By: John Wickham
It was a scenario that has unfolded countless times. The Falcons have a half-time lead and sit on it and allow the other team to get back in the game. But the offense has come through time and time again. Unfortunately for Falcon fans for the second time this season they have come up on the losing end.
To me the defense did its job with 5 sacks and 2 turnovers (1 int, 1 fumble recovery). The defense held the Dolphins to under 100 yards rushing and held Mike Wallace to 2 catches for 22 yards. The guy who seemed to get picked on the most was NB Robert McClain. He had a tough day going against the Dolphins’ slot receiver Brandon Gibson, who had 6 catches for 49 yards. The touchdown to Brian Hartline was a breakdown in coverage by rookie CB Desmond Trufant and NB Robert McClain. The other passing TD was LB Stephen Nicholas biting hard on the play-fake and letting the TE get behind him. The rushing TD was poor tackling.
On offense the Falcons enforced their will with the run game. Jacquizz Rodgers had 86 yards rushing, Jason Snelling had 53 and Julio Jones chipped in with 7. After coming out of half-time with the lead and Mike Smith proclaiming that we would continue running the ball, we had 12 of our 30 runs in the second half. In the second half we had 2 possessions where a run was not called. One was with 38 seconds left and needing a TD so obviously no runs were probably going to be called but the other was a possession in the 3rd quarter with about 4:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter. A 3-and-out ensued and the defense end up forcing a 3-and-out but a fumble on the punt return gives the ball back to the Dolphins who end up scoring a TD.
Next for the Falcons is a Sunday night home game against the New England Patriots. They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ran for over 150 yards and had WRs actually caught the ball this week. Tom Brady is still very good and I can see this being a shoot-out. If the Falcons on offense can run the ball as effectively as they did against the Dolphins and protect Matt Ryan