By Matthew Asher
After winning their first game of the season on Sunday, the Falcons leave the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome and head to Sun Life Stadium to take on the surprisingly undefeated Miami Dolphins.
Bend But Don’t Break
Miami’s statistics are nothing special. In both offense and defense Miami ranks either in the middle or the bottom half of the league in nearly every statistic. The Dolphins give up almost 370 yards of total offense, with 279.5 yards through the air and 90 yards on the ground the 19th, 20th and 13th in the league, respectively.
However, they are one of the best when it comes to the one statistic that matters: points allowed. The Dolphins have allowed just 30 points in their first two games. The 15 points given up each game is currently the fourth lowest allowed in the NFL.
Miami has also done a good job of holding on to the football as well as taking it away. With four interceptions so far, Miami is tied with the Detroit Lions for second most and trails just the Denver Broncos for the most interceptions.
With a plus ranking in the turnover department, Miami has been able to hold the ball for more than 31 minutes a game, giving their offense ample opportunity to score.
Just Enough to Win
This is a common theme with the Dolphins. None of their statistics overall are very impressive, but they’ve been enough to start off the season with wins over the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts. Just like their defense, Miami ranks in the middle and bottom half in most statistical areas.
Miami’s 23.5 points scored a game is the 15th most. They gain 336.5 total yards of offense with 276 passing yards and 60.5 rushing yards which ranks the Dolphins 21st, 14th and 28th, respectively.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is off to a good start. Through two games he’s completed 65 percent of his throws for 591 yards, two touchdowns and just one interception for a 94.2 quarterback rating.
The running game has truly struggled in the first two games. The Fins top two rushers, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have a combined 40 rushing attempts for just 116 yards, averaging a paltry 2.9 yards per rush and two touchdowns.
Three of Miami’s wide receivers all have 10 or more receptions totaling more than 100 yards. Brian Hartline leads the team in both receptions and yards with 14 and 182, respectively to go along with one touchdown. Charles Clay’s 10 receptions total 163 yards and Mike Wallace’s 10 catches have earned him 130 yards and one touchdown.
Being in different conferences, Atlanta and Miami don’t play each other often. Miami leads the all-time series 7-4 but Atlanta has won the last two meetings. The last match up was in September 2009 with Atlanta winning 19-7. Matt Ryan threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns while Tony Gonzalez caught five passes for 73 yards and one touchdown.
Kickoff for this game will be at 4:05 ET.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.