So much of the focus of the Dolphins' struggles early against the Falcons on Friday night will be aimed at quarterback Chad Henne. The Dolphins' across the board could not find a rhythm against the Falcon's first team players, and quickly found themselves behind 17-0. If not for the success the team found against the second and third string Atlanta players, the Dolphins would have been badly embarrassed at the end of the night. Instead, the Dolphins escaped the Georgia Dome with a 28-23 victory.
But, shouldn't the Dolphins be able to find some success against the Falcons' top players? Especially Miami's vaunted defense - the team's strength?
So, what went wrong?
The defense allowed Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan to pick them apart. Ryan left the game with 6 completions on 10 passes, gaining 90 yards, and one touchdown.
But, the Dolphins strength on defense is stuffing the run, correct? Not last night. In the first quarter, the Falcons's running backs Michael Turner and Jason Snelling found 44 yards on just 9 carries. Included in Turner's night was a rushing touchdown, running through Dolphins' franchise player, nose tackle Paul Soliai.
It wasn't all bad for the Dolphins defense. Cornerback Benny Sapp dove for an interception in the second quarter, and rookie corner Jimmy Wilson sacked Atlanta quarterback John Parker Wilson, forcing a fumble, leading to a Dolphins touchdown. A.J. Edds and Jason Trusnik each added a sack of their own, while rookie cornerback sealed the win for Miami with a late interception.
So, what was the problem? Is the defense in trouble? Will they reach the lofty expectations of them? Or, is this just one preseason game, and we all need to calm down?