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Dolphins Defeat Falcons 23-20

Posted Aug 10, 2017

David Fales threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including a stunning 99-yarder to Damore’ea Stringfellow, and the Dolphins rallied for a 23-20 victory against the Atlanta Falcons in their preseason opener at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday. 

The Dolphins trailed 20-10 before Fales connected with rookie Francis Owusu on an 18-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-16 after a two-point conversion attempt failed.

After being pinned at their 1-yard line with exactly 9 minutes left, Fales threw down the left sideline and Stringfellow caught the ball at the 32 before outracing defensive back Marcelis Branch to the end zone.

Second-year wide receiver Leonte Carroo had the other Dolphins touchdown, catching a 33-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Doughty in the second quarter.

Owusu came up with another big catch, making a twisting 28-yard reception on the first play after the two-minute warning to all but clinch the victory.

Atlanta scored 13 consecutive points between the second and third quarters, including Terron Ward’s 3-yard touchdown run just before halftime. The Falcons’ other touchdown came on a 15-yard pass from 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan to running back Devonta Freeman on a fourth-and-1.

The drive was set up by a 39-yard punt return by Andre Roberts after the Dolphins went three-and-out in their only series with Matt Moore at quarterback. Moore completed his only pass attempt, hitting DeVante Parker for 5 yards on third-and-8.

The long punt return by Atlanta was extra costly for the Dolphins as rookie second-round pick Raekwon McMillan went down with a knee injury on the play. He did not return.

Defensive back Walt Aikens was ruled out of the game with a back injury in the first quarter.

Andrew Franks accounted for the other Miami points when he kicked a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Mike Meyer kicked two field goals for Atlanta, including a 53-yarder in the third quarter.

Among the highlights for the Dolphins was a 10-yard run by Damien Williams to convert a third-and-1 on the field goal drive; three catches for 26 yards by tight end MarQueis Gray on that same drive; Jordan Lucas recovering a muffed punt to set up Owusu’s touchdown; Storm Johnson recovering a fumble on the kickoff that followed Stringfellow’s touchdown; and rookie Cameron Malveaux ending an Atlanta drive with a sack on third down.

Jay Cutler, Ryan Tannehill, Jay Ajayi, Mike Pouncey, Laremy Tunsil, Ja’Wuan James, Ted Larsen, Malcolm Lewis, Isaiah Ford, Neville Hewitt and Nate Allen did not play for the Dolphins.