The ending was indicative of how exciting the game really was.
Ryan Tannehill tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie Dion Sims with 38 seconds left Sunday, and the unbeaten Dolphins rallied past the Atlanta Falcons 27-23. The win gave Miami a 3-0 start on the season and proved they are real contenders in the AFC East.
Atlanta lost despite advantages of 24-16 in first downs, 377-285 in yards and 5-0 in sacks. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 231 yards. Steve Jackson was not on the field for the Falcons, but Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling combined for 139 yards rushing.
Lamar Miller had a 49-yard run to set up the Dolphins' first touchdown, but again the running game showed little elsewise. Miami is still searching for a consistent rushing attack to balance their offense.
Here are five things we learned from this game.
Tannehill is really good
Despite all the problems the Dolphins are having with their running game, the passing game is making things work.
Tannehill is the biggest reason for that.
Tannehill finished 24 for 35 for 236 yards and two scores. He shook off two turnovers and five sacks, and was at his best at the end of each half. He is quickly taking steps to move forward as one of the elite passers in this league and a leader of the Dolphins offense.
Making a comeback
Miami fell behind 10-0 and 20-10 and trailed much of the game, but nonetheless improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2002.
More than 70,000 fans were on hand to watch this game, one of the better ones on the day.
On the final drive, Tannehill went 8 for 11 for 69 yards and had two passes dropped. The winning pass came on second down, when Tannehill lobbed his throw over linebacker Stephen Nicholas to Sims, who scored his first NFL touchdown.
Injuries and still a win
According to ESPN.com, The Dolphins' defense lost end Cameron Wake (knee) and linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) to injuries, but Miami dug in after a slow start. Their status for next week is unknown as of yet. With two leaders on the sidelines, the other defenders stepped up and played well.
Wake had 15 sacks last season and will be missed should he be lost for any long period of time. Misi just signed a long-term deal with this team and suffered the shoulder injury.
Atlanta defense comes up big
Osi Umenyiora had two sacks, including one to force a fumble that set up a Falcons touchdown. Thsi according to the ESPN.com summary.
William Moore ended a Miami scoring threat with an interception of a pass by Tannehill after it deflected off the hands of intended receiver Charles Clay.
Julio Jones is exciting
While all the weapons in the Falcons offense are exciting, Julio Jones continues to go above and beyond, Jones caught 9 passes for 115 yards on the day. Snelling caught a touchdown pass from Ryan in his first start of the season.