Miami Dolphins Week 3: The good, the bad and the ugly
Dion Sims' one-handed catch with 38 seconds to play on Sunday lifted Miami to a third straight victory, 27-23, leaving the Dolphins tied with the New England Patriots atop the AFC East. The Dolphins are now 3-0 for the first time since 2002 and one of just six teams perfect through three games although that number could change to seven with a Denver win over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night.
Sunday's win for the Dolphins was also the first over Atlanta since 2001 when Michael Vick was a rookie quarterback for the Falcons. The Dolphins, along with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, are one of just three teams to have two victories over playoff teams from a year ago. The win over Atlanta also marked Miami's second straight home-opening victory after losing the previous six.
The Miami Dolphins stay at home will be a short-lived one however as Miami travels to New Orleans next Monday night to face the Saints. But looking back on Sunday, here was the good, the bad and the ugly for the Dolphins in a 27-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons:
For the third time in as many weeks, the Dolphins were behind in the second half and rallied to win. Miami came back from a 20-10 deficit early in the third quarter and defensively, held the Falcons to just a field goal for the remainder of the contest.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw multiple touchdowns for the first time this season including the one-yard game-winning toss to rookie tight end Dion Sims. Miami also forced two turnovers in the contest giving the Dolphins six forced turnovers on the season after taking it away just 16 times all of last year.
The Dolphins were also able to add some balance with 90 yards rushing on just 15 carries which included a 49-yard run by Lamar Miller, who led Miami with 62 yards rushing. The six yards-per-carry average was a season-high for the Dolphins.
Nine different Dolphins caught a pass in Sunday's victory including Rishard Matthews, who caught two passes on Miami's game-winning drive while finishing with a career-high four receptions.
Rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis remained perfect on the season knocking home a pair of long field goals including a 50-yarder midway through the third quarter which answered an Atlanta touchdown drive. The Dolphins also scored touchdowns on all three of their trips to the red zone giving Miami seven touchdowns on eight visits inside the 20 this season.
Finally, Miami managed to remain very disciplined committing just two penalties for 13 yards in the victory.
The stout Miami defensive front was pushed around for much of the day allowing a season-high 146 yards rushing in the victory. The Dolphins' secondary also had no answer for Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, who finished the day with nine receptions for 115 yards.
For the second time in three weeks, wide receiver Mike Wallace, Miami's biggest acquisition of the offseason, had a woefully quiet day finishing with just two catches for 22 yards.
The Miami Dolphins also had multiple turnovers for the first time this season as Tannehill was intercepted once and also lost a fumble in the victory.
The Miami Dolphins' offense was very efficient in the first half, but was unable to get onto the field thanks to the way that Atlanta was able to keep the ball away from the Dolphins. The Falcons won the time of possession battle by more than 14 minutes, but the discrepancy in the first half was nearly a 16-minute advantage in favor of Atlanta. Miami held the ball for just over seven minutes in the first two quarters.
The Falcons scored on each of their first four possessions to open the game as well. The Dolphins did not force a single punt until midway through the third quarter.
The Dolphins also went without a sack after recording nine over the first two weeks while the Miami offensive front allowed five sacks to an Atlanta defense that had just two entering the day.