It's no secret the Falcons struggled in short-yardage situations last season, and they made several moves this offseason in an effort to address that problem. During the first half of their preseason game against the Miami Dolphins those moves paid off.
Atlanta scored two first-half touchdowns against the Dolphins on Thursday night, both of which were 1-yard runs. Ito Smith scored the Falcons' first touchdown on an easy run behind rookie right guard Chris Lindstrom, who created a wide-open lane by knocking his defender out of the gap.
The second touchdown run came on Atlanta's final drive of the first half. Brian Hill received the handoff and found a lane on the left side of the line to punch it in and give the Falcons a 19-10 lead.
Miami answered that late touchdown by Atlanta to cut the lead to 19-13 heading into halftime, but the score is largely irrelevant. What matters is that, at least for one half, the Falcons beat the Dolphins in pivotal short-yardage moments, which proved to be the difference in the first two quarters.