By The Numbers: Dolphins vs. Falcons

0 -- Starts for second-year safety Kemal Ishmael, preseason or regular season, before getting the nod with the first team tonight against the Dolphins. Ishmael didn't record a tackle or pass defensed on the night.

1 -- Number of series for each starting offense in the game, both of which ended in touchdowns. After Miami and Atlanta's opening drives, only 45 seconds remained in the first quarter.

1 -- Turnovers in tonight's game, and it was a big one. Though a lot of yellow laundry was flying, as would be expected in a preseason opener, both the Falcons and Dolphins took good care of the football on offense...until 2:27 remained in the game with the Dolphins threatening inside Atlanta's 10-yard line and trailing by just 6 points. Miami QB Seth Lobato bobbled a wayward snap in shotgun formation, and a wave of Falcons defenders converged on what became a scrum for the loose ball. Falcons rookie DE Nosa Eguae came out of the pile with the football, and the game's first turnover proved crucial to the final outcome. A couple minutes later, Atlanta had their first preseason opener victory since 2010, emerging with a 16-10 victory.

2 -- Holding penalties for rookie starting right tackle Jake Matthews, one of which negated a second-quarter 76-yard touchdown jaunt by Antone Smith. (The infraction seemed pretty questionable when shown on replay.) The Falcons' first round draft choice from Texas A&M showed flashes of dominance in his first NFL action, playing the first two series along with the rest of the starting offensive line. Head Coach Mike Smith appeared pleased with Matthews' performance after the game, stating he believes the rookie is "on a fast track to be a very good player in this league."

4 -- First down receptions for starting wide receiver Roddy White in one series of action on the night. The prolific Pro Bowler made each of his four receptions for 27 yards count, helping sustain the Falcons' long first-quarter touchdown drive.

4 -- Total tackles for rookie LB Prince Shembo, which included a sack, a tackle for loss and a QB hit. Shembo led the team in tackles. Coach Smith singled out Shembo in his postgame press conference when asked about specific players who impressed him during the first preseason game.


The Atlanta Falcons are back in the Georgia Dome Friday night to kick off the 2014 preseason against the Miami Dolphins.

11 --** Combined penalties for both teams in the first half, five for the Birds and six for the Fins. The clubs finished the game with a combined 19 penalties, 9 for Atlanta and 10 for Miami.

14 -- First downs for Atlanta's offense in the first half, compared to just five for Miami.

17 -- Rushing yards allowed by the Falcons' defense in the first half. The stingy dee also held Miami to just 92 yards passing, 76 of which came on the Dolphins' opening drive.

100 -- Completion percentage for Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill on the game's opening drive, as he went 6 for 6 for 62 yards during a 10-play, 73 yard drive that culminated in a 6-yd TD pass to Dolphins starting wideout Brandon Gibson.

100 -- Completion percentage for Falcons QB Matt Ryan (7 of 7 for 53 yards) as he answered Miami's opening volley and engineered a long touchdown drive to even the score at 7-7. Jacquizz Rodgers punched the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out to cap off a 17-play, 77 yard scoring drive that ate up over 9 minutes of the first quarter. Ryan's night was over after that, as backup QB T.J. Yates - acquired from Houston this past offseason - took over QB duties and played all of the second quarter.

107 -- Total yards from scrimmage for rookie running back Devonta Freeman in just over two quarters of action against Miami. The dynamic Florida State product hit his running lanes as quickly as any back in the game tonight, rushing for 50 yards on 10 carries for an impressive 5-yards per carry average. Freeman also proved lethal in the passing game hauling in a 57-yard reception on a fade route from second year QB Sean Renfree. On the play, Freeman blew past a Dolphins corner who had the unenviable task of trying to contain him in single coverage

191 -- Yards amassed by the Falcons offense in the first half - 52 on the ground and 139 through the air.

222 -- Days since the Falcons last took the field for an NFL game (on December 29, 2014 in a season-ending loss to the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome) before tonight's preseason tilt. The organization and its fans couldn't wait to put last year's disappointing campaign in the rear view mirror and begin the process of returning to championship contention in 2014.

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