The Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins go head-to-head in week three of the NFL preseason. Both teams are coming off losses and will look to right the ship in the exhibition game that will showcase the starters.
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The Falcons have opened up the offense this year and are focusing on passing the ball. In the last outing Ryan completed 18 of those attempts for 174 yards and a touchdown. He connected with nine different receivers and had completions of 20-plus yards to four of them.
Coach Mike Smith says his starters will play past halftime in this game and could go into the third quarter. The problem for the Falcons has been the secondary and second half collapses.
The Falcons have had letdowns in the second half of both football games in the preseason which has led to a 0-2 record against the spread.
The Falcons also have offensive line depth issues. Will Svitek is out for the year with what coaches are calling an upper-arm injury. Svitek was No. 2 on the depth chart at left tackle entering this season and his injury now leaves the Falcons asking questions.
Starting left tackle Sam Baker is set as the starter for the Falcons. But if something happens to him, his two backups are rookie Lamar Holmes and second-year lineman Michael Johnson, who is transitioning to play tackle. The Dolphins have some issues as well, but have announced their starting quarterback.
Ryan Tannehill will get the call as the starter for the Miami Dolphins. Coach Joe Philbin is confident in his young quarterback and the passing attack will be the main focus of the Dolphins offense.
Matt Moore will come in for relief of Tannehill and he will have something to prove as he was overlooked yet again as a starter. Moore has the support of the team.
Whatever is going on in Mooreâ€™s gut will have to be tamped down for a while. Heâ€™s managed it before, including the time in 2010 when rookie Jimmy Clausen, an inferior talent, took his job.
â€œNow we have the best backup in the league,â€ Miami tight end Anthony Fasano said.
Pat Devlin should clean up at the end and it could be argued that has played better than Moore or Tannehill in the preseason. Because of this, the Dolphins are the best bet in this game.
The Falcons new pass-first offense has struggled in the red-zone. In seven trips to the red zone this preseason, the Falcons have scored just three touchdowns and managed two field goals. Combine that with poor secondary play and offensive line depth issues and the Falcons will not compete late in this game and the Dolphins will win outright.
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