The Falcons’ first-team offense played the entire first half, with what the French refer to as mixed results.
Michael Turner carried the ball 16 times and ran very strong early, but the Dolphins solved Atlanta’s run blocking and limited him to 47 yards on the half. Matt Ryan had his usual early-game jitters and overthrows. His footwork may have been worsened by Sun Life Stadium’s baseball-diamond-laden field. Falcons receivers also dropped three passes, but the passing game picked up during a long no-huddle drive that ended with a 26-yard field goal by Matt Bryant.
Atlanta’s second drive was the first-team offense’s first touchdown of the preseason, with Ryan connecting on two crucial third-and-longs, including one to Harry Douglas. Ryan lasered an undefendable strike to White in the end zone, who leapt and shielded the ball with his body. A perfect pass, and the preseason’s offensive highlight.
The D is here to play, holding Miami to 110 total yards (and its famous Wildcat to only five). Miami receiver Brandon Marshall is too much for a Falcons’ secondary short Dunta Robinson, with three catches for 51 yards. If quarterback Chad Henne had more time to throw, Marshall would’ve been able to run down another 25-yarder at the expense of Brent Grimes.
Speaking of the pass rush: Kroy Biermann added to his sack total, but disappointingly failed to strip the ball as he did in weeks one and two. Biermann also blew up a fourth down conversion attempt in the backfield. Sean Weatherspoon added what should’ve been a forced intentional grounding, and Curtis Lofton has patrolled the sidelines very well.
Both quarterbacks threw a pick, with Ryan’s a sort of what-the-heck lob at the end of the half, and Henne’s a ball tipped by Mike Peterson into Erik Coleman’s hands.