Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins

ATL
20
MIA
23
FINAL
1234T
ATL 776020
MIA 3701323

Game Information
Location: Hard Rock Stadium Miami Gardens, Florida
Attendance: 64,271

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons' new investment in Devonta Freeman is already reaping dividends.

Now the NFL's highest-paid running back, Freeman looked the part in a brief appearance Thursday night, scoring on a 15-yard reception from Matt Ryan as Atlanta lost to the Miami Dolphins 23-20.

Freeman, who agreed Wednesday to a $41.25 million, five-year contract extension, scored to cap the Falcons' first preseason possession.

"It was just about me competing, doing what I love to do," he said.

Freeman ranked seventh in the league last year with 1,541 total yards.

"We're really thrilled to get this deal gone, knowing what a significant factor he is for us," coach Dan Quinn said.

Freeman's touchdown capped a 36-yard drive by new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian's unit after a 39-yard punt return by newcomer Andre Roberts.

The Dolphins' exhibition season began badly. Second-round draft pick Raekwon McMillan, the front-runner to start at middle linebacker, hurt his right knee on Roberts' return.

After the game, coach Adam Gase said he did not yet know the severity of the injury. McMillan left the locker room on crutches.

"It's tough to see a young player go down," Gase said.

Miami backup safety Walt Aikens also left the game in the first quarter with a back injury.

The Falcons, who blew a 28-3 advantage against New England in last season's Super Bowl, this time let a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead get away. Undrafted rookie Damore'ea Stringfellow caught a 99-yard touchdown pass from David Fales to cap Miami's comeback, but neither is likely to make the roster.

First-teamers on both sides saw little or no action. New Miami quarterback Jay Cutler sat out, and backup Matt Moore played one series, which went three-and-out after confusion forced the Dolphins to call timeout before their first snap.

"That was my fault," Gase said with a wry smile. "I thought they were in different personnel and changed the call, and didn't give Matt enough time."

The Falcons were on their third quarterback before the first quarter ended. Ryan played one series and went 3 for 3, hitting three receivers for 32 yards.

His touchdown pass came on fourth and 1, when he faked a handoff to Freeman, who then circled out of the backfield to make the catch in the flat and score untouched.

Freeman and Ryan celebrated in the end zone with a flying shoulder bump and hug.

Miami's second-team offense drove 40 yards to the Falcons' 20 before Atlanta's first-teamers came out of the game. The Dolphins then settled for a field goal.

CROWD SUPPORT

Freeman, who grew up in Miami, said he had about 70 kids from his local youth program at the game, along with two dozen friends and relatives.

"It's always fun to come back to Miami," he said.

GOOD CATCHES

Dolphins receiver Leonte Carroo, a disappointment as a rookie last year, outmaneuvered C.J. Goodwin to catch a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Doughty.

"We were on the same page, and I was able to make a great play on the ball," Carroo said.

Stringfellow hauled in Fales' pass at the Miami 30, cut twice to elude safety Marcelis Branch and raced down the sideline for his score to put Miami ahead to stay.

KICKING CONTROVERSY?

Matt Bryant, who's entering his 16th season, missed a 47-yard field goal attempt for Atlanta, while second-year pro Mike Meyer made kicks of 30 and 53 yards.

"Mike nailed it like he does in practice," Quinn said. "He has a fantastic model to look for in terms of consistency in Matt Bryant."

GROUND GAME

Terron Ward, contending to be Atlanta's third running back, carried 11 times for 48 yards and a touchdown. Kenyan Drake led Miami rushers with 21 yards in five carries.

YOUNGSTERS

Rookie defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and second-year receiver Jakeem Grant had impressive moments for Miami.

"I liked how all of our young guys tried to play as fast as they could," Gase said. "And I didn't feel like we had a lot of mistakes."

SIDELINED

Falcons first-round draft pick Takkarist McKinley and receiver Julio Jones sat out. Among those not playing for the Dolphins were running back Jay Ajayi, center Mike Pouncey and left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve-Wine

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Dolphins
10:28 Devonta Freeman 15 yd pass from Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant kick) 7 0
05:05 Andrew Franks 36 yd FG 7 3

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Dolphins
05:17 Leonte Carroo 33 yd pass from Brandon Doughty (Andrew Franks kick) 7 10
00:15 Terron Ward 3 yd run (Matt Bryant kick) 14 10

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Dolphins
06:31 Mike Meyer 30 yd FG 17 10
01:49 Mike Meyer 53 yd FG 20 10

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Dolphins
13:27 Francis Owusu 17 yd pass from David Fales (failed 2pt Pass from David Fales) 20 16
08:47 Damore'ea Stringfellow 99 yd pass from David Fales (Andrew Franks kick) 20 23

Team Stats
  Atlanta Miami
1st Downs 17 12
Total Yards 279 318
Passing 166 258
Passing Completions/Attempts 20-30 16-30
Yards/Pass 5.4 8.6
Rushing 113 60
Rushing Attempts 32 22
Yards/Rush 3.5 2.7
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles Lost 2 0
Interceptions Thrown 0 2
Possession 34:53 25:07

Atlanta Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Matt Simms 10 20 104 5.2 0 0
Matt Ryan 3 3 32 10.7 1 0
Matt Schaub 2 2 20 10.0 0 0
Alek Torgersen 5 5 19 3.8 0 0

Miami Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
David Fales 8 17 184 10.8 2 1
Brandon Doughty 7 12 69 5.8 1 1
Matt Moore 1 1 5 5.0 0 0

