Dolphins and Falcons Meet in Dress Rehearsal for Regular Season

By David A.

On Thursday, Week 3 of the 2016 NFL preseason will kick off with an inter-conference matchup when the Atlanta Falcons visit the Miami Dolphins. The current line has Miami favored by 2.5 points with the over/under point total sitting on 43.5.

Week 3 of preseason is when many coaches like to look at their starters for at least the first half and often times well into the second half. Most coaches will sit their starters for the fourth week of preseason after looking at them during Week 3.

Atlanta was 8-8 last season under Dan Quinn who was in his first season as the head coach. Matt Ryan continues to be the starting quarterback with his favorite target being Julio Jones one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. Devonta Freeman was the top rusher for the Falcons last season.

Last week, Atlanta held Cleveland scoreless during the second half to win on the road 24-13. Freeman had a 19-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. Atlanta had 31 first downs in the game to just 12 for Cleveland.

Miami had a disappointing season last year finishing 6-10. During the season, Joe Philbin was fired as the head coach. During the offseason, the Dolphins hired Adam Gase as the head coach away from the Denver Broncos. The hope is Gase can get starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to reach his potential.

Two wide receivers will be Tannehill’s favorite targets. Jarvis Landry last season caught 111 receptions and DeVante Parker a pick in the first round in 2015 gives the Dolphins to big threats down field. Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster will likely split the duties in the backfield.

Last week, Miami was routed by Dallas 41-14. Tannehill had a productive day with 162 yards passing and 2 touchdown passes.

Atlanta is 2-10 against the spread in its past 12 games played.

Miami is 2-9 ATS over its past 11 games played at home.

The UNDER has cashed in 12 of the past 16 games Atlanta has played on the road.

The UNDER has cashed in 7 of the past 8 games Miami has played on Thursday.

Over the past 5 games played between the two teams, the favorite has covered the spread four times.

Miami will be without starting center Mike Pouncey who has an injured hip.

Prediction: Lean here towards the home team. Take Miami.