Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins: Live Grades and Analysis for Miami

Thomas GaliciaContributor IISeptember 22, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Center Mike Pouncey #51 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates a touchdown by teammate Daniel Thomas against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins prevailed over the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 27-23 in a game that at times looked like it was dominated by the Falcons. 

Miami moves to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 2002, tied for first in the AFC East. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill also registered the second fourth quarter comeback in his young career. 


Game analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: There was shakiness thanks to two third quarter turnovers by Ryan Tannehill. But boy, did he recover. The touchdown pass to Dion Sims was thrown as perfectly as you could throw it, and Tannehill orchestrated a drive that not only gave Miami the lead, but also left the Falcons with less than 40 seconds left to score.

Not a great game from Tannehill stats-wise, but he delivered the victory and the kill.  

Run Offense: Miami's run offense had its best day, statistically speaking, but keep in mind that more than half of the 91 yards the Dolphins running game gained came from one run in the second quarter by Lamar Miller 

Run Defense: They got sliced, diced and just plain dominated by the Falcons running game, which averaged 4.9 yards per carry en route to 146 yards rushing. 

Pass Defense: The pass defense actually only had one problem: Julio Jones. Well, make that two problems: Matt Ryan wasn't put under any pressure until the end. 

But in the end, the pass defense helped win the game for the Dolphins, specifically Jimmy Wilson's interception to end the game.  

Special Teams: Pretty solid game from the special teams department, overall. 

Coaching: The play-calling was frustrating until the final drive for Miami, which was masterful in planning, but not execution. 

Screw it, this coaching staff deserves an A for keeping an even keel, keeping the team focused and winning the game. 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Brandon Gibson #10 of the Miami Dolphins reacts to a first down during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

First-half analysis for the Miami Dolphins

Pass Offense: You really can't complain about the Dolphins pass offense, which thus far has been efficient with Ryan Tannehill completing seven out of nine passes for 79 yards. Good final drive of the half as well, which started from their own 12. 

Run Offense: The lone bright spot of the afternoon so far has been Miami's rushing offense, which is responsible for its lone touchdown of the game, as well as the biggest play of the afternoon for the Dolphins (a 50-yard run by Lamar Miller in the second quarter).

Run Defense: So far the worst aspect of the Dolphins' game today. The Falcons aren't known as a running team, yet in the first half they have already managed to rush for 97 yards on 19 carries, sustaining long drives and keeping the Dolphins offense off the field. 

Pass Defense: Matt Ryan has had all afternoon in the pocket to pick apart the Dolphins defense, and he's done it with ease by completing 15-of-17 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.  

Special Teams: Stupid idea by Marcus Thigpen to try to return a kickoff that was about eight yards deep, which pinned Miami at the 12 for its last drive.  

Coaching: I want to see defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle get more creative in attempting to shut down Atlanta's running game; his schemes are not working. (Not having the personnel to run those schemes certainly doesn't help, though.) As for the offense, so far so good, and again the Dolphins are well disciplined, committing zero penalties all game.