QB Chad Pennington was under pressure all day from the Falcons' line, especially LDE John Abraham, who had two of their four sacks. They accomplished that with very few blitzes. He didn't seem too thrilled about getting yanked several times in the second quarter for rookie QB Pat White, who ran Wildcat-like plays that rarely worked. Pennington, who takes pride in protecting the ball, had two of Miami's four turnovers with a fumble and an interception.
WR Greg Camarillo assumed his starting job after being displaced in the preseason for Davone Bess. Camarillo, who had 55 catches for 643 yards last season before tearing his ACL in Game 11 against the Patriots had two catches for 20 yards, but one was a circus catch in which he bobbled the ball several times before securing it with his thigh and foot. First ruled in incomplete, the call was reversed after coach Tony Sparano was convinced to challenge it by several Dolphins defensive linemen, who had a good look at the play from the sidelines.
WR Ted Ginn Jr. had just two catches for 25 yards, but also had several touches on end-arounds and once from the 'Shot-Ginn' where he was called on to throw deep to RB Ronnie Brown, However, the former highs school quarterback saw that Brown was double-covered and managed to elude pressure for a 1-yard gain. He struggled as the primary kick returner, averaging just 18.3 yards on three attempts before being replaced by Patrick Cobbs in the fourth quarter.
RB Ronnie Brown, hoping to have a breakout season in his contract year, had little room to run Sunday and gained just 43 yards on 10 carries to go with three catches for 10 yards. Brown operated out of the Wildcat just once and gained four yards.
TE Anthony Fasano had a nightmarish game, committing two of Miami's four turnovers, including a critical fumble on Atlanta's 16-yard line late in the first half after taking a ferocious hit from LB Mike Peterson. He also had a touchdown catch called back on a hold and Pennington's interception was intended for him.
RCB Sean Smith started in his first NFL game and played well with two tackles and two pass breakups. He split the game with fellow rookie Vontae Davis, who was excellent in run support with one tackle for a loss.
SS Yeremiah Bell had his hands full with Falcons TE Anthony Gonzalez, and although Bell had eight tackles he whiffed on a key tackle against the future Hall of Famer that turned a short gain into a game-securing 20-yard TD in the third quarter.
RB Ricky Williams looked far more explosive and powerful than starter Ronnie Brown as he gained 39 yards on seven carries, including a 14-yard romp. He scored the only Miami touchdown on a 9-yard TD catch off play-action late in the game.
WR Davone Bess may not have started but he was clearly Pennington's favorite target with seven catches for 57 yards. He also maintained his job as the primary punt returner. Bess continues to catch everything thrown in his direction.
LT Jake Long had the worst game of his fledgling career, getting beat twice on sacks by DE John Abraham and DE Kevin Biermann, who had two sacks apiece. Sparano called it a learning experience, saying it, "wasn't a winning experience."
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