The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons have battled through a field goal filled first half tonight in a wet Sun Life Stadium. The Falcons take a 9-3 lead into the locker room, but it's been a first half of optimism for the Dolphins.
The Miami Defense has shown up for the first time this preseason. The secondary is still a little shaky, but the defense has done a nice job of stopping the Falcons on third downs, leading to one punt and three field goals. Gary Guyton has played well, starting in place of Kevin Burnett, while Cameron Wake has returned to being a force after a week off, tallying two sacks in the first half.
Meanwhile, the offense has been hit and miss. Ryan Tannehill has looked like a rookie at time, making the wrong throw, or holding onto the ball too long. Unfortunately, when Tannehill is showing the potential that made him the eighth overall pick this year, the receivers seem to be letting him down. Anthony Fasano has had a couple of bad drops, and Clyde Gates has been out on the field - at least we can say that much.
If it weren't for Davone Bess making four catches for 59 yards, Fasano would lead the team with two receptions on six targets. Someone has to step up in the passing game if the Dolphins are going to find success.
On the other hand, the running game made an appearance tonight. With Daniel Thomas leading the way in the first half with five carries for 26 yards, a 5.2 yard per carry average. Reggie Bush added another five carries for 17 yards. The Dolphins have carried the ball 13 times (12 if you take out a Tannehill scramble), almost half their total rushes in the first two preseason games.
If one player cemented his role on the team in the first half, Jorvorskie Lane may have done just that. He only carried the ball one time, but his one reception for ten yards. Short and round, Lane rand through a defender in route to that 10 yard gain like a bowling ball through pins. It was simply gorgeous.
The second half should see most of the Dolphins starters return to the field, at least for a portion of the third quarter. Hopefully they can fix some of their issues in the locker room, find the end zone early in the third period, and get off the field feeling good.
Enjoy the rest of the game.