MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Matt Ryan passed for 336 yards, nearly half of them going to rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, and Younghoe Koo made a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Atlanta Falcons a 30-28 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Pitts had seven catches for 163 yards, the last 28 of those on a sideline route with just under 2 minutes left to get the Falcons into field goal range. Koo's third field goal of the game saved Atlanta after the Falcons wasted a 13-point fourth-quarter lead.
Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage caught touchdown passes for the Falcons (3-3). Ryan completed 25 of 40 passes.
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 291 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, the last of them going to Mack Hollins with 2:27 left for Miami, which has dropped six straight. Tagovailoa completed 32 of 40 passes and had two interceptions — both of which led to Atlanta scores.
Mike Gesicki, Myles Gaskin and Isaiah Ford had the other touchdown receptions for Miami (1-6).
The Dolphins were down by six early in the fourth quarter when Xavien Howard stripped a catch from Ridley, then corralled the ball on his left hip for an interception as he fell to the turf. That gave Miami the ball on the Atlanta 32 and a chance to reclaim the lead.
But on Miami's ensuing play, Tagovailoa tried to force the ball to Jaylen Waddle. Falcons linebacker Foyesade Oluokun made an easy interception and returned the ball 56 yards to the Miami 14. Three plays later, Cordarrelle Patterson ran in from the 3, and the Falcons were up 27-14.
Tagovailoa’s 7-yard pass to Gaskin made it a one-score game again, capping a 90-yard drive. After another Atlanta turnover midway through the fourth, Tagovailoa found Hollins to give the Dolphins the lead.
They just couldn’t hold it.
Tagovailoa — as he has in three of his four starts this season — began on a roll. He was 7 of 8 for 52 yards on Miami’s opening drive, 4 of 4 on third downs and capped the possession with a 10-yard scoring toss to Ford.
Just like that, the Dolphins were up 7-0. That also ended Miami’s first-half highlights. A red-zone interception by Tagovailoa helped Atlanta take a 13-7 lead into the half.
The Falcons went three-and-out on their first possession, then scored on their next four. A three-play, 77-yard drive to open the second half was capped by a 49-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Gage that made it 20-7 Atlanta.
Falcons: Ridley was shaken up in the third quarter after getting hit while trying to make a catch over the middle and getting sandwiched between two defenders. S Erik Harris left in the fourth quarter.
Dolphins: LB Jerome Baker (knee) and RB Malcolm Brown (quad) were lost in the first half with injuries. S Jason McCourty (foot) left in the second half.
For the second consecutive week, the Dolphins nearly got a turnover off a botched punt. Michael Palardy’s kick to Atlanta’s Olamide Zaccheaus late in the third quarter on Sunday hit the ground, then squirted toward the Falcons’ returner and came very close to brushing his lower body. Officials ruled the ball did not touch him, just as was the case last week on an eerily similar play in Miami’s loss to Jacksonville.
Atlanta’s 20 consecutive points — going from down 7-0 to up 20-7 — marked the fifth time in the last six games that Miami gave up at least that many points without scoring.
STARS WERE OUT
Tennis standout Coco Gauff, a South Florida resident, was at the game. So were several members of the undefeated Florida Panthers — including Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad.
Falcons: Host Carolina next Sunday, the same day Atlanta would host Game 5 of the World Series.
Dolphins: Visit Buffalo next Sunday, trying not to get beaten by the Bills for a seventh consecutive time.
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press