MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) – The Miami Dolphins had an injury scare at the start of one of their new additions, then beat down an opponent they’ve become familiar with this week.
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 187 yards and a touchdown in one half, and the Dolphins beat the Atlanta Falcons 37-17 on Saturday night.
“I think our operation was really good offensively,” Tagovailoa said. âThe line came to the line of scrimmage and asserted its points. We went there and performed the play.
The Falcons rested their starters, while the Dolphins’ first unit played most of the first half of the second preseason game for the two teams, who participated in joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday at the training center in Miami.
“It’s the fun part of training and the decisions we make as an organization,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said of the decision to go for substitutes. âAnd that’s my experience. You should have time to develop the players. It is priceless.
Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, the No.6 selection in this year’s draft, avoided a serious injury on the team’s first down. Waddle winced in pain after his left leg collided with a Falcons defenseman. The Alabama recruit was checked in the medical tent and returned, but was not targeted again. Waddle caught three passes for 21 yards.
âWe have a great training staff so they looked at him and he came back,â Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. âHe’s a difficult kid. It’s part of playing in the National Football League. Every once in a while you will get ripped off.
Miami’s first two records resulted in touchdowns from Myles Gaskin. The ball carrier finished the first practice with a score of one meter. Gaskin totaled 57 of the Dolphins’ 75 yards on the way.
Tagovailoa connected with Gaskin on an 8-yard touchdown pass that gave Miami a 14-3 lead at 2:20 of the second quarter.
âI think we have prepared very well,â said Gaskin. âObviously practicing with these guys made us look great. “
Jacoby Brissett replaced Tagovailoa in the second half. Tagovailoa completed 16 of 23 assists.
With quarterback Matt Ryan seated, AJ McCarron and rookie Feleipe Franks took the shots for Atlanta. McCarron started off, but walked away with a right knee injury early in the second quarter. He will have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.
âUntil we have the last laugh, I don’t want to talk about injuries,â Smith said. “He didn’t look good.”
McCarron and Franks are vying for second place behind Ryan. Before his injury, McCarron was 3 of 6 for 43 yards, while Franks finished 4 of 9 for 46 yards and an interception.
Sam Eguavoen had four sacks for Miami, including one in the end zone for third quarter safety.
Miami dominated Atlanta 23-14 in the second half. Malcolm Brown scored on a one-yard run and Brissett joined Robert Foster from 8 yards. Third-string quarterback Reid Sinnett threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kirk Merritt.
Falcons running backs D’Onta Foreman and Caleb Huntley scored on touchdowns of 1 and 30 yards, respectively, in the second half.
Younghoe Koo’s 53-yard field goal peaked Atlanta’s first down for a 3-0 lead.
Eguavoen spent three days on the reserve-COVID-19 list and missed joint training with the Falcons. But he was cleared on Friday and activated for the game.
âIt’s always stressful not being able to train with your team at training camp,â said Eguavoen. âTwo days in the football world is like a month. When I came back everyone was like, ‘Hey where have you been, have you lost weight?
“Just being able to come back and still understand the parts, I was happy.”
EVERYONE IS WELCOME
After limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions last season, 57,217 tickets were handed out for Miami’s only preseason home game. The tailgating of the parking lot by fans, also banned in 2020, was in full swing four hours before kick-off.
MAKE AN PRINT
Huntley is hoping his long touchdown run will help secure a berth on the opening day roster. The returning rookie from Ball State is one of the Falcons’ backups who has been granted an extension.
âI’m just trying to go there everyday and give the best of myself and it will all fall into place,â Huntley said. âAt the end of the day, it’s a 100% effort.
The Falcons have signed free agent TE David Wells and placed TE Ryan Becker on the injured list. â¦ The Dolphins have placed LB Kylan Johnson on the COVID-19 reserve list. Johnson joined Miami as an undrafted free agent in April 2020 and spent the 2020 season on the practice squad.
Falcons: LB Errol Thompson has been assessed for a possible head injury.
Falcons: Return home for their preseason final against the Cleveland Browns next Sunday.
Dolphins: Close their pre-season program at the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.