Dolphins sit on field after Falcons late game winning field goal
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) and Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) react after a pass thrown by Tagovailoa was intercepted, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

Late field goal gives Falcons the win over the Dolphins

In the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo successfully launched a 36-yard field goal between the posts. The Falcons (3-3) narrowly defeated the Dolphins (1-6) in Miami Sunday.

Second Quarter Gives Atlanta the Edge

Miami received the opening kick to begin the game. On their first possession, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa drove the ball 75 yards downfield. On third-and-eight at Atlanta’s 10-yard line, Tagovailoa’s pass reached the hands of wide receiver Isaiah Ford for a Miami touchdown, now 7-0. The Dolphins didn’t score again until late in third.

Atlanta couldn’t get on the board until the start of the second quarter. Former Gator Kyle Pitts caught a pass from Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan to take it 13 yards to Miami’s 15-yard line on third-and-19. Koo kicked a 33-yard field goal at 14:13 to make it a four-point game.

Miami’s mistakes cost them in the second quarter. The Falcons blocked Jason Sanders 49-yard field goal attempt, and Atlanta outside linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji recovered the ball at the Falcon’s 39-yard line. This led to Atlanta taking the lead after a touchdown by wide receiver Calvin Ridley at 4:47, now 10-7.

A deep pass by Tagovailoa was intercepted with 43 seconds left before halftime. Falcons’ safety Jaylinn Hawkins intercepted the intended pass for Dolphins’ tight end Durham Smythe at Atlanta’s three-yard line. Atlanta wasted no time, squeezing in a 36-yard field goal before the half, 13-7 Falcons.

Atlanta Wakes Up Late in Fourth

Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter. The Falcons extended their lead 20-7 with a deep 49-yard pass from Ryan to wide receiver Russell Gage.

Miami closed the scoring gap at 5:15 with a touchdown by tight end Mike Gesicki. It was a six-point game to start the fourth.

It was a rough start to the fourth quarter for both teams. The Falcons and the Dolphins traded interceptions before Atlanta got the ball rolling. A three-yard run by running back Cordarrelle Patterson advanced Atlanta to 27-14. But, Miami wasn’t done yet.

Two touchdowns allowed the Dolphins to reclaim their first quarter lead. Tagovailoa threw a seven-yard pass to running back Myles Gaskin at 8:29, Miami’s scoring deficit decreasing to six. An Atlanta fumble set up Miami’s second touchdown of the quarter. Dolphin wide receiver Mack Hollins secured Tagovailoa’s four-yard pass to reclaim Miami’s first quarter lead, 28-27.


With over two minutes of play left in the game, Ryan had ample time to get the Falcons within field goal range. In nine plays for 57 yards, Ryan got the ball downfield to give Koo a 36-yard field goal attempt, which was successful. The Falcons defeated the Dolphins, 30-28.

What’s Next for the Dolphins

Both teams have 1 p.m. matchups on Sunday. The Falcons take on the Panthers while the Dolphins go up against the Bills.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a fourth-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at

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