The Miami Dolphins have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 NFL season. In Week 3, they’ll face their toughest test yet.
Miami will host the defending NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Both teams are coming off victories.
At 2-0, the Dolphins have upset both of their opponents. They were underdogs when they visited the Cleveland Browns in the opener. In Week 2, they were expected to lose to the Indianapolis Colts. Now, Miami is playing at home for the first time all season, and the betting odds are in their favor. The point spread has them giving the Falcons 2.5 points.
Playing in Miami, however, may not be beneficial to the Dolphins. They, usually, have one of the worst home-field advantages in the league. According to pregame.com, the Dolphins are just 9-32 against the spread when they are favorites at home.
Despite their recent history in Miami, the Dolphins couldn’t be catching the Falcons at a better time. Atlanta has been hit with a rash of injuries, especially on defense. Defensive end Kroy Biermann is out for the season, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has been lost for at least two months and cornerback Asante Samuel is questionable with a thigh injury. Fullback Bradie Ewing is also done for the year, and Stephen Jackson will miss his first game since signing with Atlanta.
The injuries to their running backs may force the Falcons to rely even more on Matt Ryan and the passing attack. Only DeSean Jackson has more receiving yards than Julio Jones, and he’s played one more game because of the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.
The Dolphins passing attack looks to be much improved through two games this year. In his rookie season, Ryan Tannehill threw more interceptions than touchdowns. In 2013, however, he’s produced an impressive 94.2 passer rating. Free agent acquisition Mike Wallace had his first big game since joining the club, catching nine balls for 115 yards in Week 2.
Start Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream Online: NFL Sunday Ticket Max
Betting Odds: Miami-2.5, 44.5
Prediction: Miami 24, Atlanta 20