Ryan helps Falcons beat Dolphins 23-6
Matt Ryan looked sharp, while coach Joe Philbin was blunt.
Ryan threw for 220 yards and a touchdown to help the Falcons earn their first victory of the exhibition season. Counterpart Ryan Tannehill, a rookie playing his first game as the Dolphins' starting quarterback, went 11 for 27 for 112 yards and one interception.
Ryan played midway into the third quarter and went 18 for 26, including a 20-yard touchdown to Roddy White against reserves.
''We moved the ball pretty effectively, but we made mistakes on third down and in the red zone,'' Ryan said. ''All in all, not bad.''
''We just took our shots,'' Jones said. ''We're trying to be an explosive team.''
Ryan had a lot more help than Tannehill, whose teammates dropped four of his passes. That included a potential 4-yard touchdown throw that Anthony Fasano bobbled in the end zone.
Shaky pass protection was also a problem for Tannehill, who was sacked once, forced to run twice and hit several other times.
''We didn't have a whole lot of rhythm,'' Philbin said. ''There were a couple that were dropped. I'm sure there were a couple where the accuracy could have been better. There were others where we could have had better protection. You know how that goes. Usually when it rains, it pours. It wasn't pretty at all.''
Miami (No. 27 in the AP Pro32) fell to 0-3, and with the regular season two weeks away, first-year coach Philbin said he's concerned about the state of his team.
''We've got to get better in a hurry,'' he said.
Atlanta (No. 13) improved to 1-2.
''I was really pleased with some of the things we did tonight,'' coach Mike Smith said. ''The effort was good in all three phases.''
The game was another test for the Falcons' offense under new coordinator Dirk Koetter, and they moved the ball well in their own territory. They started one possession at their 11, and on the first play Ryan hit Jones deep for 49 yards.
''Matt has had a very productive preseason,'' Smith said. ''He has a very good understanding of what we want to get done with our new offense.''
Both teams played their starters for the entire first half, when the Falcons outgained the Dolphins 175-166 and took a 9-3 lead. Dominique Davis, an undrafted rookie free agent bidding to become Ryan's backup, hit Tim Toone deep for a 39-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Tannehill was given the No. 1 job this week, but his promotion failed to inspire an offense that has sputtered this exhibition season. His best sequence was a 13-play, 78-yard drive that reached the 4, but his third-down pass went through Fasano's hands, and Miami kicked a field goal.
''I feel confident in where I'm at right now,'' Tannehill said. ''We're really close. It's just a mistake here and a mistake there.''
Tannehill's interception came on a tipped pass that was caught by safety Thomas DeCoud. The rookie's quarterback rating was 37.9, but he said the speed of the game has slowed down since he began training camp.
''I felt like I had a great handle on everything that was going on,'' he said. ''All the different looks they were showing I felt like I understood. I could see what they were doing. I didn't feel like I was confused at any point in the game. It's a fast game, and you've got to play fast. I felt like as an offense we played fast. We just didn't execute to a T.''
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