The first half was ugly for Miami, who struggled to move the ball, and could not seem to stop the Atlanta rushing attack. Atlanta struck first with a seven yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Jason Snelling, then added a field goal two minutes into the second period to take an early 10-0 lead.
Miami answered with a Daniel Thomas five yard touchdown run just a few minutes later, only to see Atlanta connect on a 20-yard field goal and extend the lead to 13-7. Miami's rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis connected from 46-yards as time expired in the first half to cut the lead to 13-10.
The second half did not start well, either, as Ryan Tannehill fumbled away the ball on just the second snap of the half, giving Matt Ryan and the Falcons a 12-yard drive for a touchdown.
And, then the team turned it around. The Dolphins would score twice in the third quarter, a 50-yard field goal from Sturgis followed by an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline. The fourth quarter saw the Falcons retake the lead from the 20-20 tie, adding a field goal to lead by three.
Then the magic of Ryan Tannehill's development kicked in. With 4:46 left in the game, the Dolphins got the ball back, down three, after a missed field goal by Atlanta. Tannehill hit Lamar Miller on a two yard pass on 1st and 10 from the 25 yard line. then a seven yard pass to Rishard Matthews, backed up by a nine yarder to Matthews.
With the ball now on the 43 yard line, Tannehill was incomplete on first down on a deep pass attempt to Brandon Gibson. Michael Egnew caught his first NFL pass on 2nd down, going eight yards. On third and two, Tannehill connected with Gibson for 10 yards.
With the ball at the Atlanta 39, Tannehill handed the ball to Lamar Miller for six yards, then was incomplete deep to Miller on 2nd down. Third and four saw Tannehill complete to Brandon Gibson, who got knocked back behind the first down marker, but ran back across it before stepping out of bounds.
First and 10 from the Atlanta 29 now saw Tannehill incomplete to Charles Clay, who clearly looked up field before securing the pass. On 2nd down, however, Tannehill came right back to the H-back, gaining 21 yards.
On 1st and goal from the eight yard line, Tannehill connected to Brandon Gibson for seven yards.
And, finally, on 2nd and goal from the one yard line, the team lined up in a jumbo package, then split Lamar Miller out wide. Tannehill found Dion Sims in the back of the end zone for the game winning touchdown pass, a pass caught with just one arm and Sims was held by the defender.
The Dolphins left just 38 second on the clock for Matt Ryan, who was incomplete on his first pass attempt, then threw an interception to cornerback/safety Jimmy Wilson to secure the win.
The Dolphins are now 3-0 on the season, while the Falcons drop to 1-2. The Dolphins face the New Orleans Saints on the road on Monday Night Football next week.