Dolphins Defeat Falcons 20-17

Posted Oct 15, 2017

The Dolphins pulled off a remarkable comeback in their first-ever visit to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Dolphins scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to stun the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, 20-17, on Sunday afternoon. This marked the first time the Dolphins erased a 17-point second-half deficit on the road since the famous “Fake Spike” game against the New York Jets in 1994.

Kicker Cody Parkey’s second field goal of the game, a 38-yarder with 2:45 remaining in the fourth quarter broke a 17-17 tie. Safety Reshad Jones then clinched the victory when he intercepted Matt Ryan at the Dolphins 7-yard line with 38 seconds left after the Falcons had moved into field goal range.

Rookie third-round pick Cordrea Tankersley broke up Ryan’s pass intended for tight end Austin Hooper and Jones was there to grab the floating ball.

Parkey earlier had tied the game with a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after Jay Cutler threw touchdown passes to wide receivers Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry.

Running back Jay Ajayi was a key factor in the victory as well, as he rushed for 130 yards — his second 100-yard performance of the season.

The defense shut out the potent Atlanta offense in the second half, thanks to the pass rush and Jones’ heroics.

The Dolphins began their comeback with the opening drive of the second half when they drove 75 yards on 15 plays. The 8:43 drive was the Dolphins’ longest in terms of time since 2013 when they had a 9:10 drive against the New York Jets. The key play in the drive was a 3-yard completion from Cutler to running back Damien Williams.

The drive also featured an 18-yard completion from Cutler to Stills on third-and-2 and ended with the two hooking up for an 11-yard touchdown on third-and-7.

After the defense produced a three-and-out, the Dolphins came right back with another touchdown drive, that one covering 51 yards.

Penalties were key on that drive, as Atlanta was flagged for a 26-yard defensive pass interference and later a roughing the passer that nullified a Falcons interception.

The 7-yard touchdown pass to Landry came on a beautifully designed play where everybody motioned to the right before Landry turned and looped back to the left to find himself wide open into the flat.

The Dolphins were able to tie the score at 17 thanks to a special teams miscue by the Falcons, a botched snap that forced punter Matt Bosher to run around midfield before being tackled well short of the first-down marker.

It was a difficult first half for the Dolphins, the only saving grace being a last-second 59-yard field goal attempt by Atlanta that fell short.

Other than that, it was rough.

The offense couldn’t get anything going until late in the first half and that one promising drive ended with an interception inside the Atlanta 20-yard line.

Defensively, the Dolphins held Atlanta to a field goal on the opening possession of the game, but then was victimized by a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Marvin Hall and a 44-yard run by Devonta Freeman that set up a short touchdown run.

The victory moved the Dolphins’ record to 3-2, with the New York Jets coming to Hard Rock Stadium next Sunday.