Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons: Who won the key matchups?

 

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Dolphins red-zone defense

vs. Falcons red-zone offense

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill at end of halves vs. Falcons defense

Falcons running backs

vs. Dolphins tacklers

Dolphins red-zone defense

vs. Falcons red-zone offense

•  Who won: Dolphins

•  The impact: Up 10-7, the Falcons got to the Dolphins’ 2-yard line — but no farther after Dion Jordan stoned Jason Snelling for no gain on third down. With the score tied at 20, the Falcons got to the Dolphins’ 15 — but no farther after three incompletions. Up 23-20, the Falcons got to the Dolphins’ 17 — but no farther after the Dolphins hounded quarterback Matt Ryan into a throwaway. Those possessions resulted in two field goals instead of three touchdowns for the Falcons.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill at end of halves vs. Falcons defense

•  Who won: Dolphins

•  The impact: The 10 points on those two drives were perhaps the most important in the game. On both drives, Tannehill showed tremendous patience in not being too greedy and pace in clock management. On the first drive, which took the final 2:04 of the first half, he went 5 of 6 for 52 yards. That field goal kept the Dolphins in the game after Atlanta’s next score. The game-winning touchdown pass to Dion Sims ended a drive on which Tannehill went 9 for 12 for 69 yards.

Falcons running backs

vs. Dolphins tacklers

•  Who won: Falcons

•  The impact: With Steven Jackson out, running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling showed why that might not be such a big deal. They combined for 139 yards on 29 carries. Each averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Snelling caught four passes for 58 yards, including a shovel-pass TD. They repeatedly made the first Dolphins defender or two miss. Rodgers’ ability to cut and jerk one way or another left several players grabbing air. Snelling tended to plow through arm tackles.

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