Time to Believe

The vast majority of the numbers from Sunday's game at Sun Life Stadium say the Atlanta Falcons should have defeated the Dolphins, but these are new Dolphins this year. It's a team that makes plays at key moments, and that's just what the Dolphins did on Sunday to pull a stirring 27-23 victory that gave them a 3-0 record.

It's the first time since the 2002 season that the Dolphins have started 3-0.

Team owner Stephen Ross walked out of the Dolphins locker room Sunday as the media was waiting outside to talk to players and he was asked what the 3-0 start told him about his team.

"I tells me we've got a damn good football team," Ross said with a big smile.

Indeed, there were a lot of smiles around the Dolphins locker room on Sunday, and for good reason.

The team they beat on Sunday came within a game of the Super Bowl last season and was among the teams considered legitimate contenders this year.

The Dolphins pulled out the victory thanks to a tremendous final drive engineers by Ryan Tannehill, who continues to show every week more and more steps in his development as a big-time quarterback.

Tannehill was nothing short of tremendous on that last drive, as he completed 9 of 12 passes for 69 yards and the game-winning 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Dion Sims.

Two of the incompletions on the drive were flat-out drops, one on a beautiful thrown down the sideline to running back Lamar Miller and the other to tight end Charles Clay.

The Dolphins were able to win despite battling injuries on defense.

They opened the game without starting defensive tackle Paul Soliai and cornerback Dimitri Patterson, and defensive end Cameron Wake was lost in the first quarter to a knee injury and linebacker Koa Misi was lost in the second quarter to a shoulder injury.

Atlanta outgained the Dolphins 377-285, had the advantage in time of possession 37:09-22:51, ran for 146 yards with a 4.9 average, and Julio Jones had nine catches for 115 yards.

But, just like they did the previous week at Indy, the Dolphins just hung in there, stayed close and then made the plays to win the games at the end.

Against the Colts, it was the defense coming up with a stand after Indy had reached the Miami 22-yard line.

Against the Falcons, it was the offense delivering the victory with that 13-play, 75-yard drive after normally reliable placekicker Matt Bryant had missed a 35-yard field goal attempt that would have given Atlanta a 26-20 lead.

The Dolphins never led in the game until the game-winning touchdown and trailed until tying the score late in the third quarter on Tannehill's 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline on a busted coverage by the Atlanta secondary.

That touchdown was set up by perhaps the key play of the game, a huge hit by rookie and special teams star Don Jones that caused a fumble from Harry Douglas that was recovered by long snapper John Denney.

That was another example of the Dolphins just making big plays, the kind of plays that make the difference between winning and losing games.

The Dolphins have kept making those this year and that, along with Tannehill's impressive performance, is why the Dolphins find themselves at 3-0 after the tremendous victory against the Falcons.

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