What We Saw: Preseason Week 1

Catch everything you missed from a weekend chock full of football

Falcons @ Dolphins

Final Score: Falcons 19, Dolphins 3

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


My expectations were low for this one once I saw Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Desmond Ridder, Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, and Drake London would all be sitting, but there was action from both offenses and a flurry of points in the final minutes. The Dolphins’ offense started the game hot, but a Mike White interception snuffed the drive in the red zone. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons found the endzone thanks to great blocking and some nice moves by Godwin Igwebuike. The Dolphins put up two more good drives, though both failed to score.

I am excited to watch another year of Mike McDaniel running what looks to be an electric offense. The third quarter was again scoreless thanks to another Dolphins interception and a dropped would-be touchdown for the Falcons. Miami finally got on the board with a later field goal, and things heated up. With 2:33 left in the game, Dee Alford took a Dolphins’ punt 79 yards to the house, juking out multiple defenders on the way. On the next drive, Skylar Thompson was picked off for a second time and we reached our final score of 19-3. I saw plenty of good from both offenses today despite the lack of star power. Let’s dive into it.


Atlanta Falcons




Logan Woodside: 14/23, 146 yards, 4 sacks | 1 carry, 5 yards


Logan Woodside played the entire game for Atlanta, and I was impressed with what I saw. Woodside consistently made good reads and accurate throws, despite the utter lack of a supporting cast. Sure, not every pass was laser sharp and some of them looked a tad late. He hit several tight windows, however, and Woodside has earned himself more playing time. Let’s just hope his receivers can catch more balls.


  • Started hot though an illegal shift penalty killed the first drive
  • A great throw to start the second drive into a tight window

Missed Opportunities

  • A beautiful deep strike would have been the pass of the game but dropped
  • A would-be touchdown was off the receiver’s fingertips


Running Back


Carlos Washington Jr: 12 carries, 27 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards


Carlos Washington Jr. had the first crack but didn’t show much today. He had capable hands, but everything was short and low difficulty.


Godwin Igwebuike: 13 carries, 70 yards, TD


Godwin Igwebuike had some nice runs and he looked like the best back for Atlanta today. He found the endzone at the end of the second drive, making a couple of subtle cuts to ensure the touchdown. Everything was blocked well, but Igwebuike still showed good vision and efficiency with his moves. He headlined early in the second half, helping the Falcons get down to the red zone before the drive stalled.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Xavier Malone: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 50 yards


Xavier Malone was the best receiver for Atlanta today, though that isn’t saying too much. Malone did well to find space deep and haul in an extremely difficult catch thanks to a bit hit from a defender.


  • Good at getting open deep on both catches
  • Took a big hit on the second reception but looked fine

Missed Opportunities

  • Was wide open on his first catch but the ball was late and hurt YAC potential


Tucker Fisk: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 15 yards

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 2 targets, 1 reception, 20 yards


The former first-round pick struggled to stand out much, save for his lone reception. Don’t expect too much hype moving forward as this was a prime opportunity to stand out.

Missed Opportunities

  • Dropped a touchdown in the corner of the endzone


Scott Miller: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards


Miami Dolphins




Mike White: 9/14, 85 yards, 1 INT, 1 sack


Mike White started strong, completing his first three passes–a great strike to Cedrick Wilson over the middle followed by consecutive first downs to Braxton Berrios and River Cracraft. It fell apart in the red zone, however, as White was easily picked off in the endzone on an ill-advised pass. He took a big sack to start the next drive and was hit-and-miss on the second drive and third drives. This outing does not build confidence in the Dolphins’ backup plan should anything happen to Tua.


  • White looked good on the team’s fourth drive, but they failed to score on a fourth and goal

Missed Opportunities

  • I counted three throws on the third drive that were off target, leading to shorter gains or incompletions.
  • A near touchdown on the team’s fourth drive just missed after getting deflected at the line


Skylar Thompson: 10/16, 104 yards, 2 INT, 4 sacks | 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 fumble lost


Skylar Thompson came in and took a big sack on his second snap. He had time but didn’t see anything downfield. Thompson had some good moments–like his scramble and throw to Elijah Higgins–but also same bad moments, like his first interception. Overall, I didn’t see much to say things are different from last year.

Missed Opportunities

  • Nice scramble for a first down called back
  • Looked late on a throw to Higgins where he had room to run


Running Back


Myles Gaskin: 7 carries, 57 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards


Myles Gaskin made his day on one big play–a 35-yard run on the team’s third drive. Gaskin showed nice burst up the middle followed by a pair of cuts for maximum yardage. This backfield will be highly contested and Gaskin showed well tonight.


  • The first catch came with the defense playing well back.
  • Gaskin came in for one play on the team’s fourth drive, a long catch for a first down.


De’Von Achane: 10 carries, 25 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 41 yards


De’Von Achane started the game off with a 38-yard kick return and he had plenty of opportunities to show his stuff. Achane is fast, but it didn’t stand out on tape: as a runner, he looked slow to get up to speed. I expected more explosiveness. Still, Achane is an adept pass-catcher and could carve out a role in that area. The other boon for Achane is clever play-calling: Mike McDaniel showed he was willing to use his weapons in unique ways to maximize their gifts. If the coach takes a liking to Achane, we should see great things.


Chris Brooks: 5 carries, 24 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards


While Chris Brooks saw minimal work, he impressed as a runner and showed a fun mix of strength and acceleration. He looked powerful and I found myself wanting to see more. We will see if this was a symptom of playing backups with more action.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Erik Ezukanma: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 15 yards | 2 carries, 52 yards


Erik Ezukanma was my star of the day for Miami and a surprise name to watch. His first play was a quick-hit pass to start the team’s third drive. A defender made contact immediately, but Ezukanma shrugged it off and gained a first down thanks to strong running. On the next drive, he took an end-around 39 yards and helped the Dolphins get into scoring range. Like Achane, Ezukanma should thrive thanks to brilliant play calling that knows how to put him in the right spots.


  • Seriously, how many fast guys is Miami allowed to have?


Elijah Higgins: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 36 yards


Rookie tight end Elijah Higgins caught his two passes on back-to-back plays early in the second half. On the first, he had to come back to his quarterback and did a great job making himself a bail-out target. I love the idea of a young tight end working to earn his quarterback’s trust. The next play was a short grab that could have been more if it was better thrown. Still, this was a nice debut for the rookie.


  • Drew a pair of penalties, though one of them was suspect.


Braxton Berrios: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 11 yards

Cedrick Wilson Jr: 2 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards

River Cracraft: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards


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