ATLANTA -- The Falcons (3-2) couldn't overcome a vast array of mistakes in the second half, losing to the Miami Dolphins 20-17 on Sunday afternoon, their second straight loss of the season.
After moving deep into Miami's territory on the final possession, Matt Ryan had yet another pass slip through his receiver's hands and get intercepted by Dolphins' safety Reshad Jones, sealing the come-from-behind victory for the opposing team.
Third quarter problems
The third quarter was a bad one for the Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta held a 17-0 lead coming out of halftime, but that lead was cut to just three points by the end of the quarter.
Miami began the third quarter with a long, 15-play drive that covered 75 yards and spanned 8 minutes and 43 seconds. After getting the ball back, the Falcons' offense was held to a three-and-out, and a shanked punt by Matt Bosher gave the Dolphins the ball back at midfield.
A pair of Falcons' penalties proved costly on the ensuing drive. The first, a head-scratching pass interference call bailed Miami out on third down and moved the ball to the 24-yard line. The second penalty was a blatant roughing-the-passer call on Grady Jarrett, which negated an interception by linebacker Deion Jones.
Jarrett's late hit moved the ball to the Falcons' 11-yard line. Two plays later, Jay Cutler found Jarvis Landry for a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Dolphins' defensive line made an impact
Miami's defensive line has been one of its biggest strengths this season, and that continued to be the case on Sunday. As the game progressed, the Dolphins' front became increasingly effective, swarming quarterback Matt Ryan and impacting the Falcons' offense.
Both Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake had a sack, and the Dolphins registered a combined five hits on the quarterback. Miami's defensive line was also a major factor in the run game, making several plays behind the line of scrimmage and holding Atlanta's rushing attack in check for much of the afternoon.
Sarkisian moves upstairs
For the first time this season, Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian called plays from the coaches box instead of on the field. While Atlanta's offense moved the ball well in the first half, scoring points on three of its five possessions before halftime, it was bottled up in the second half.
Also stymied in the second half was the Falcons' run game. After gaining 82 yards in the first two quarters, Atlanta gained just 18 yards on the ground over the final two.
Jones leads Falcons defense
In his second season, linebacker Deion Jones continues to make plays for the Falcons' defense. He led all Atlanta defenders with 11 combined tackles and had an interception and knocked another pass away. Jones nearly came away with another pick, but a roughing-the-passer penalty negated his second takeaway.
Nice debut by Hall
One day after moving up from the practice squad to the Falcons' active roster, wide receiver Marvin Hall made his presence felt on offense. Near the end of the first quarter, Matt Ryan found Hall streaking past his defender for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
Hall led the Falcons with 151 yards on eight catches in the preseason, and he is another player capable of getting behind a defense with the speed he possesses.
Tough day for Bosher
The Falcons haven't had to punt much this season, and Matt Bosher didn't have his best stuff against the Dolphins. Typically one of the most reliable punters in the NFL, Bosher averaged just 31.5 yards on his two kicks.
Bosher wasn't the only one who struggled on the punt team, however, as Josh Harris' snap early in the fourth quarter didn't make it all the way back to the punter, forcing Bosher to pick up the ball and run with it.
Below is an archive of our game updates and further analysis of the action.