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Injury-plagued Atlanta Falcons look to prove doubters wrong in Miami

Masterful quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to demonstrate that the Atlanta Falcons can be an offensive juggernaut despite key injuries.

Masterful quarterback Matt Ryan hopes to demonstrate that the Atlanta Falcons can be an offensive juggernaut despite key injuries.

The Atlanta Falcons (1-1) head down to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins (2-0) at Met Life Stadium. Kickoff for this contest is at 4:05 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports and DirecTV channel 713.

Bad news has dominated the headlines for Atlanta this week, as they have been forced to put several key players on injured reserve: defensive end Kroy Bierman (Achilles tendon), fullback Bradie Ewing (shoulder), and outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot, designated for return). Running back Steven Jackson (thigh) and left tackle Sam Backer (knee/foot) will also be inactive for the afternoon.

This rash of injuries represents a formidable obstacle for Atlanta to overcome in Week 3.

Offensive line

The offensive line has already been struggling this year. They have given up five sacks in the first two games. They will be squaring off against a Dolphins squad, lead by defensive end Cameron Wake, that already has a monstrous nine sacks on the season. Newly acquired veteran offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood will be getting his first start of the season as he fills in for Sam Baker.

Run game

Running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling will see significant playing time this week. Snelling will get the call at both running back and fullback. He caught 31 of 35 passes thrown his way last year, so look for Atlanta to involve him in the screen game this week, along with the speedy Rodgers out of the backfield. We may also hear Josh Vaughn’s name this week. The bruising six-foot, 225-pound running back will be a valuable asset to pound the ball down Miami’s throat.

Pass rush

With Sean Weatherspoon and Kroy Bierman out, young defensive ends Jonathan Massaquoi and Malliciah Goodman need to help Osi Umenyiora generate a pass rush. The Falcons will have to face an offensive line featuring their former teammate Tyson Clabo and standout center Mike Pouncey.

Miami’s weapons

Young running back Lamar Miller put up 69 yards and a touchdown on 14 attempts last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has started off strong, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on the year. Wide receiver Mike Wallace is listed as Questionable for the game but more than likely will be on the field. Paired with Brian Hartline, Wallace will keep the young Atlanta secondary busy. Given how well that unit has played to this point, however, Miami’s receivers could struggle.

Something to prove

Wide receiver Julio Jones will go up against a former teammate in cornerback Brent Grimes, who plays with swagger and is often underestimated due to his diminutive stature. Although he is familiar with Jones’ tendencies after having practiced against him for two years, that won’t be enough to hold Jones in check. Despite his impressive vertical jumping abilities, Grimes simply cannot match Jones step for step in raw speed or be physical enough to hold him back. Jones will have a big day.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will not be hindered by his former teammate, Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will not be hindered by his former teammate, Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes.

Despite being under constant pressure and absorbing more hits than a quarterback  should, Matt Ryan has been impressive so far this season, completing 71.6 percent of his passes for 678 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

The most noticeable difference in his play from last year is his release. He been forced to get rid of the ball extremely fast in an effort to elude the pressure his offensive line has allowed. If, like Aaron Rodgers, he can continue to play at a high level while under duress for much of the game, he will take a major step forward to proving the doubters wrong and achieving “elite” status in the NFL.

Prediction

Although they will make a game of it, the Dolphins don’t have the talent to match up with even an injury-depleted Falcons team. Atlanta pulls out a close one at Sun Life Stadium.

Final score: Atlanta Falcons 24, Miami Dolphins 17

72 comments
natesweet
natesweet moderator

I will post a link to the show here as well when we are about to go live


natesweet
natesweet moderator

So, there is a problem on livefyre right now so I embedded a chatroom on the new It's Your Dime article so that people may chat there. 

smtate91
smtate91

Not looking good for my Auburn Tigers. Two costly fumbles, and they can't stop LSU's rushing attack. If they can't stop it now, it could really be bad later in the game after they've worn our defense down...

matt_vfalcon32
matt_vfalcon32

Nice article...I think the score is close to being on target that is predicted, I think we win by 10 pts. though.

jmac3444
jmac3444

really hope that Stanford buries ASU

JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS
JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS

Maxwell is an Idiot, he knows if he runs he wont get first down..just at least throw the ball up for grabs.

jmac3444
jmac3444

a qb change by MSU. lets see if it pays off

JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS
JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS

BREAKING NEWS: The Browns have traded the rest of their roster to Walmart for a bottle of Dr. Thunder. GM: "We've found our soda of the future."

jmac3444
jmac3444

a punt there by MSU is a bit risky

0125
0125 moderator

Dan uggla is horrible. But not as bad as BJ Upton. 

JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS
JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS

Colin Kapernick, Entwaann Randel El, Taylor Martinez, and Brad Smith are the only 4 guys to throw for 5,000 yards and run for 2,500 yards before senior season.

JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS
JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS

I hope Indians or Royals make playoffs if Orioles don't...wish we had better pitching.

0125
0125 moderator

If they cant beat the Cubs to seal their division win, how can one expect them to beat the Cardinals/Pirates/Dodgers to seal a NLDS or NLCS win?

JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS
JJ CAROL1NA PANTHERS

My O's are 3 games out of wild card with 8 games to go...yep we are done.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@Cam Of Steel Eating a cheesesteak sammich. Gearing up for radio show in one hour.

DanOnWis23
DanOnWis23

@jmac3444What a horrid last series-  that's the type of series that gets coaches fired - completely unprepared for it.

DanOnWis23
DanOnWis23

Especially with ND just giving them a free time out.

0125
0125 moderator

The one team im not worried about is the Falcons. lol