ATLANTA (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins may have turned their season around on Sunday in Atlanta.
An ugly first half didn’t deter the Dolphins, who scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to take down the heavily favored Falcons 20-17.
The game didn’t begin well for the Dolphins as Atlanta jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter while Miami’s offense continued to go nowhere.
When halftime finally rolled around, the Dolphins were in a 17-0 hole.
There were signs of life for Miami though, as Jay Ajayi was having his best half of the season and the defense was limiting the Falcons high-powered offense.
The Dolphins scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half with Jay Cutler finding Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry in the end zone.
Two 4th quarter Cody Parkey field goals later and Miami found itself in the lead for the first time 2:30 to go in the game.
Miami’s defense limited Atlanta to just five second half 1st downs, three of which coming on the Falcons’ final drive that ended in a game-sealing interception by Reshad Jones.
BIG GAME JAY’S
Miami’s two Jay’s were a big reason why the team came away with the upset win. Ajayi had his best game of the season, rushing for 130 yards on 26 carries. Cutler threw a pair of second half touchdowns and led the Dolphins on four consecutive scoring drives.
DOLPHINS D IS FOR REAL
Miami held one of the most dangerous offenses in the league completely in check for most of the game on its home turf. Cam Wake and Ndamukong Suh each had a sack while Lawrence Timmons continued to be a major spark, leading the team with 8 tackles.
OFFENSE POUNCED POST-POUNCEY
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey left the game in the first half with a concussion and did not return. Oddly, Miami’s offensive line played much better after Pouncey left the game.
THIRD DOWN IMPROVEMENT
Miami has been atrocious on 3rd down this season but showed some signs of improvement in Atlanta. After starting the game by failing on its first three opportunities on 3rd down, Miami converted on four of its next seven.
For the second straight week Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas remained off the field during the national anthem.