From the Other Side, Part 3

To find out more about the Dolphins' opponent this week, the Atlanta Falcons, we checked in with lead NFL writer Brian McIntyre. In Part 3 of this three-part series, we take an overall look at the Falcons and get Brian's prediction on the game.

Q: The Falcons have never had two winning seasons in a row; is that cloud hovering over the team?

Brian McIntyre: You'd think so, but the feeling around the Falcons is that the arrivals of Thomas Dimitroff, Mike Smith, and Matt Ryan have exorcised the demons and the franchise's past doesn't dictate its future.

Q: What are the expectations for the Falcons this season?

BM: After earning a wild-card berth in 2008, the expectations are for the Falcons to take the next step and win the NFC South. With the additions they made during the offseason, anything short of that would be considered a disappointment.

Q: What is your prediction for the game, and why?

BM: I expect to see a tough, physical game, with the Falcons using their ground game to wear down the Dolphins defense and control the time of possession. Playing at home, where the Falcons went 7-1 in 2008, is a factor and I think a late Jason Elam field goal will give the Falcons a 20-17 win over the Dolphins.

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