The first of three Atlanta Falcons preseason games saw the team beat the Miami Dolphins 19-3.
But it wasn’t just the victory that got fans celebrating a preseason win for the first time in a while, but the moves it took the team to secure the win.
The Falcons stayed on offense nearly the entire game, with five sacks, two turnovers on downs, and one interception from Miami. While this is the first game in at least five months of Falcons football and time will tell whether this is the start of a defensively smart team, their performance Friday night is an indicator of good things to come.
It’s also a good thing when your running back can go 79 yards for a touchdown on a punt return, which cornerback Dee Alford did in the fourth quarter.
“It felt great, but I kind of knew I was going to do it,” Alford told atlantafalcons.com after the game. “I can’t really explain the feeling because it was supposed to happen-that type of feeling.”
Backup quarterback Logan Woodside showed promise, putting up 146 yards and going 14 of 22. He held the Dolphins to 3 points while leading a seven-play Falcons drive in the 2nd quarter that lead to a touchdown. That performance might give Head Coach Arthur Smith and GM Terry Fontenot something to think about as far as whether the Falcons need a secondary QB as they winnow the current group down to a 53-man roster.
The Falcons now have a 0-1 winning preseason record, noteworthy since preseason wins in the last few seasons were hard to come by. Now they lead the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers following behind.
Getting a win out of Hard Rock Stadium Friday night is a great confidence booster for the Dirty Birds as they look forward to their second exhibition game, facing the Cincinnati Bengals at home in Mercedes Benz Stadium this Friday. This time, as Coach Smith promised after the game, starters will be on the field. Could the Falcons energize the home fans at the Benz as much as Beyonce did hers this past weekend? We’ll see. But we know the team that showed up last Friday night in Miami was ready to compete this season.