Atlanta Falcons (0-0) at Miami Dolphins (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday August 10, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Miami Dolphins PK -- Over/Under: 36.5
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
The Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins meet Thursday in week 1 of the NFL preseason at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Atlanta Falcons need to get off to a good preseason start to build confidence after collapsing in a Super Bowl they should have won. Offensively, the band is back together with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and the entire offensive line intact. The Falcons offense this preseason is about finding depth with rookie offensive lineman Sean Harlow, running back Brian Hill and possibly a backup quarterback in Matt Simms or Alek Torgersen. As long as that unit stays healthy, the Falcons will once again be possibly the best offensive team in the league. Defensively, the Atlanta Falcons will get their first looks at Dontari Poe and Takkarist McKinley, two defensive linemen who are projected to be starters up front. Vic Beasley and Deion Jones form a solid tandem at linebacker, but rookie cornerback Damontae Kazee will be the one guy fighting for a roster spot in the secondary.
The Miami Dolphins have some optimism this season after winning 10 games last year and look to make back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2010-11. Right now, it’s all about the health of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who hurt his left knee in practice and his season is in jeopardy depending on the outcome of the MRI. If Tannehill can’t go, the Dolphins will turn to veteran backup Matt Moore or possibly be the team to reach out to blackballed Colin Kaepernick. The rest of the Dolphins interest should be on the defensive side of the ball where Miami couldn’t stop the run to save its life. Additions of linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Lawrence Timmons may help that unit, but it all starts up front with Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake. The Miami Dolphins are also expected to be without running back Jay Ajayi, who is dealing with a concussion.
The Falcons are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Dolphins are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games. The Falcons are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings and the home team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
With Tannehill's future in question, the Dolphins are likely going to give the bulk of this game to Moore in hopes of getting him ready for the regular season. He needs as many reps as possible to return to starter quality. Having that consistency is huge in a preseason game where there's constant shifting of players. The Falcons know what they have on the offensive side and a backup of Matt Schaub is good for an interception or two. I like stability in my preseason games and a half or so of Moore holds value. I'll take the Dolphins at home in this pick em.