26-Feb-2015 22:59pm
 
RealTime Fantasy Sports
5 things to know from Dolphins win over Falcons

By STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-23 08:07

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Jubilant to be 3-0 for the first time in 11 years, the Miami Dolphins doused coach Joe Philbin in the locker room with a bucket of icy sports drink.

The players believe they're practicing for celebrations to come.

Surprising Miami rallied Sunday with a 75-yard touchdown drive in the final 5 minutes, scoring with 38 seconds to go to beat the Atlanta Falcons 27-23.

The three-game start is the best by Miami since 2002, and never mind that those Dolphins didn't make the playoffs.

``We have a special team,'' receiver Brian Hartline said. ``Expectations will continue to rise, and high expectations bring out the best in you. We welcome it.''

Backup tight end Dion Sims, a rookie, made a one-handed catch of Ryan Tannehill's 1-yard pass for the decisive touchdown.

``Awesome,'' Sims said of his first NFL score. ``Amazing.''

Atlanta led 10-0 and 20-10 and lost despite advantages of 24-16 in first downs, 377-285 in yards, 5-0 in sacks and 37-23 in time of possession minutes.

``Statistics don't always tell the whole story,'' Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan said.

The injury-plagued Falcons, who were one play from the Super Bowl last season, fell to 1-2. Here are five things we learned in Miami's defeat of Atlanta:

1. MISSED CHANCES: The Falcons stalled four times in scoring territory, and Matt Bryant went 3 for 4 on field goals, missing a 35-yarder that would have given them a six-point lead with less than 5 minutes left.

Ryan led drives of 14, 11 and 13 plays on the first three possessions, but twice Atlanta settled for field goals. As a result, the Falcons' lead was only 13-10 at halftime, even though they kept the ball for nearly 23 minutes in the first half.

``We had a lot of opportunities to finish the game,'' Ryan said. ``We just didn't get it done in the red zone. We have to find a way to punch it in.''

2. TANNEHILL LEADS RALLY: The last-minute comeback victory was the first for Miami's second-year QB. Tannehill finished 24 for 35 for 236 yards and two scores, shook off two turnovers and was at his best at the end of each half.

On the final drive Tannehill went 9 for 12 for 69 yards, with two of the incompletions because of dropped passes. The winner came on second down, when Tannehill lobbed his throw over linebacker Stephen Nicholas to Sims.

Tannehill suggested the play to his coaches during a timeout just beforehand.

His other scoring pass was an 18-yarder to Hartline to make it 20-20 late in the third quarter. Tannehill also moved Miami 60 yards in the final 2:04 of the first half for a field goal on the final play.

3. DEFENSE DIGS IN: The Dolphins lost defensive end Cameron Wake (knee) and linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) to injuries, but the defense dug in after a slow start.

At one point the Dolphins trailed in total yards by 127-3. Ryan finished with 231 yards passing, and in the absence of Steven Jackson - one of several sidelined Falcons - Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling combined for 139 yards rushing.

But consecutive possessions by Atlanta in the second half netted a total of 10 yards, which allowed the Dolphins to rally.

``Guys had to step up,'' said first-round draft pick Dion Jordan, who came off the bench to see his most extensive action of the season. ``We stuck together and it came up big.''

4. SPECIAL TEAMS TURNOVER: Despite the contributions by Jordan and Sims, the biggest play by a rookie may have come from seventh-round draft choice Don Jones.

A jarring tackle by Jones on punt returner Harry Douglas forced a fumble the Dolphins recovered to set up the touchdown that made the score 20-all.

``Biggest play of the game,'' Miami receiver Mike Wallace said.

5. HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Dolphins are only 35-46 at home since 2003, and they've often played in a half-empty stadium in recent years.

But an enthusiastic crowd of 70,660 reflected the buzz building about the home team. After Hartline's touchdown, he jumped on the bench and waved both arms to encourage more noise from the crowd.

The place could really be rocking in two weeks when the Dolphins play defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore. First comes a game at New Orleans next Monday night.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve-Wine

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

Reggie WayneFeb 19 01:52p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne has not informed the Colts on if he wants to play again next season, according to general manager Ryan Grigson.

Marshawn LynchFeb 19 01:02p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch continues to ponder if he'll return for another season, and general manager John Schneider said he wouldn't be surprised if Lynch chose to retire. [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerFeb 19 03:13a

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has the backing of the coaching staff, but they have not committed to him as the starter for 2015. General manager Ruston Webster said [ More ]

Jay CutlerFeb 18 02:53p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler did not receive a vote of confidence from head coach John Fox. Fox said the team is still evaluating the position. Fox said he [ More ]

Charles JohnsonFeb 18 02:53p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson is 'far and away our best receiver,' according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Johnson emerged as QB Teddy Bridgewater's No. 1 target in [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 18 01:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will go into the season as the team's starting starting quarterback, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Michael CrabtreeFeb 18 01:33a

San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent WR Michael Crabtree was frustrated with his role at the end of last season, and he recently removed any mention of the 49ers from [ More ]

Steve JohnsonFeb 18 01:33a

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson might be a clear starting candidate for the 2015 season if impending free-agents WR Anquan Boldin and/or WR Michael Crabtree are not brought [ More ]

Trent RichardsonFeb 17 10:53p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson missed the team's walkthrough and flight for the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. He was suspended two games without pay for [ More ]

Brennan WilliamsFeb 17 05:33p

Free-agent OT Brennan Williams (Texans) signed an undisclosed deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Feb. 17.

S. RichardsonFeb 17 03:03p

Free-agent CB Shaquille Richardson (Steelers) recently signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. JenkinsFeb 17 02:13p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived WR A.J. Jenkins Tuesday, Feb. 17.