Falcons vs Dolphins: Atlanta's Biggest Winners & Losers from Preseason Week 3

Drew Tull@@drewtullContributor IIAugust 25, 2012

Falcons vs Dolphins: Atlanta's Biggest Winners & Losers from Preseason Week 3

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    The Atlanta Falcons got the first preseason win of the year over the Miami Dolphins.

    The defense led the team to their first win which ends a seven game losing streak in the preseason. 

    Like any preseason game, there were a lot of good and a lot of bad things to take away from this game.

    Ten players stood out to me as either "winners" or "losers."

    Here is a quick breakdown of those 10 players and why they played like a "winner" or "losers". 

Winner: T Lamar Holmes

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    Rookie tackle Lamar Holmes did very well at in relief of left tackle Sam Baker.

    He played against the second-team, but still did a very good job of handling the pass rush in his first action of the preseason.  

    He may not contribute much this season, but he could be the future at left tackle or right tackle.

Loser: Pass Coverage vs Ryan Tannehill

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    The Falcons really didn't play that poorly on Friday overall but the pass coverage could have been better.

    The Dolphins had a rookie quarterback with no real receiving threat, and with no one to throw to, it should have been shut down. 

    Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano dropped three passes, including one that was a sure touchdown.

    WR Davone Bess won the battle against CB Dunta Robinson.  While Bess only caught four balls, he did all of his work against Robinson.

    It wasn't an awful overall performance I just expected more from this group.

Winner: G Peter Konz

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    In addition to Lamar Holmes, fellow rookie offensive guard Peter Konz looked great.  

    He rotated in with Garrett Reynolds at the right guard spot throughout the first half, Konz saw plenty of action against the Miami Dolphins’ starters.

    Despite giving up a sack, Konz is threatening to unseat the veteran Reynolds.  

    He was a standout blocking on screen passes with the first-team offense. 

Loser: O-Line vs Cameron Wake

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    There is no denying that Dolphins' defensive end Cameron Wake is dominant.  

    The bigger concern is that he did most of his damage against RT Tyson Clabo who is suppose to be the one person the Falcons shouldn't have to worry about.  

    The offensive line is one of the biggest areas of concern for the Falcons and giving up two sacks to Wake just highlights it. 

Winner: K Matt Bryant

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    While the Atlanta Falcons offense sputtered to score in the first half kicker Matt Bryant stepped up.

    He kicked three field goals to give the Falcons a 9-3 lead heading into halftime.

    All of Bryant’s kicks against the Dolphins were from 40-plus yards out, and his final before the end of the half was good from 51.

    Bryant made 27-of-29 field goals in 2011 so this shouldn't be a surprise to fans.

Loser: Falcons Third-Down Conversions

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    QB Matt Ryan and the offense seemed to settle down as the game progressed, but the Falcons struggled on third-down.

    Ryan finished 18-of-26 for 220 yards and one touchdown, Dominique Davis went 2-of-3 for 53 yards and Chris Redman went 4-of-7 for 36 yards which is a solid night for the passing game.

    The telling stat is that the team only went 6-of-16 on third downs for a 37.5 completion percentage.

    This stat should improve as Ryan gets more comfortable in the new offense but it deserves to be monitored.

Winner: Michael Turner's Pass-Catching

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    Yes, I said Michael Turner and pass-catching in the same sentence as a positive thing.

    With Dirk Koetter's new up-tempo offense the team seems bent on turning Michael Turner into a threat in the passing game.  

    He has never been asked to be a threat out of the backfield but you wouldn't have know that based off of his performance last night.

    In the first half Friday night, he caught three passes for 36 yards. Turner got 10 carries for 35 yards as well.

Loser: PR Dominique Franks

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    CB/PR Dominique Franks has been competing for the starting punt return duties but did nothing to separate himself on Friday night.  

    He returned two punts for four yards.

    WR Tim Toone replaced him and averaged 10.5 yards on his two returns.

    I see Franks needing to have a great game next week to earn a roster spot let alone the starting punt returner duties.  

Winner: QB Dominique Davis

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    For the second straight week backup QB Dominique Davis had a strong showing.

    He was only 2-of-3 passing but had 53 yards and one touchdown.

    In the fourth quarter, Davis connected with wide receiver Tim Toone in stride for a 39-yard touchdown which was the highlight of the game.

    Davis may have cemented his spot as the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Ryan.

Loser: QB Chris Redman

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    The incumbent backup quarterback is Chris Redman, but he is falling behind Davis.  

    His line of 4-of-7 for 36 yards was very average and he might be kept as the veteran third quarterback.

    John Parker Wilson did not see any action and seems on the chopping block for the first wave of roster cuts.