Tannehill completed a 36-yard pass to Rishard Matthews to set up the touchdown.
"It felt good," Tannehill said. "It was a good start for us. I thought that we ran the ball effectively, had some short passing game and then the one vertical shot to Rishard.
"All in all I felt it was a good start for us. We had limited action, but I felt that we were effective the few plays that we were in."
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan also was sharp, completing each of his seven attempts for 53 yards on Atlanta’s opening drive. Jacquizz Rodgers capped the drive with a 2-yard scoring run.
Ryan called the opening possession — 15 plays for 77 yards — "exactly what you want for your first drive of the year."
"We were able to run the ball pretty effectively, and when we did have the opportunity to throw, we were able to move the chains," Ryan said. "We were able to overcome a couple of penalties, we were able to keep going, and punch the ball into the end zone."
Matt Bryant closed the first half with a 21-yard field goal for Atlanta. Danny Hrapmann kicked a 42-yarder in the second quarter for Miami. Sergio Castillo added field goals of 21 and 34 yards in the second half for Atlanta.
Yates, the favorite to win the job as Ryan’s top backup, completed 7 of 16 passes for 123 yards. Yates is competing with Sean Renfree, a second-year player from Duke who completed 6 of 15 passes for 108 yards.
NOTES: Rodgers started as Steven Jackson continued to recover from a left hamstring injury. … Philbin said he had no update on RB Damien Williams, who was carted off the field with an undisclosed injury late in the game. … Miami S Reshad Jones, who on Friday was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, played with the other defensive starters.