Offensive Rank (Total Yards): 21st
Defensive Rank (Total Yards): 19th
Offensive Rank (Total Yards): 11th
Defensive Rank (Total Yards): 27th
Keys to the Game
Get after Matt Ryan
Take advantage of a weak secondary
Limit explosion plays
If Matt Ryan has all day to throw he will shred the Dolphins secondary. With the bumps and bruises Miami currently has in the secondary, they could already be down to their third and fourth corners behind Brent Grimes. It will be up to Cam Wake and Co. to put pressure on Ryan.
The Falcons also have a young and inexperienced secondary coming into Sunday’s game. Ryan Tannehill could have a career day with his newly acquired weapons. Now that Mike Wallace had a great day in Indianapolis last week teams realize he truly is a weapon for Miami. Don’t be surprised if Charles Clay has another big receiving day.
Julio Jones is tall, fast and has great hands. Those qualities lead to one explosive player who makes big plays. Brent Grimes needs to blanket Jones all day while receiving help over the top from Miami’s underrated safety duo in Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons.
Get Gonzalez the ball
Be multidimensional on offense
Help the secondary with a good pass rush
Tony Gonzalez could reek havoc on the Dolphins if they don’t plan for him. If Miami starts doubling Julio Jones with a corner and a safety that will open up the middle of the field for Gonzalez. Event without Jackson in the backfield the Falcons are a threat on offense.
Without the running of Jackson the Falcons can score, but they are not as effective. Jackson brings consistent balance to the Falcons offense, but he will not be playing this week. The Falcons backups will need to step their game up this weekend.
The Falcons secondary has two rookie corners. They will get eaten up fast if the front seven does not produce a solid pass rush. Wallace, Hartline and Gibson will go to town on the Falcons secondary without some help.
Prediction: Miami 27 Atlanta 20
Miami is hot right now and has the better defense in this one. Ryan Tannehill has gotten off to a fast start this season and should throw for over 300 yards this week. This could be a great day for Miami’s offense. The Falcons can put up points, but not against a defense with a front seven like the Dolphins.