(Atlanta, GA) – After they trailed 17-0 on the road at halftime to the Atlanta Falcons (3-2), the Miami Dolphins (3-2) pulled off the most improbable win of the NFL season in when they stormed back in the second half to win 20-17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Dolphins star safety Reshad Jones, who grew up in Atlanta and played football at the University of Georgia, intercepted 2016 NFL MVP quarterback Matt Ryan deep in Miami territory with 39 seconds left in regulation to seal the comeback victory.
Jones spoke about the clutch interception after the game, which was the first pick for the Miami defense in five games this season.
“I just kept my eyes on the ball and made a great play,” Jones said. “We’ve got a lot of veteran guys and young guys that are emerging.”
The Dolphins were anemic yet again on offense in the first half. Quarterback Jay Cutler was picked off in the red zone by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones with 1:04 left in the first half with Miami already down 17-0.
“Guys didn’t lose focus. We overcame some third-and-longs and we overcame some third-and-shorts,” Cutler said. “But each and every play, we moved to the next play and we executed it.”
For the Dolphins, running back Jay Ajayi kept Miami drives on offense alive as he rushed for 130 yards on 26 carries, his second game this season in which he rushed over the century mark.
“I think the biggest thing that we stressed all week was it was really about our strain and finish,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said after the game during his press conference.
After two consecutive home losses to the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 and now Miami this week, the Falcons are now 3-2 in a very competitive NFC South division.
“You can’t replay the game that was in the Super Bowl,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said after Sunday’s game. “But what you can do is control what we have now.”
Ryan, who completed 24-of-35 pass attempts for 248 yards on the day, threw his lone touchdown pass late in the first quarter when he burned the Dolphins’ defense deep for a 40-yard strike to wide receiver Marvin Hall.
Up next, the Dolphins will look to build on their two-game winning streak when they return home to Hard Rock Stadium next Sunday to host their AFC East rival New York Jets (3-3), who beat the Dolphins 20-6 earlier this season in Week 3. The contest, which is scheduled to kick off shortly after 1:00 p.m. ET, will be broadcast regionally on CBS.