Atlanta travels to Miami for just the eighth time in its 47-year history this weekend and first time since 2005. These two teams have only faced off against each other 11 times in this AFC-NFC cross conference series since it began in 1970.
In an early Nov. 6 contest in sunny Florida during that last meeting in 2005, the Falcons put together a complete game on offense and defense.
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The Birds offense was clicking with 382 total yards, 19 first downs and a time possession advantage of 36:15 to 23:45. The defense held Miami without a third-down conversion on nine attempts and just 208 total yards.
The Falcons opened the game with a crisp nine-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in a RB Warrick Dunn one-yard touchdown scamper. The Dolphins tied it in the second quarter on RB Ricky Williams' 21-yard run.
On the ensuing drive, WR Roddy White hauled in a 20-yard pass and went around right end 16 yards on a reverse to get down to the Miami 29-yard line. Then, Dunn took over from there again. In single-back formation with three wide receivers to one side, WD grabbed a delayed handoff and sprinted downfield, dodging and eluding his way for 21 yards to the 8-yard line. On third-and-goal from the 11, WR Brian Finneran (game-high 8 catches for 92 yards) snagged a touchdown pass to break the tie.
The Dolphins capitalized on a botched punt return by Allen Rossum later in the quarter to position themselves at the Falcons 15-yard line. But Atlanta's defense stiffened and held Miami to a field goal and a slim 14-10 lead.
The Falcons were the only team to manage any points in the second half as both defenses made solid halftime adjustments. The good thing about Atlanta's lone scoring drive was that it took valuable time off the clock. The Birds went 91 yards on a time-consuming 13 plays, which set-up a K Todd Peterson 21-yard field goal to increase their lead to 17-10 in the third quarter.
The Dolphins last attempt at victory late in the game was stifled as Falcons S Keion Carpenter intercepted a Gus Frerotte pass at the Falcons 5-yard line to preserve the win.
For Atlanta, the win moved them to 6-2 on the season while Miami fell to 3-5.