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Notes & Milestones - Falcons vs. Dolphins


The Falcons defense showed improvement from their second preseason game holding the Dolphins to 241 total yards, including 46 rushing yards. Miami's vaunted rushing duo of RB Ricky Williams and RB Ronnie Brown managed just 14 yards on 12 carries against the Falcons defense. *

The defense's performance on third down also improved against the Dolphins. Atlanta's defensive unit held Miami to a 17 percent conversion rate on third downs, going 2-for-12 in the game. The Dolphins did not convert a third down until the final minute of the first half. *

Linebackers Mike Peterson and Curtis Lofton combined to stuff FB Lousaka Polite on fourth and one, forcing a turnover and leading to a 13 play, 54-yard drive and a K Matt Bryant field goal to put the Falcons up 10-3. *

Lofton paced the defense with 11 total tackles (six solo), including two tackles for loss. Lofton played a major role in the Falcons' success against the run. *

CB Chris Owens broke up a third-down pass from Dolphins' QB Chad Henne to WR Brandon Marshall that kept Miami from converting a first down and forced them to settle for field goal. The pass was originally ruled a completed pass and a fumble, which Miami recovered. Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the ruling bringing up a fourth down. *

The Falcons took a 7-3 lead on their second offensive possession when QB Matt Ryan hit WR Roddy White for an 18-yard touchdown strike. The score capped a 10-play, 60 yard drive for Atlanta. In 2009, the Falcons led the NFL with 38 drives of 10 plays or more. They also led the League with 18 touchdowns on 10-plus play drives. *

On Atlanta's first scoring drive TE Tony Gonzalez showed why he is so important to the offense. Gonzalez caught a nine-yard pass, setting up a third and one midway through the drive. On Ryan's touchdown pass Gonzalez ran a route over the middle forcing the safety to come down and cover him. This allowed Ryan to exploit a one-on-one matchup on the outside and find an open White. *

DE Kroy Biermann recorded his third sack of the preseason when he brought down Henne for a nine yard loss on third down. Biermann has registered a sack in all three of the Falcons preseason games, including strip sacks against the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. *

Rookie LB Sean Weatherspoon narrowly missed his first sack, coming in unblocked and hitting Henne who was able to get rid of the ball but not find a receiver.* *Weatherspoon finished the game with four tackles and showed his tenacity by dragging Williams down on a pass play. After Williams initial stiff arm looked like it would shed the tackle, Weatherspoon stayed with the play and pulled the runner down. *

Dolphins' TE Anthony Fasano caught a pair of touchdowns against the Jaguars in Miami's second preseason game. Henne targeted Fasano for another potential score in the final minute of the first half that would have tied the game but S Thomas DeCoud broke up the pass to help preserve the lead. *

S Erik Coleman made sure Atlanta's 10-3 lead was safe going into the locker room at half time when he intercepted a ball that Peterson tipped in the endzone allowing Ryan to kneel the ball and end the half on the ensuing play. *

DE Laurence Sidbury recorded his second sack of the preseason when he brought down QB Pat White for an eight yard loss on a first down play in the fourth quarter. *

RB Michael Turner saw his most significant action of the preseason, carrying the ball 16 times for 47 yards as the Falcons faced a 3-4 defense for the third straight week. *

WR Roddy White led the team in receiving, catching six passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. White's 18-yard touchdown catch was his first of the preseason. It was also Ryan's first touchdown of the preseason. *

WR Harry Douglas also saw significant action in this week's contest. Douglas caught four passes for 41 yards, including a 12 yard reception on third-and-11 that gave the Falcons a first down and set up their first score.

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