The Atlanta Falcons travel to Sun Life stadium on Friday to play the Miami Dolphins in the third week of preseason football. Brian Miller of the Fansided blog, Phin Phanatic, offered to give some insight into what we can expect from the Dolphins and which players to keep an eye on. I returned the favor the Falcons which you can find on his site.
Hit the jump for five questions of insight.
(note: This is a guest post offered up by Phin Phanatic site lead Brian Miller.)
How many snaps will the Dolphin starters play and are there any significant players who will not be active?
The Dolphins are expecting to play their starters through the 3rd quarter but it’s likely that Chad Henne, Ronnie Brown, and Brandon Marshall will end their night after about 2 series in the 3rd. At that point, Chad Pennington will take over and Tyler Thigpen will clean up. HC Tony Sparano has indicated that Pat White will not see action as a QB.
What can the Falcons defense expect from the Dolphins offense? Wildcat, run-based or an air-it-out approach?
The Dolphins are trying out new and different combinations of personnel. With the addition of Brandon Marshall they are working to expose weakness’ in the opponents LB’s. I would look for the TE’s to be more involved.
Give me two Dolphin players we should be keeping an eye on in this game and why.
On the defensive side of the ball I would watch Cameron Wake. Wake is a big time pass rushing OLB but he struggles in coverage. He is trying to make a name and will look to get to Matt Ryan as often as possible. The problem is thus far he hasn’t much luck in getting to anyone.
Offensively, I would watch Anthony Fasano. Fasano had 2 TD catches last week and I don’t think that was a fluke.
Which Falcon players (one offense, one defense) most concern you and why?
Matt Ryan is the best QB the Phins have faced so far and I think that is what many Phin fans will be watching. How the Dolphins defense handles both his arms and his legs. The Dolphins have not had much success containing QB’s thus far and have allowed big gains off broken containment plays.
Defensively, the entire secondary of the Falcons. Phin fans want to see how Brian Hartline and Brandon Marshall can work downfield against a solid defensive unit.
Looking towards the regular season, finish this sentence: It will be a successful season if the Dolphins
Are either A: contending for a division title in week 17 or make the playoffs
The starters will see more time in this one than they have all preseason so this will be as true a test as there will be before traveling to Pittsburgh. What do you think Falcons fans? Do you expect a bounce back game after the New England debacle? Let me know you thoughts in the comments or find me on Twitter. You can also view my Falcons’ rebuttal at Phin Phanatic.