Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (10/24/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (10/24/21)
The Atlanta Falcons are 2-3, but it definitely feels like they’re 0-5. The team’s only victories have come against the New York Giants and New York Jets, two of the worst teams in the league. Can they beat anyone that doesn’t play at MetLife Stadium? The double-digit losses to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers felt more on-brand for this squad as they attempt to stay afloat in the competitive NFC South. New head coach Arthur Smith will need to keep his team competitive with so many strong teams on the schedule.
I was pretty low on the Miami Dolphins heading into the season, and those feelings were more validated than ever on Sunday in London. Losing to a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars should be a major wake-up call for the entire organization. The team has only won one game, a 17-16 win over the New England Patriots in Week 1, and have been on a slide ever since. Head coach Brian Flores made some baffling decisions in the loss to the Jags, and he’ll need to make some serious changed to keep the team competitive and keep his job. When the Atlanta Falcons travel to Miami this Sunday to take on the Dolphins, here’s what you should expect.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins Betting Odds
Traveling over 4,000 miles after a bad loss is going to do a number on Miami’s psyche. It might be one factor, but I don’t believe the travel exhaustion will be the only reason for Miami’s struggles this Sunday. The Dolphins simply haven’t shown much life this season, limping to a 1-5 start. Both the offense and defense are currently ranked toward the bottom of the league, and I’m going to continue fading them until I see something more.
Personally, I believe the Falcons should have moved on from QB Matt Ryan in the offseason and gone with a young passer in the draft. But, the team is riding with the veteran passer and we’ll see if that pays off. I’m also not sold on head coach Arthur Smith, at least until I see a definitive win over a strong competitor. Still, I’m liking what I’m seeing from the defense with coordinator Dean Pees, and that’ll be enough to edge out bad teams.
The Atlanta Falcons might not blow out the Dolphins this Sunday, but I’m slightly higher on them than Miami. While Atlanta’s only two wins have been against low-tier teams, it shows they can handle must-win games. Additionally, I will take an aging Matt Ryan over an inconsistent (and injury-prone) Tua Tagovailoa. Ryan’s won 115 games in his career, and that experience is worth something, even if he’s lost a step or two since his 2016 MVP season. Lay the points with Atlanta this Sunday and get ready for a fairly sloppy matchup.
My predictions: Falcons win 24-20, Falcons -2, under 47.5 points
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Date: Sunday, September 24
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami, FL
TV Coverage: FOX
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins Live Stream
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Atlanta Falcons: T Kaleb McGary (COVID) O, WR Russell Gage (ankle) Q, CB Avery Williams (hamstring) Q, S Erik Harris (calf) Q, DT Marlon Davidson (ankle) Q
Miami Dolphins: WR Preston Williams (groin) O, WR DeVante Parker (shoulder/hamstring) O, TE Adam Shaheen (knee) O, CB Xavien Howard (shoulder/groin) O, CB Byron Jones (Achilles/groin) O
Atlanta Falcons Analysis
In case it wasn’t clear, I’m not big on these Falcons. Beating the Jets and Giants doesn’t make you a contender in my book. However, the team will need every win it can, and facing the downtrodden Dolphins is just what the doctor ordered. The team has the offensive firepower to put up numbers. While QB Matt Ryan is clearly past his prime, he still has 10 TDs on the season. Tight end Kyle Pitts is starting to contribute more by the week, and currently leads the team with 308 yards.
However, we can’t talk about the Falcons offense without mentioning running back Cordarrelle Patterson. The back is averaging 4.2 yards per carry, but his contributions to the passing game are what has been most noticeable. He’s got 295 yards through the air and leads the team with four TDs. Don’t be surprised if he becomes a bigger part of the offense as the season progresses.
While I was down on this defense heading into the season, the unit has been fairly productive. The Falcons currently have the 13th-ranked defense in the league, allowing 352.6 yards per game. However, the team needs to start forcing some turnovers if they’re going to stay competitive this season. They have one lone interception this season from safety Jaylinn Hawkins and will need some more takeaways if they want to keep up against high-powered offenses late into the year.
Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart
Miami Dolphins Analysis
That must have been a long flight home for the Miami Dolphins. Head coach Brian Flores has to be kicking himself for some of those late decisions, especially the back-to-back challenge flags. Getting outcoached by the highly criticized Urban Meyer isn’t a great look for Flores, who has seen plenty of success in Miami before this season. He’s going to need to recapture his magic from the past two seasons if he wants his team to compete.
I’m still not sold on QB Tua Tagovailoa. Yes, the quarterback had a statistically efficient day on Sunday, recording 329 yards through the air with two touchdowns and a pick. However, this was against a lackluster Jaguars defense and I never felt like he was totally in control in the matchup. Picking Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert is likely already haunting the Dolphins, and that choice will continue to be scrutinized until the Miami passer can truly start producing.
While I was down on the offense heading into the season, I at least expected the Dolphins to be competitive defensively. What happened? The team is ranked 30th in the league right now, allowing 417.8 yards per game. That’s not going to cut it when you share a division with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. CB Xavien Howard seriously needs to step up when he’s back from injury. He’s recorded only one interception this season, a year removed from recording 10.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins Daily Fantasy Picks
I’m not sure if the Miami defense will be able to keep up with Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s been clicking with the Falcons offense. He might not put up conventional stats for a running back, but he’s getting into the end zone, and that makes a difference in DFS. Patterson’s averaging 20.4 fantasy points per game, so he’s quite a value at $6,300.
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