MIAMI – The Falcons showed off their vertical passing attack against the Dolphins in a 23-6 victory on Friday at Sun Life Stadium.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan launched three bombs in the direction of second-year wide receiver Julio Jones, who came down with one for a 49-yard gain.
He got his hands on the other two, but was unable to haul them in for catches. One of the attempts would have resulted in a touchdown.
One of the features of the offense under new coordinator Dirk Koetter is the deep passing attack. The Falcons did not regularly throw the ball down the field under former coordinator Mike Mularkey and did not displayed the deep ball much in games against the Ravens and Bengals.
“I think that’s one of the things when you are throwing it down the field, you just got to keep taking those chances,” said Ryan, who completed 18 of 26 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown against the Dolphins. “You’ve got to have the timing just right. It’s one of the those things where you are 1 out of 3 on balls way down the field, that’s not a bad day.”
On their second possession of the third quarter, the Falcons had the ball first down-and-10 at their 34 when Ryan took a deep shot down the field.
Jones worked his way back to a slightly under thrown pass and hauled in the 49-yarder.
“It was big because that changed field position for us pretty quickly,” Ryan said of having a quick-strike capacity in the offense. “We were in a backed-up situation. …I think that’s something that if we can do that throughout the year; change field position with one big explosive play like that, it’s going to benefit us.”
The Falcons went on to score their only touchdown of the game on that drive when Ryan tossed a 20-yard strike to Roddy White.
Jones finished with four catches for 90 yards. He figures that he’ll catch those other two passes he dropped when he and Ryan work out there game-speed timing.
“When the games come around, you play at a higher level than practice,” Jones said. “You are going to run faster and you’re going to throw the ball farther. Preseason is helping us out.”
He wasn’t too worried about the near misses.
“We are going to get it,” Jones said. “He was just taking some shots. I thank him for that. We are trying to be an explosive team. We just have to take those shots so that when those plays present themselves, we have to know that we are going to be able to hit them during the regular season.
“It was good to get them out there now. It’s the preseason. It’s just all about timing and we are just trying to get on the same page.”
Ryan, who may play just a series or not at all against Jacksonville on Thursday, is having a spectacular exhibition season. He’s completed 45 of 60 passes (75 percent) for 549 yards, three touchdowns, an interception and has a quarterback rating of 111.
He’s not worried about the running game, which has struggled in the exhibition season. The Falcons rushed for 69 yards on 27 carries against the Dolphins.
“I’m not concerned,” Ryan said. “We have strong offensive line and a good stable of running backs. It’s something that we’ll get rolling as you have a chance to play all four quarters, its interesting to see how things shake out. I think we’ll be just fine.”
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