Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Preseason Week 3 Recap: Dolphins Win Defensive Slugfest

Cameron Wake vs. Falcons Jim Rassol / The Sun Sentinel

(Miami, FL) — With limited scoring from both teams, the Miami Dolphins (1-2) hung on for their first win of the preseason with a 13-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (1-2) on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Although the offense wasn’t very sharp, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a successful night as he completed 15 of 19 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown pass. The score was the game’s only touchdown for either side, as Tannehill completed a two-yard pass to wideout Rishard Matthews with 3:32 left in the 2nd quarter.

“Guys are getting open and making plays for me down the field,” said Tannehill. “I’m making good decisions and getting the ball in the right spot. There are plays I don’t do perfectly, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction, and we have to build on what we’ve done.”

Miami second-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry, who had 84 catches for 758 yards and five touchdowns last season, led all players with five catches and 84 receiving yards, while running back Lamar Miller also had five catches to go along with 31 receiving yards.

Matt Moore, currently pencilled in as the backup quarterback with Miami, completed five of 10 passes for 68 yards, one interception and one lost fumble. The interception occurred at the beginning of the fourth quarter after Moore was hit during his throwing motion, allowing for an easy 41-yard interception return by Falcons linebacker Joplo Bartu.

“It has to be better,” said Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. “We didn’t make enough plays to score points.”

On defense, Miami forced two Atlanta turnovers and had six sacks on the night. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who completed three of seven passes for 37 yards, was sacked three times in four series by the Dolphins.

Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins and Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake recorded the three sacks of Ryan respectively.

“They got after the quarterback real well,” said Philbin about his defense. “He (Matt Ryan) had a hard time setting his feet, throwing the ball and looking downfield.”

Dolphins backup kicker Andrew Franks, who is challenging kicker Caleb Sturgis for a job, made both of his field goals from 32 and 51 yards. On the other sideline, Falcons veteran kicker Matt Bryant went three for three on his field goal attempts.

Up next, the Dolphins will conclude their preseason at Sun Life Stadium when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) on Thursday night. The contest, which is slated to kick off shortly after 7:00pm ET, will be broadcast nationally on NFL Network and live locally on CBS4 Miami.

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