Depth at WR stood out late in the game with great efforts from Damore’ea Stringfellow, Francis Owusu and Leonte Carroo.
The offensive line held up enough for the aforementioned WR’s to get open and backup QB’s Brandon Doughty and David Fales to find them although they both also threw interceptions. Matt Moore played a very limited role along with the starting WR’s of which only DeVante Parker had made the solo catch from Moore of the bunch on a slant route.
Brandon Doughty hit Leonte Carroo for a TD. Then David Fales lead late drives with Francis Owusu making an acrobatic catch. Followed by Damore’ea Stringfellow taking one 99 yards when the Miami Dolphins were backed up late in the game. The Falcons picked things up from the last Super Bowl losing the game with a lead. The Miami Dolphins were down 20-16 with nine minutes and somehow won it 23-20.
It wasn’t all rosy though. Second round pick LB Raekwon McMillan suffered a torn ACL in his first and only play of the game and so far his NFL career. That play was a punt coverage where things got tight in traffic with McMillan getting caught up with his own player and taking a bad angle.
It was reminiscent of former Miami Dolphins QB Pat White also a second round pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He also had his season end as a starter before it began by running OB on a play and getting a hit that would put him out before even completing his first regular season pass. The end result should be the opposite with these two as everyone expects the young McMillan to pick up where he left off the next coming season.
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Many will get after the running game or lack of it. But is that easy to interpret with the state of this offensive line? The projected LG is gone for most if not all of the season. And the anchor of the line at center won’t be playing much during the preseason and rightly so.
When Mike Pouncey plays along with whoever gets sorted out at LG and the running game should falter, then that will carry
If there was a silver lining for the running game it might be Kenyan Drake keeping his run average over five yards which he had all of last season.
The highlight of Brandon Doughty and Leonte Carroo a 33-yard touchdown catch.
Damore’ea Stringfellow takes it 99 yards from David Fales
Charles Harris: was able to keep that quick first step that he has had all offseason getting in on some QB pressures.
Davon Godchaux: he has striven for consistency and so far has shown it. This is what a team looking to start getting better at stopping the run wants from the DT position. He had a would be sack negated by his own penalty. Has to learn to keep paws off face masks.
William Hayes: was strong stopping running plays and was the selling point for the Miami Dolphins bringing him on board.
Still missing in action
Defense reacting to misdirection play: When I saw this play It looked the same as last season. The defense looked just as lost with what seemed like no answer to stopping the Falcons offense. It made me wonder if the Miami Dolphins defense even had practiced for this with all that time to get ready. Well there is one more day to do so on Saturday and they should really focus on this.
Tackling: There where players brought in to address this problem. Although many of those players didn’t play for long, those that did play missed key tackles. Most notably on a play that was a called back TD the Falcons had. Also Xavien Howard and Kiko Alonso failed to even make an effort at touching down a Falcon WR who was on the turf one play, the receiver was able to get up and gain almost twenty more yards.
Storm Johnson looked good on returns taking one kickoff return for 44-yards and a fumble recovering on a kickoff. Otherwise special teams looked lackluster aside from a forced fumble and recovery along with some luck on recovering a few more fumbles that was on the Falcons for the most part.
Alterraun Verner had a nice pass breakup and was solid for most other plays. He is in this column from being in the Shadow of Bobby McCain leading up to the preseason. Cordrea Tankersley is also in the same light and he had a nice game with six tackles and broke up a 3rd down pass which forced a field goal and also made a tackle on a special teams kickoff.
Jakeem Grant: making a transition to outside receiver has shown some skills there and also kept that handle on all the punt returns so far.
Cameron Malveaux: ended a Falcons drive with a third down sack.
Next on tap are the Ravens for game two of the preseason. The starters should all play a little more and assuming Jay Cutler gets caught up on his end, he should play also. He did look good in his only day of practice.