The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons

Progress is seldom simple; it comes with costs and casualties – Nancy Gibbs

When the smoke clears and the dust settles, the Miami Dolphins’ 23-20 win against the Atlanta Falcons will be a blip on the radar compared to the main headline of Thursday night:

“Dolphins fear LB Raekwon McMillan may have tore ACL”

Before officially taking his first professional snap on defense, rookie linebacker Raekwon McMillan collided knees with teammate Deon Lacey covering a punt. The former Ohio St. standout was able to walk off the field on his own. He eventually even walked to the locker room under his own power. However, McMillan was unfortunately seen after the game on crutches with a large brace on his knee, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel.

While there were certainly some big highlight plays throughout the night (read below), they seem to be drastically overshadowed and almost forgotten as I write this, due to
the plague of injuries, and lack of depth at the linebacker position.

The Good

Leronte Carroo 

Coming off a rookie season in which Carroo only recording three receptions for 29 yards; Thursday night was pleasant surprise.

Sure, he only recorded a single catch, but that catch was a perfectly thrown 33-yard touchdown catch, in which Carroo adjusted to make a fingertip catch.

Look for #88 to get more involved in week 2.

Damore’ea Stringfellow –

He may not make the 53 man roster come week 1. However, there is a good chance Stringfellow’s 99-yard touchdown pass will make ESPN top-10.

At 6’2″ the former Ole Miss receiver showed good body control, field vision, and speed to help put a dagger in the dirty birds.

Practice squad?

MarQuis Gray –

MarQuis Gray if you are reading this, I’m a fan!

I’m not completely sold on how Julius Thomas will perform this season, so I’ve kept my eye on the Dolphins’ depth at tight end.

Gray, who caught three passes for 26 yards, looked extremely sharp on his routes. He also seemed to have a connection with QB Brandon Doughty. All are excellent signs of things to come for the former QB turned TE.

The Bad

First Half Defense –

The Dolphins defense looked Ok…. not good, not particularly bad… just ok.
The Problem?
Losing a starter makes a struggling defense, struggle more.

The Dolphins allowed 145 total yards in the first half, giving up two touchdowns. One was on a Matt Ryan pass to RB Devonte Freeman on 4th-and-1 and another on a three yard run.

The Ugly

Raekwon McMillan’s first snap –

While the injury is a low blow for Miami Dolphins fans, imagine how Raekwon McMillan is feeling right now. Years and years of dreaming what that first play would be like in the NFL, and the end result is a potentially season ending injury, due to colliding with his teammate.

I’ve been a big fan of McMillan after watching hours and hours of draft tape, so this injury stung deep last night.

As it stands now there seems to be a dark cloud hanging over beautiful Miami, FL. Between domestic violence claims and injuries throughout the roster, the coming weeks will be crucial in the continued growth of this young Miami team.

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