Atlanta Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Terron Ward 11 48 4.4 1 26
Matt Simms 3 24 8.0 0 10
Alek Torgersen 2 17 8.5 0 14
Brian Hill 9 10 1.1 0 4
Kelvin Taylor 4 7 1.8 0 3
Devonta Freeman 1 3 3.0 0 3
Tyler Renew 1 3 3.0 0 3
Tevin Coleman 1 1 1.0 0 1

Miami Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Kenyan Drake 4 21 5.2 0 8
Damien Williams 6 18 3.0 0 10
De'Veon Smith 7 12 1.7 0 5
Senorise Perry 2 7 3.5 0 4
Storm Johnson 2 5 2.5 0 4
Brandon Doughty 1 -3 -3.0 0 -3

Atlanta Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Reggie Davis 2 43 21.5 0 27
Anthony Dable 3 32 10.7 0 16
Marvin Hall 2 23 11.5 0 19
Terron Ward 3 16 5.3 0 10
Devonta Freeman 1 15 15.0 1 15
Austin Hooper 1 12 12.0 0 12
Reginald Davis III 1 10 10.0 0 10
Deante Burton 1 6 6.0 0 6
Tyler Renew 2 5 2.5 0 4
Kelvin Taylor 1 5 5.0 0 5
Mohamed Sanu 1 5 5.0 0 5
Darion Griswold 1 4 4.0 0 4
Eric Saubert 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1

Miami Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Damore'ea Stringfellow 2 116 58.0 1 99
Francis Owusu 2 45 22.5 1 28
Leonte Carroo 1 33 33.0 1 33
MarQueis Gray 3 26 8.7 0 12
Thomas Duarte 3 19 6.3 0 11
Jakeem Grant 2 8 4.0 0 12
DeVante Parker 1 5 5.0 0 5
Senorise Perry 1 4 4.0 0 4
Kenyan Drake 1 2 2.0 0 2

Atlanta Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
De'Vondre Campbell 3 0 0 0
Jalen Collins 2 0 0 0
Ra'Shede Hageman 2 0 0 0
Josh Keyes 2 0 0 0
Deron Washington 2 0 0 0
Blidi Wreh-Wilson 2 0 0 0
Ricardo Allen 1 1 0 0
Marcelis Branch 1 0 0 0
Deion Jones 1 1 0 0
Jarnor Jones 1 0 0 0
Damontae Kazee 1 0 0 0
Jack Lynn 1 0 0 0
Quincy Mauger 1 0 0 0
Jordan Moore 1 0 0 0
Sharrod Neasman 1 0 0 0
Chris Odom 1 0 0 0
Deji Olatoye 1 0 0 0
Duke Riley 1 3 0 0
Desmond Trufant 1 0 0 0
Tani Tupou 1 0 0 0
Courtney Upshaw 1 1 0 0
Joe Vellano 1 1 0 0
C.J. Goodwin 0 0 0 0
Jermaine Grace 0 0 0 0
Brian Hill 0 0 0 0
Kemal Ishmael 0 2 0 0
JT Jones 0 0 0 0
Brooks Reed 0 1 0 0
LaRoy Reynolds 0 0 0 0
Terron Ward 0 0 0 0

Miami Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Deon Lacey 5 0 0 0
Cordrea Tankersley 5 0 0 0
Chase Allen 4 2 0 0
Lafayette Pitts 4 0 0 0
Jordan Lucas 3 0 0 0
Vincent Taylor 3 0 0 0
Cameron Malveaux 2 0 1 9
Terrence Fede 2 0 0 0
William Hayes 2 0 0 0
A.J. Hendy 2 0 0 0
Xavien Howard 2 0 0 0
Ndamukong Suh 2 0 0 0
Kiko Alonso 1 0 0 0
Davon Godchaux 1 1 0 0
Mike Hull 1 0 0 0
Reshad Jones 1 0 0 0
Praise Martin-Oguike 1 0 0 0
T.J. McDonald 1 0 0 0
Trevor Reilly 1 1 0 0
Michael Thomas 1 0 0 0
Lawrence Timmons 1 0 0 0
Alterraun Verner 1 0 0 0
Thomas Duarte 0 0 0 0
Torry McTyer 0 0 0 0
Lawrence Okoye 0 2 0 0
Maurice Smith 0 0 0 0
Cameron Wake 0 1 0 0
Julius Warmsley 0 1 0 0
Brandon Watts 0 0 0 0

Atlanta Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
De'Vondre Campbell 1 0 0
Jarnor Jones 1 0 0

Miami Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Atlanta Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Marvin Hall 4 88 22.0 0 29
Andre Roberts 1 26 26.0 0 26

Miami Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Storm Johnson 1 44 44.0 0 44
De'Veon Smith 2 35 17.5 0 22
Torry McTyer 1 17 17.0 0 17
Jakeem Grant 1 17 17.0 0 17

Atlanta Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Andre Roberts 1 39 39.0 0 39
Marvin Hall 1 26 26.0 0 26
Josh Magee 1 9 9.0 0 9
Quincy Mauger 1 0 0.0 0 0
Reggie Davis 1 0 0.0 0 0

Miami Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Jordan Westerkamp 1 4 4.0 0 4
Jakeem Grant 3 3 1.0 0 5

Atlanta Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Mike Meyer 2 2 100.0 53
Matt Bryant 0 1 0.0

Miami Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Andrew Franks 1 1 100.0 36

Atlanta Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Matt Bosher 6 279 57

Miami Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Matt Darr 3 138 52
Matt Haack 3 128 44