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Notes & Milestones: Falcons vs. Dolphins


Atlanta's first team offense and defense looked sharp in early game action holding Miami scoreless.

  • The Atlanta Falcons kicked off the 2011 Preseason with a 28-23 loss at the hands of the Miami Dolphins at the Georgia Dome Friday Night. The loss drops the Falcons preseason record against the Dolphins to 6-5.
  • Atlanta's defense set the tone to Friday night's game on the Dolphins' first possession when DE John Abraham intercepted a pass from QB Chad Henne at the Falcons 44-yard line. Abraham's lone career interception came in 2010, when he picked off New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees in a late season divisional clash.
  • The Birds offense took advantage of good field position, as RB Michael Turner bruised his way down the field, racking up 21 yards on two carries to begin the next drive. Four plays later, Turner plunged two yards into the endzone to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
  • Since 2008, Turner has posted 39 rushing touchdowns, which ranks second in the NFL behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (40).
  • Rookie WR Julio Jones caught his first NFL pass on the Falcons first scoring drive of the preseason when QB Matt Ryan hit him on a short crossing route. Jones hauled in the pass and raced 21 yards into the red zone to set up Turner's score.
  • After a Miami three-and-out, Atlanta went on a 10-play, 83-yard drive with Ryan hitting WR Harry Douglas for a 20-yard touchdown to take 14-0 lead. In 2010, Ryan threw a career-high 28 touchdowns and earned his first Pro Bowl selection. He also set a franchise record with 357 completions.
  • Ryan saw three offensive series and finished the game completing six of 10 passes for 90 yards and one touchdown, while posting a passer rating of 122.9. Since 2008, the Falcons are 18-4 when Ryan throws at least one touchdown pass and 16-0 when he posts a passer rating of 100-plus points.
  • Douglas finished the game as the team's leading receiver with three receptions for 47-yards and one touchdown. Last season, he tallied 22 catches for 294 yards and one touchdown.
  • Atlanta thrived on long drives in 2010 as the Falcons posted 103 drives of 10-or-more plays and 45 touchdowns on such drives. The Birds 45 touchdown drives were tied for the League lead with the New England Patriots.
  • On the ensuing Dolphins drive, CB Brent Grimes intercepted Henne marking the Falcons second takeaway of the game. In 2010, Grimes tied S William Moore for the team lead with five interceptions and led the League with a franchise-record 23 passes defensed en route to his first Pro Bowl selection.
  • The Falcons offense capitalized on good field position, starting its drive at the Miami 33-yard line and driving 24 yards to set up K Matt Bryant for a 27-yard field goal. Last season, Bryant hit 28-of-31 field goals and was a perfect 44-of-44 on PATs, posting 128 points. He earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice in 2010 and kicked the Falcons to late game victories three times.
  • On the opening drive of the second half, Atlanta's ball hawking defense struck again as S Rafael Bush intercepted Dolphins QB Matt Moore at the Falcons 15-yard line. Bush returned the pick nine yards to the Birds 24-yard line and set up another scoring drive.
  • Following the turnover, QB John Parker Wilson led the Falcons on a 13-play, 70-yard drive to set up a 24-yard field goal by Bryant.
  • Atlanta scored 13 points on three takeaways after the offense turned interceptions from Abraham, Grimes and Bush into one touchdown and two field goals. The Falcons made their opponents pay for their mistakes last season, scoring 115 points on 31 takeaways.
  • The Falcons first team defense held the Dolphins offense to zero points and five yards on just seven plays. Additionally, the Birds defense forced two turnovers with a pair of interceptions. Atlanta also out gained Miami 334 yards to 261 yards.
  • Bryant finished the game a perfect three-for-three on field goal attempts, including a game-long 33-yard kick in the fourth quarter.
  • The Birds posted two sacks against the Dolphins, with DE Emmanuel Stephens and DE Cliff Matthews each brought down Miami passers for one yard losses.
  • Defensively, Atlanta held Miami to 261 total yards, including 198 through the air and 63 on the ground. Meanwhile, the Falcons offense gained 334 yards with 230 through the air and 104 on the ground.
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