Well, the weather was good.
The football, not so much. After two straight pre-season games with less than ideal meteorological conditions, the Dolphins were 2-0. Tonight there was no rain but there weren’t many highlights either, as the Falcons flew south and ended the Fins nine game pre-season winning streak.
Of course the exhibition season isn’t so much about winning and losing as it is about how the team looks. After tonight, though, both of these teams may be heading back to the drawing board. The Falcons unquestionably looked better than the Dolphins, but their star-in-the-making quarterback, Matt Ryan, was just 13-of-26 for 103 yards and threw one touchdown and one interception.
On the other side, Chad Henne was only 10-of-22 for 123 yards and an INT and didn’t get much help from his running game, as both Ronnie Brown (8 carries, 9 yards) and Ricky Williams (4 carries, 5 yards) were locked down.
And then there were the drops. Days after trading Greg Camarillo (zero drops last season) to the Vikings, Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, and company were plagued by one of the less endearing (but more enduring) pre-season storylines–the inability of the receivers to, ya know, receive.
Despite the ugliness of the game, there were some positives. Dan Carpenter boomed a 53-yard field goal to give Miami an early 3-0 lead and Vontae Davis looked like a future Pro Bowler, making several big plays in the secondary.
As much as we bill the third pre-season game as the “dress rehearsal,” and as much as we hyped this one up, perhaps we should take at least a half-step back and remember that the pre-season is just the pre-season and that ugly things happen. The Colts did give up 59 points last night and the Pats lost at home to the lowly Rams.
The Dolphins? They did not look good. Plenty to work on, for sure. But hey, at least it didn’t rain.
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