Jay Cutler tosses two touchdowns and the Dolphins defense keeps the Falcons off the board in the second half to give Miami a 20-17 victory in Atlanta.
ATLANTA — It wasn’t quite the 25-point comeback by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, but the Miami Dolphins had an impressive response Sunday to falling behind big to the reigning NFC champion Atlanta Falcons.
Down 17-0 at halftime on the road, the Dolphins scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to spark a 20-17 win over the Falcons that silenced opposing fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dolphins safety Reshad Jones picked off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the final minute to seal the win.
How surprising was this upset by Miami? It was the first time this season the Dolphins, who were 13.5-point underdogs against the Falcons, have scored 20 points in a game.
This type of win comes at an ideal time for the Dolphins, who dealt with plenty of adversity in the past week. The Dolphins had to overcome the resignation of offensive line coach Chris Foerster after a video surfaced on social media of him snorting a white powder. In addition, Miami’s offense was ranked last in the NFL entering Sunday, and many Dolphins fans wanted a quarterback change from Jay Cutler to backup Matt Moore.
But the Dolphins did their best to block out the distractions and focus on their next opponent. Cutler had two touchdown passes during the second half, and Miami put together its most complete game of the season to improve to 3-2.
The Dolphins, however, cannot seem to shake off their slow starts to games. They have scored 13 first-half points all season and were shut out again in the first two quarters against the Falcons. Miami didn’t convert on third down until 1:42 of the second quarter and didn’t score its first points until 6:17 of the third quarter. But that’s when things got rolling for the Dolphins.
Last season, Miami was 1-4 after five games before getting hot and winning nine of its final 11 in the regular season. This year’s team is in a much better position to make a run, especially after Sunday’s win.
The Dolphins will have a shot at revenge next week and will try to avoid a season sweep when they get a rematch with the rival New York Jets. The Dolphins were nearly shut out by the Jets earlier this season in a 20-6 loss.
But a win like Sunday’s provides positive momentum.