falcon, Gonzalez also has a solid resume against the Dolphins already, racking in five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown in their previous meeting.
If Gonzalez can take advantage of this opportunity, this will be good news for the rest of the Falcons’ offense, as it will create a lot of one-on-one matchups. Wide receiver Julio Jones and Ryan are continuing to build on their already great chemistry for 2013, and this week can add to that. Jones stole the show last week in the Georgia Dome, recording 11 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown, one catch being for a career long 81 yards. If Atlanta can look past the Dolphins’ intimidating pass-rush and Ryan can get his internal clock running smoothly, this can be a monster game for Gonzalez and the rest of the Falcons’ receiving core.