The Miami Dolphins have limped their way to a disappointing 1-5 record to start the 2021 NFL season. It has been ugly for a team that was supposed to be a playoff contender this season, with so many questions about how the roster has been built, the game planning and play calling, and the direction of the team suddenly dominating every discussion of the Dolphins. If the team is going to turn 2021 into anything other than a complete failure, they have to start executing this week.
Facing the Dolphins on Sunday will be the Atlanta Falcons. Not exactly setting the world on fire, the Falcons are still a younger team trying to rebuild around veteran quarterback Matt Ryan. They are coming off their bye week, giving them time to rest, get healthy, and prepare to face Miami, who lost last week in London.
According to DraftKings sportsbook, the Falcons come into this game as a two-point favorite.
This could be the game that springs a team forward and back into respectability. This could also be the game that ends any thought of success in 2021 and sends a team into 2022 planning. Somehow it is only Week 7.
We set you up for the game with the information you need and the key stats for the contest.
Game: Atlanta Falcons (2-3) at Miami Dolphins (1-5)
Date/Time: Oct. 24, 2021 / 1pm ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
Series Leader: Dolphins lead 9-4
Streak: Dolphins won last two
Coaches vs. Opponent: Arthur Smith (0-0), Brian Flores (0-0)
TV Broadcast: FOX (Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jennifer Hale); NFL Sunday Ticket Channel 709
Radio Broadcast: Dolphins Radio Network, including WQAM 560 AM, KISS 99.9 FM, and WQBA 1140 AM (Spanish) in Dade/Broward; WUUB 106.3 FM and WEFL 760 AM (Spanish) in West Palm/Treasure Coast; ESPN 580 AM in Orlando; WRXK 96 FM in Ft. Myers; WPSL 1590 AM in Port St. Lucie; WKWF 1600 AM in Key West; Broadcasters are Jimmy Cefalo, Joe Rose, and Jason Taylor. Sirius channels: 106 (Bills), 119 (Dolphins); XM Channels: 803 (Bills), 819 (Dolphins)
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms, 85°F degrees
Odds: Falcons -2 | 48.0 O/U (via DraftKings Sports Book)
Referee: Scott Novak
- Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 342 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 109.7 rating in Week 5 & became 2nd-fastest quarterback (Drew Brees) to reach 5,000 career completions (210 games). Has 57,099 pass yards & surpassed Eli Manning (57,023) for 8th-most in NFL history. Aims for his 4th in row with 100+ rating & 5th in row with 2+ TD passes.
- Running back Cordarrelle Patterson had 7 catches & 114 scrimmage yards (60 rec., 54 rush) in Week 5. Aims for his 4th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards & 5th in row with 5+ receptions. Had rec. TD in his last game at Miami (12/9/18 w/ New England Patriots) & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Miami with TD catch.
- Running back Mike Davis rushed for 53 yards & TD in Week 5. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD.
- Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is one of two wide receivers (Cooper Kupp) with an active streak of 10+ consecutive games (12) with 5+ receptions. Aims for his 7th in row on road with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. AFC.
- Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts set career-highs in receptions (9), rec. yards (119) & had his 1st career rec. TD in Week 5. Became 1st rookie TE since Jordan Reed (10/20/13) with 9+ catches, 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD in single game.
- Linebacker Deion Jones had 11 tackles & INT in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row with 5+ tackles.
- Linebacker Jacon Tuioti-Mariner had 2nd sack of season in Week 5.
- Linebacker Foyesade Oluokun aims for his 11th in row on road with 5+ tackles. \
- Cornerback A.J. Terrell had 4th-career FF in Week 5.
- Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed season-high 33 of 47 passes (70.2 pct.) for season-high 329 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 95.1 rating last week, 3rd-career game with 300+ pass yards.
- Running back Myles Gaskin aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC with TD. Has 90+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC.
- Tight end Mike Gesicki had 8 catches for season-high 115 yards last week, 2nd-career game with 100+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches in 3 of past 4.
- Tight end Durham Smythe had 5 catches for career-high 59 yards in Week 6.
- Rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle had 10 catches for season-high 70 yards & 2 TDs last week. Is only rookie with 10+ catches in 2 games this season. Leads all rookies with 37 catches.
- Wide receiver DeVante Parker has 65+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC South. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC.
- Wide receiver Mack Hollins set season highs in catches (4) & rec. yards (61) last week. Had 5 catches for 50 yards in only career game vs. Atl. (9/15/19 w/ Phi.).
- Cornerback Xavien Howard aims for his 5th in row with PD. Has 4 PD in his past 2 at home. Since 2020, ties for NFL lead with 11 INTs.
- Linebacker Jerome Baker aims for 3rd in row with 7+ tackles. Aims for 3rd in row at home with PD.
- Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel had PD & season-high 6 tackles last week. Has TFL in 2 of past 3.
- Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah had sack & PD last week & has sack in 2 of past 3. Had half sack in only career game vs. Atl. (11/11/18 w/ Cle.).
- Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins had sack & 1st-career FF in Week 6. Has TFL in 2 of past 3 at home.
Patriots vs. Dolphins 2021 Week 18 Leaders
|W, 50-10 vs. JAguars||Last Week||L, 34-2 at Titans|
|27.4 (8th)||Points For||19.3 (24th)|
|351.8 (16th)||Offense (Yards per game)||307.6 (25th)|
|Mac Jones (R) (332/491, 3,540 yds, 21 TD, 12 INT, 92.5 rate)||Passing Leader||Tua Tagovailoa (248/366, 2,544 yds, 15 TD, 10 INT, 89.8 rate)|
|Damien Harris (191 carries, 892 yds, 4.7 avg, 14 TD)||Rushing Leader||Myles Gaskin (172 carries, 613 yds, 3.6 avg, 3 TD)|
|Jacobi Meyers (71 rec, 796 yds, 10.1 avg, 2 TD)||Receiving Leader||Jaylen Waddle (R) (99 rec, 988 yds, 10.0 avg, 5 TD)|
|16.9 (1st)||Points Against||21.8 (16th)|
|311.6 (3rd)||Defense (Yards allowed per game)||334.9 (15th)|
|Matthew Judon (12.5)||Sacks||Emmanuel Ogbah (9)|
|J.C. Jackson (8)||Interceptions||Xavien Howard (4)|
|+10 (30/20)||Takeaway/Giveaway||-3 (23/26)|
|Jake Bailey (47.3 avg, 39.6 net avg)||Punting||Michael Palardy (44.3 avg, 39.7 net avg)|
|Nick Folk (144 pts (NFL lead), 39/44 PAT, 35/38 FG)||Kicking||Jason Sanders (94 pts, 31/32 PAT, 21/29 FG)|