While the Miami Dolphins managed to show their vulnerabilities early versus the Falcons during the first quarter, nothing could keep them from the win column. Even while covering future hall of famer tight end Tony Gonzalez, proved an adventure early on as he was able to show his presence with 4 catches on the openning drive. When Matt Ryan wasn't calling his number, the Falcons found their running game despite numerous injuries on their offensive line and at running back with carries by Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers.
However, the Dolphins merely trailed by 3 at the half and managed to wake up and excite the capacity crowd at Sun Life with a huge 50 yard Lamar Miller run.
Despite losing Cameron Wake after he was pulled down on a pass rush the Dolphins defense looked ill prepared to withstand their own home field advantage of heat and humidity.
In all, the Dolphins barely had the ball in the first half, but found a way to stay close down 13-10.
In the 4th quarter with the Dolphins down 3, the Dolphins managed to keep the game very close and with less than 5 minutes to play after an uncharacteristic Matt Ryan missed field goal.
On the ensuing drive, Ryan Tannehill, with his first chance to get a comeback win this season managed to drive the Dolphins down the field. Down only three points, the Miami Dolphins were looking for a little magic and earned it with a couple of conservative play calls.
On second and third down, Rishard Matthews caught consecutive passes with great passes on the money from Ryan Tannehill. Then after a sideline pass over throw to Brandon Gibson, Michael Egnew made his first career catch for a 3rd and 2 on a nice catch and run in the flat. Then Tannehill hit Brandon Gibson and set up a first down into Falcon territory.
As the clock wound down to the 2 minute warning, Dolphins fans held their collective breath and sensed something incredible could happen to Miami soon. It seemed like the tide was turning as Lamar Miller dropped a nice pass in front of him, but Tannehill fired a strike to Brandon Gibson on the next play to get the all important first down.
At this point, from the 29 yard line, out of a full house formation, the Dolphins failed to advance the ball. With the Falcons keeping a close eye on Wallace, Tannehill quickly fired to tight end Charles Clay who was knocked down to the 8 yard line of Atlanta.
On the one yard line after a huge stretch that fell short by Brandon Gibson reception, the Dolphins were on the doorstep of 3-0. 13 plays 74 yards and the Dolphins needed one more play. One more play to put the game out of reach for the Falcons.
With the game on the line, Ryan Tannehill found rookie tight end Dion Simms covered for a back shoulder as he made an incredible one-handed catch. The catch brought screaming and yelling from Miami to wherever there are displaced Dolphins fans.
The Dolphins lead by 4 points, forcing Matt Ryan to do the same and crush the hearts of Dolphins fans.
On the second play for Ryan, with Dion Jordan breathing down his neck on his blind side, Ryan threw and errant pass to the Dolphins Jimmy Wilson for a game sealing interception.
While it wasn't pretty, and the Dolphins trailed for much of the game, two things are for sure, Ryan Tannehill has an ability to lead the team back for a win and you can't count out this entire Miami Dolphins team.
Ryan Tannehill finished with 2 TD/ 1INT and a 94.5 quarterback rating as well as 24 of 35 for 236 yards passing, and didn't look spectacular after being sacked 6 times.
Said Joe Philbin after the win: "We made some plays when we had to. It wasn't classic or textbook, but we made more plays."
For head coach Joe Philbin, he mentioned there is "plenty to correct."
Said Ryan Tannehill about the game-winning drive: "Guys stepped up and made plays when it counted."
For the Dolphins, they head into a week of questions about the offensive line, defensive pass rush, and the fact that they are 3-0 makes answering those questions much sweeter.