Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 3 AFC East game picks: Falcons at Fins

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the Miami Dolphins' home bout with the Atlanta Falcons.

Sean's take:
Miami's dominating pass rush has been key to the team's 2-0 start,and will bring the heat again against a Falcons offensive line ravaged by injury. Neither of the Dolphins' previous two opponents, however, had receivers that could consistently beat man coverage. Atlanta's three-headed receiving monster of Roddy White, Juilo Jones and Tony Gonzalez will be a difficult task for a similarly banged-up Dolphins secondary. The Falcons jump on the Dolphins early and hold them off late.
Prediction: Falcons 28, Dolphins 20

Nick's take: 
The Dolphins found their missing ingredient last weekend: a little bit of a running game and the involvement of receiver Mike Wallace. Pair that with an already stout defense, and Miami will win plenty of games. But not this one. The Falcons are somewhat depleted to injury but still have Matt Ryan throwing to a stellar trio of pass-catchers. Miami wreaks some havoc up front but doesn't hold up in the secondary.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Dolphins 21

Dan's take:
The high-flying Dolphins defense gets the luxury of facing a Falcons offense sans its bruising rusher and fullback, as Steven Jackson and Bradie Ewing will miss Sunday's game with thigh and shoulder injuries, respectfully. That, plus other key losses on both the defensive side of the ball, make a usually dangerous Atlanta team one-dimensional, and it gives Tannehill will have all the time in the world in the pocket. Miami stifles Ryan and goes 3-0 for the first time since 2002.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Falcons 17