After nine consecutive preseason wins, the Dolphins lost their first preseason game since Tony Sparano's head coaching debut back in 2008. Neither team looked particularly good. But in the end, the Falcons were able to get into the endzone twice en route to a 16-6 win.
Here are my three initial thoughts on tonight's game:
- I guess Vontae Davis was the only player who got the memo about a game being played tonight. Vontae was outstanding all night - a good sign for sure. But what about the rest of the secondary? Jason Allen proved tonight that he is not a starting NFL corner. And if the Dolphins were looking to showcase him, that didn't work. Sean Smith, meanwhile, didn't play much better. He was beaten badly on a double move by Roddy White. Luckily, Matt Ryan looked terrible tonight and missed the open receiver - one of his many misfires. If Ryan was on target, this game could have gotten ugly.
- At what point do we worry about the Dolphins' ground game? Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams combined for a whopping 14 yards on 12 carries. The starting offensive line created absolutely no running lanes for these guys - consistently getting shoved backwards. I know we all have assumed the Dolphins will be able to run the football this year. But at some point, they need to actually - you know - run the football effectively.
- Drops, drops, and more drops by Miami's receivers. I counted at least four drops between Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, and Anthony Fasano. Can anyone explain to me why these guys who have had damn good hands in the past suddenly can't hang onto the football? I just don't get it.
I'll have the usual wrap-up story to follow in a day or two. But for now, I want to know what you all are thinking after this disappointing performance in what was supposed to be the "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, which is just two weeks away.
[Injury updates: Joey Haynos was seen on crutches and wearing an air cast on his right foot. He will go for tests tomorrow. Jake Grove had an icepack on his left shoulder after the game but that doesn't seem major. Karlos Dansby said he got hit in the knee and just wanted to have it checked out after the game. He had a precautionary x-ray but said he's fine.]