What We Saw: Week 7

Falcons @ Dolphins

Final Score: Falcons 30, Dolphins 28

Writer: Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter)


Both of these teams came into this one having played their last game in London. The Falcons were coming off a bye, while the Dolphins opted to defer their bye despite playing across the pond last week. Despite that, it was the Dolphins who jumped out to an early lead with a 16-play touchdown drive to open the game. After the teams traded punts the Falcons started to find their rhythm, sandwiching a blocked Miami field goal between a field goal and a touchdown. After Tua Tagovailoa threw a red zone interception late in the first half the Falcons were able to sneak in another field goal before halftime on the back of a 39-yard reception by Kyle Pitts. Atlanta extended their league just over a minute into the second half on a long touchdown to Russell Gage, but Miami was able to respond and keep the game close. In the fourth quarter, the teams traded interceptions and touchdown drives before a Matt Ryan fumble set the Dolphins up to take a late one-point lead. Ryan was able to respond brilliantly, finding Pitts down the field for two long receptions and easily moving the Falcons into field goal range. After a few running plays to chew the clock, the Falcons kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired, winning the game 30-28.



Atlanta Falcons




Matt Ryan: 25/40, 336 yards, 2 TD, INT, Sack | 3 carries, 0 yards, Fumble


Matt Ryan had a strong game, highlighted by a beautiful deep ball to Russell Gage for a 49-yard touchdown.



Ryan looked comfortable in the pocket and even had a few nice plays on the move, including one throw back across his body to pick up the first down. His interception wasn’t his fault as it came on a throw that should have been a completion to Calvin Ridley, but Ridley allowed the defensive back to rip the ball away from him. Ryan’s fumble came on a scramble where he didn’t feel the defender coming behind him and allowed the ball to be knocked out of his hands. The fumble was costly, as it set up the Dolphins for a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth.



Ryan responded well, delivering two clutch throws to Kyle Pitts for 23 and 28 yards. Overall, Ryan was good today and could have had a bigger fantasy performance if Ridley in particular had played better.


Running Backs


Cordarrelle Patterson: 14 carries, 60 yards, TD | 5 targets, 2 receptions, 1 yard

Mike Davis: 4 carries, 10 yards


Cordarrelle Patterson got the start at running back and handled almost all of the work. Patterson looked shifty on his carries but wasn’t able to get anything done as a receiver. He was able to make the first man miss several times and generally did a good job of falling forward when he was tackled. He punched in a short touchdown on a nice run where he set up his blocks before cutting back the other way.



Mike Davis seemed to be on the field a decent amount but only got four touches. One of them was a crucial third-down carry, which he converted for a first down, but it appears he has lost most of his workload to Patterson. Davis also appeared to tweak something after taking a handoff on the last drive of the game causing him to limp to the sideline, but as of now, there hasn’t been any update on his injury status.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Calvin Ridley: 10 targets, 4 receptions, 26 yards, TD

Kyle Pitts: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 163 yards

Russell Gage: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 67 yards, TD

Hayden Hurst: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 35 yards

Tajae Sharpe: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards


Calvin Ridley returned this week after missing a game with a personal matter. He didn’t look great today, dropping the ball several times and allowing a defender to rip the ball away from him for an interception. Ridley also took a hard shot on a target over the middle, which caused him to drop the ball, but he seemed to get up with no issue and didn’t miss any meaningful amount of time. He saved his fantasy day with a touchdown catch when the defense lost track of him in the red zone.



The star or the show for the Falcons was Kyle Pitts. He absolutely dominated to the point that it was a little surprising he didn’t get the ball more. He drew a defensive pass interference penalty, but the Falcons didn’t need to accept it because Pitts somehow managed to make a ridiculous one-handed catch with the defender wrapped around his other arm.



Pitts came up big on the Falcons’ game-winning drive, essentially single-handedly getting them into field goal range. Pitts was lining up outside a lot, especially down the stretch, and made this big catch down the sideline while absorbing a hit.



Russell Gage returned from injury to catch a 49-yard touchdown and slid right back into his role as the number two receiver. He was quiet, aside from the long touchdown of course, but he looked healthy and was on the field for most of the offensive snaps.


Miami Dolphins




Tua Tagovailoa: 32/40, 291 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT, Sack | 4 carries, 29 yards


Tua Tagovailoa was a difficult quarterback to evaluate today. On some plays he looks fantastic, scrambling for a nice gain after making a defender miss or delivering accurate throws on the run. His throw to Mack Hollins to give the Dolphins a late lead was a perfectly placed ball thrown while Tua rolled to his left.



And it is tough to critique his stat line, as he only threw eight incompletions and accounted for all of Miami’s touchdowns. But a lot of Tua’s passes seemed to float on him a bit, as his velocity was not great today, and that resulted in a lot of his receivers needing to make difficult catches or being unable to run after the catch like they would have if he got the ball there a little faster. He also made an awful decision on his interception, opting to blindly throw the ball away over the middle of the field instead of taking a sack.



His other interception was the result of throwing the ball into too tight of a window in the end zone, although his receiver probably also deserved some blame for not turning back to the ball sooner. Tua’s best throws were over the middle of the field, where he was able to deliver accurate strikes mostly to his tight ends, and on a few plays where he broke the pocket but kept his eyes downfield. As a runner Tua looked great on his four carries, making defenders miss in space while protecting the ball, and it would have been nice to see him use his legs a little more often.

All in all, Tua had a good day and played within the offense. While he may not have had the big splash plays and his arm strength looked a little suspect he was undeniably efficient and, mostly, accurate.


Running Backs


Myles Gaskin: 15 carries, 67 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 10 yards, TD

Salvon Ahmed: 7 carries, 26 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 26 yards

Malcolm Brown: 3 carries, 10 yards, 1 target, 1 reception, -1 yard


Malcolm Brown got the start today and handled the first four running back touches, but then he suffered a quad injury and did not return.



Myles Gaskin took over the backfield from that point on. He was effective as a runner, able to take what his blockers created for him. He looked fast once he got into the open field, but the few times he didn’t have a clear lane to run through he struggled to create anything on his own. On his touchdown reception, he did a nice job to stay in bounds while avoiding a half-hearted tackle attempt from the defender.



Salvon Ahmed mixed in as a substitute for Gaskin, but this was Gaskin’s show once Brown left the game.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Jaylen Waddle: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 83 yards

Mike Gesicki: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 85 yards, TD

Durham Smythe: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards

Adam Shaheen: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 23 yards

Mack Hollins: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards TD

Isaiah Ford: 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards, TD


Trying not to be outdone by Pitts, Mike Gesicki had a strong performance. Gesicki consistently made difficult catches in traffic look easy and did a great job of utilizing his frame to box out defenders. On his touchdown catch, Gesicki simply posted up two smaller defenders in the end zone and never gave them a chance to make a play on the ball.



Gesicki converted several key third downs and spent most of the game functioning as a big slot receiver that served as Tua’s primary safety valve.

Jaylen Waddle had a solid game, doing most of his damage after the catch and operating mostly close to the line of scrimmage. He never got a chance to fully unleash his speed, but it was apparent on several plays just how fast he can accelerate when he has space. Durham Smythe and Adam Shaheen played a lot, as the Dolphins used multiple tight end sets a lot, and both players made some nice catches to pick up short first downs. Smythe did fail to turn on the aforementioned Tua interception in the end zone, but Tua showed no hesitation going back to him again later in the game.

Mack Hollins and Isaiah Ford each caught short touchdowns, with Ford’s coming on a nicely designed slant play in the red zone.



 — Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.