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Falcons beat Dolphins On Alford’s Punt Return For a Touchdown



Falcons beat Dolphins On Alford's Punt Return For a Touchdown

(CTN News) – On Friday night, the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Miami Dolphins 19-3 in their preseason opener with a 79-yard punt return by Dee Alford and a 79-yard interception return by Breon Borders.

With 4:36 left in the game, Alford broke multiple tackles for a touchdown against a Dolphins special teams unit that was among the worst in the NFL in 2022.

During Miami’s next possession, Borders intercepted Skylar Thompson on a throw that was too high for Chris Coleman to catch. The pick was returned by Borders 26 yards for a touchdown. Yunghoo Koo then missed his second attempt at an extra point.

Dolphins; Logan Woodside had 146 yards on 14 of 22 passing for Atlanta.

The Falcons did not field their projected starter, Desmond Ridder. Ridder, who started Atlanta’s final four games last season as a rookie, has impressed teammates and coaches with his poise and command in his second training camp.

On Wednesday, Ridder threw several touchdown passes during joint practices earlier in the week.

As regular starter Tua Tagovailoa watched from the sidelines, Thompson and White struggled.

Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel described the first practice against Atlanta as “average” after it involved Tagovailoa and most of the regular starters.

“Very competitive. They are a member of the National Football League. “They have some really good players on that side of the ball,” Tagovailoa said on Friday’s television broadcast. There were some plays that we made. So, it’s always good to have good back and forth, but there are a number of things that need to be corrected.”

On the Dolphins’ opening drive, White completed a 17-yard pass to Cedrick Wilson Jr. and a 14-yarder to River Cracraft, but was intercepted by Falcons rookie safety DeMarcco Hellams.

Seven tackles and one pass breakup were recorded by Hellams, a seventh-round pick.

In two quarters, White completed nine of 14 passes for 85 yards. Miami signed him to a two-year contract in March, and he is competing with Thompson for the backup position.

In his second NFL season, Thompson went 10 for 16 in the second half. Lukas Denis intercepted his pass overthrown to Elijah Higgins early in the fourth quarter.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta’s No. 8 overall pick, did not participate in the game.

A couple of good blocks from Atlanta’s offensive line enabled Igwebuike to take a handoff from Woodside and run into the end zone untouched in the second quarter. There were 13 carries for 70 yards by Igwebuike.

Cam Smith, Miami’s second-round rookie cornerback, had four tackles, a tackle for loss, and a pass breakup. After making a key third-down tackle in the red zone in the third quarter, he was examined in the medical tent. In the locker room, he exited the tent.

A Chane, a third-round rookie, rushed for 25 yards and returned kicks.

In the fourth quarter, Thompson led the Dolphins down the field for a scoring drive that ended with Sanders’ 49-yard field goal making the score 6-3.


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