Dolphins at Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons spent their bye week licking their wounds after sustaining significant injuries as well as perhaps a bruised ego on the heels of their first loss of the season. Matt Ryan looks to rebound from a three-turnover performance in that encounter as the Falcons aim to return to their winning ways on Sunday when they host the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
"I think it will start to go our way. We've just got to keep working at it." said Ryan, who has thrown five interceptions and lost a fumble in 2017 on the heels of an NFL MVP performance last year. Ryan received good news as Atlanta attempted to heal itself after a 23-17 loss to Buffalo on Oct. 1, with four-time Pro Bowl selection Julio Jones declaring himself all systems go following a hip injury. While the Falcons are aiming to fine-tune its high-octane offense that has dropped from an NFL-best 33.8 points per game last season to "just" 26 this season, the Dolphins enter Sunday's tilt with a 32nd-ranked offense that has scored just one meaningful touchdown in the last 13 quarters. The Miami fans openly called for backup Matt Moore to replace Jay Cutler as the starting quarterback during the Dolphins' 16-10 win over Tennessee last week, but coach Adam Gase said the decision will not be based on a "public poll."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Falcons -13. O/U: 46
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (2-2): Miami's offense encountered a much different problem earlier this week as offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned after a video surfaced on social media showing him snorting an unknown white powder substance off a table while at work. The Dolphins hired former Miami offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo as a special offensive assistant, and he'll be tasked with attempting to provide a spark on a team that has no rushing touchdowns this season. Running back Jay Ajayi is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry for the Dolphins, who are dead last in the league in total offense (231.3 yards) and scoring (10.3 points).
ABOUT THE FALCONS (3-1): Dan Quinn sounded like a kid at a candy store when telling reporters that "We're a lot better off injury-wise. We had a lot of guys back (at practice). Man, that was good to see. The bye hit us at the right time in terms of injuries." Pass rusher Vic Beasley, who led the league with 15.5 sacks last year, is poised to return from a hamstring injury, defensive tackle Courtney Upshall (ankle/knee), strong safety Keanu Neal (hand) and kicker Matt Bryant (back) are likely to play on Sunday and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) said he's making strides as well. Running back Devonta Freeman, who played for Miami Central High, has found the end zone in every game this season and has 13 scores in his last seven home contests.
1. Ryan has thrown a touchdown pass in 23 consecutive games, which accounts for the NFL's longest active streak.
2. Miami LB Kiko Alonso, who has a team-best 28 tackles, forced a fumble and registered a sack last week.
3. Atlanta LB Reshad Jones, who leads the team with 27 tackles, recovered two fumbles, had one sack and scored a touchdown in the last game versus the Bills.