AP Sports Writer

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —  Ryan Tannehill threw for 145 yards in less than a half despite working behind a makeshift offensive line, and the Miami Dolphins beat the Atlanta Falcons 13-9 in an exhibition game Saturday night.

While Tannehill wasn’t touched, counterpart Matt Ryan was sacked three times in four series.

Miami center Mike Pouncey departed in the first half because of a knee injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday. His departure left the Dolphins (1-2) with only two starting offensive linemen at their regular positions.

Tannehill, who played six series, went 15 for 19 with one score before leaving shortly before halftime with Miami leading 7-3. His touchdown pass covered 2 yards to Rishard Matthews.

Throwing mostly short, Tannehill is 33 for 41 during the exhibition season for 303 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Guys are getting open and making plays for me down the field,” Tannehill said. “I’m making good decisions and getting the ball in the right spot. There are plays I don’t do perfectly, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction, and we have to build on what we’ve done.”

The Falcons (1-2) ran 15 plays against Miami’s first-team defense, netting 33 yards passing and minus-1 rushing. Ryan had a perfect 158.3 passer rating in each of the first two games, but against Miami he settled for 3 for 7 for 49 yards, including a 28-yard completion to Leonard Hankerson.


Falcons: T.J. Yates, battling for the backup job behind Ryan, went 18 for 28 for 187 yards.

Dolphins: Miami played three centers in the first half, including Pouncey, and got Tannehill out of the game just in time. Replacement Matt Moore was shaken up and lost a fumble when he was sacked by O’Brien Schofield, who beat starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James.


Free agent Nick Williams, bidding to claim a spot on the Falcons’ 53-man roster, led them with four catches for 43 yards. Teammate Julio Jones sat out shortly after the announcement of his $71.25 million, five-year contract extension.


Dolphins: Kick returner LaMike James departed with a chest injury, and reserve cornerback Zack Bowman left with a thigh injury.

Falcons: Backup tight end Tony Moeaki was sidelined with a thigh injury, and backup tackle Tyler Polumbus hurt his knee.



Falcons: Williams and Devin Hester collided when both tried to catch a kickoff in the second quarter. The ball squirted away, but a teammate recovered.

Matt Bryant went 3 for 3, kicking a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, also making 43- and 39-yarders.

Dolphins: John Denney, who has seniority on the roster entering his 11th season with Miami, short-hopped a snap to backup punter Matt Darr, who was tackled by the Falcons.

Andrew Franks, challenging incumbent Caleb Sturgis for the kicking job, went 2 for 2, from 32 and 51 yards.


Falcons: Tevin Coleman, who started after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury, carried four times for 2 yards.


Dolphins coach Joe Philbin on the way his team pressured Ryan: “They got after the quarterback real well. He had a hard time setting his feet and throwing the ball and looking downfield.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said his defense showed improvement, but his offense was “a little bit inconsistent in terms of protection and the run game. We got into some negative situations in terms of down and distance.”


The game was the first since a two-year renovation project began at the Dolphins’ stadium. Two escalators were not working, there were problems with credit card machines, and the press box elevator was shut down. But team president Tom Garfinkel said glitches were expected, and he declared the opening a success.

Fans fled their seats when rain fell in the first quarter, and they’ll welcome the canopy that will be erected early next year to cover most of the stands.