With the Falcons’ 23-6 win over the Miami Dolphins on Friday night, Atlanta snapped the NFL’s longest preseason losing streak at seven games. The Falcons put up 362 yards of offense, including 293 through the air. The discrepancy further suggests Atlanta is trending towards a more aerial team instead of relying on 30-year-old Michael Turner at halfback.
For the third consecutive game, Matt Ryan was solid, throwing for 220 yards on 18-of-26 passing. He connected with Roddy White on a 20-yard touchdown score amidst strong coverage from the Dolphins. The third preseason game is often referred to as the dress rehearsal for the regular season but it’s also one more opportunity for reserve players to prove they belong on the 53-man roster.
Dominique Davis, QB
At this point, it would be a shock if Davis doesn’t at least make the Falcons' final roster. Why stop there? After last Thurdsay’s game vs. Cincinnati, Tony Gonzalez even suggested Davis was in the hunt for Matt Ryan’s backup duties. Davis did nothing to dissuade that notion as he made the most of his three attempts on Friday. The undrafted free agent connected with wideout Tim Toone on a 39-yard touchdown strike halfway through the fourth quarter. So far this preseason, Davis has been 19 of 32 for two touchdowns and an interception.
Lamar Holmes, LT
Holmes played in his first game for the Falcons after missing much of the preseason recovering from a broken toe. Aside from one false start penalty, Holmes was solid while playing alongside the second-teamers. The Falcons’ biggest area of concern coming into camp was on the O-line but solid play from Holmes would pacify the unease of losing LT Will Svitek for the season.
Michael Turner, RB
Turner said coming into Friday night’s game that he wanted to have a better showing than in the first two exhibition games. Although Turner likely won’t see 300 attempts this season like he’s had in three of the last four years, he showed Friday that he’s still capable of grinding out yards on the ground. Turner rushed 10 times for 35 yards, easily his most significant work of the preseason. More interesting however, is the Falcons’ continued use of Turner as a receiver. He’s now caught three passes in the last two games, highlighting one more dimension Dirk Koetter’s offense. In total, three running backs had six catches for 76 yards on Friday night.
Of note: Akeem Dent, playing his first game since sustaining a concussion against the Ravens in the first exhibition game, recorded three solo tackles at the starting MLB position.
“It went all right,” Konz said after the game to Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com. “Forgive me if I don’t sound excited, because I did give up a sack. There were a couple plays where I could’ve done better.”
While holding the Dolphins to just six points and 246 yards of total offense is an accomplishment, Miami rookie QB Ryan Tannehill was starting his first game under center and received minimal help from his receivers, who had numerous dropped passes.
It also wasn’t the ideal weather as a torrential rainstorm hindered play the majority of the second half.
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