Atlanta Falcons Vs. Miami Dolphins
Chase Irle: This game might have just gotten a lot easier to pick, as the Dolphins fear at this moment that they could be without their starting QB, Ryan Tannehill, for the entire season. The Dolphins had to go through this last year, when Tannehill went down with a knee injury late in the season, and losing him again would just be a horrific blow to the organization.
Without Tannehill, it looks like Miami will turn to Jay Cutler as the starting QB. While Cutler is probably better than their alternative, Matt Moore, the Dolphins have no shot against a Falcons team coming of a bye and at home. This was going to be a tough upset for Miami to pull off anyways, but becomes impossible without their starting quarterback.
Expect the Falcons to come out with a terrific offensive gameplan, putting up points early and often. The defense will be able to completely focus on running back Jay Ajayi, who will now be the focal point of their offense if he was not already. Ajayi is a physical runner, but without a passing offense to keep the Falcons honest, this Atlanta front seven should be up to the task.
It is unfortunate that the Dolphins will be unable to reach their max potential once again this season, but that is not going to stop the Falcons from pouring it on. They begin the game with an opening drive touchdown, and never look back, clobbering the Dolphins in their first back from their bye week.
Prediction: 38-16 Falcons
Falcons record: 5-0
Michael Arkin: Ryan Tannehill will not be the starting quarterback of this game, and it truly does make a dramatic difference in the way of predicting this game. Tannehill has developed into a very solid quarterback, and is light years ahead of Matt Moore or Jay Cutler. Coming off a bye, this Falcons team should be able to not just beat Miami, they will be looking to decimate the Dolphins.
Miami has a defensive line that can trouble any opposing offense. Atlanta’s offensive line must be ready to play and be able to control the trenches. This could be one of the best defensive lines in all of football led by Ndamukong Suh, who has a reputation of not only dominating opponents, but making sure he’s left his mark on them. Expect Matt Ryan to call for protection wherever Suh lines up.
Marquand Manuel and Dan Quinn will likely dedicate the defensive gameplan around Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, who had a breakout season in 2016. Not having Tannehill back there to make opposing defenses respect the passing game will make life much more difficult for Ajayi. The Falcons will contain Ajayi and cut off the corners so he can’t break outside for a long run.
Coming off a bye, the Falcons should be able to dictate the way this game is played. The coaches should be more than well-prepared in facing Miami. Atlanta will win this game.
Prediction: 31-7 Falcons Win
Falcons Record: 4-1