The Dolphins were able to overcome a slow start to defeat the Falcons 20-17 on Sunday. In the first half, the Dolphins’ offense routinely got in its own way as penalties and a Jay Cutler’s interception in the waning moments of the second quarter kept them off the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, the Falcons’ offense was clicking and the Dolphins’ defense seemingly had no answers for Matt Ryan and his speedy wide receivers. Ryan had success building on play action off of outside zone runs. Their early success in the run game resulted in a 40-yard touchdown by Marvin Hall who used his 4.28 speed in the 40-yard dash to race past Xavien Howard to give the Falcons their first touchdown of the game.
On the Falcons’ second touchdown drive of the first half, they gashed the Dolphins’ defense for 61 yards on the ground. The drive was capped off by a six-yard touchdown by Tevin Coleman to make the score 17-0 heading into half.
Surprisingly, Coleman’s score would be the final score by the Falcons for the remainder of the contest.
The Dolphins went on to outscore the Falcons 20-0 in the second half as they rode the Jay-Train to victory. Ajayi kept the chains moving for the Dolphins as he amassed 130 yards on 26 carries. Cutler made amends for his costly interception in the first half, throwing touchdown passes to Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry in the third quarter. While Cutler did not set the world on fire through the air (151-yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception) he made enough plays to help put his team in position to come away with a win.
The Dolphins commenced to putting the clamps on the Falcons’ offense, allowing just three first downs in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins’ offense was awarded outstanding field position by way of their steller defense. The additional time of possession manifested itself in two Cody Parkey field goals, which gave the Dolphins a 20-17 lead with 2:30 remaining in the contest.
The Falcons drove to Miami’s 31-yard line with 47 seconds remaining in the game, when Ryan threw a pass threw a pass deep down the middle of the field intended for tight end Austin Hooper. Hooper was tightly defended by rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, who punched the ball out of Hooper’s hands and into the waiting arms of Reshad Jones who intercepted Ryan’s pass to seal the game for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins (3-2) will face division rival New York Jets for the second time this season next Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. The Jets (3-3) are coming off of a crushing 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots and will be looking to get back to their winning ways in Week 7.
The Jets defeated the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium 20-6 in Week 3.