All the excitement from last week’s offensive triumph quickly left Sun Life Stadium in the opening minutes of last night’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Inconsistent play, dropped passes, missed tackles, poor blocking, and a string of other mistakes seemed to plague the Miami Dolphins during the first half. Miami’s offensive line surrendered to Atlanta’s pass rush and run defense almost from the first play.
And Coach Sparano wasn’t happy.
“We played sloppy, inconsistent,” said coach Tony Sparano, whose eight-game preseason win streak was brought to an end. “At times we did some pretty decent things, but couldn’t finish. There was always something un-executed, one thing or the other, on our side of the ball.”
Miami’s defense and special teams played better at times. But still, the inconsistency was very apparent. Miami’s pass rush didn’t seem to make a dent in Atlanta’s offensive line. Atlanta’s QB Matt Ryan seemed rarely flustered, let alone pressured. Ryan finished with 103 passing yards and an 18-yard touchdown while leading scoring drives of 60 and 54 yards.
The Dolphins’ starting defense also allowed the Falcons to convert eight-of-14 third down situations in the first half, while the Falcons held the ball for more than 33 minutes of the game.
But still, every cloud has a silver lining. Miami had several players who showed their athleticism. Vontae Davis had an effective game. He broke up several passes, had seven tackles, and forced a fumble.
In addition, Brandon Marshall continued to show his value. He had completions of 26 and 20 yards in the final 45 seconds of the first half, giving the Dolphins a first down at the 7.
Also, newly acquired CB Benny Sapp saw action on special teams and at nickel corner despite missing almost all practices. He made a great play on punt coverage as he beat two blockers to the ball and hit the returner.
Finally, WR Marlon Moore really helped his cause for making the team. On one play, he flashed by defenders on an end around and rushed for 12 yards to grab a Dolphins’ first down.
In summary, the game wasn’t pretty. But its still only preseason, and the Dolphins have two more weeks to make adjustments.
I’ll be at next week’s preseason finale in Dallas. I look forward to seeing an improved performance, first hand.
Please click on Comment above or below the article to add any feedback. Have a great week Fins Fans!
Eric Salazar is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author. Read more of Eric at Fins Fans: A Blog for True Dolphins Fans .
Join in the discussion on this and other topics in the NEW Sports Jabber Forums!