Hey, did you hear? The Miami Dolphins are in the news again! What? No. Huh?
We're talking about an actual football game that happened last night on the football field at Hard Rock Stadium, which sits atop an Indian burial site that probably has nothing to do with the franchise's long-term bad luck and overall failures.
We're talking about the Miami Dolphins playing the Atlanta Falcons in the first preseason game of the 2019 season. That happened, and there was news. Well, technically, the Dolphins played, and we get to talk about it now. They beat the Falcons 34-27.
Here's everything you missed if you were too busy canceling your Equinox and SoulCycle memberships to catch the Dolphins' first of four fake games:
1. There was a wedding proposal before a preseason game! We repeat, a man decided a rainy pre-warmup Hard Rock Stadium field was the best and most romantic place to ask his lady to spend the rest of her life with him. Good luck to those crazy kids! At least we know that because they are Dolphins fans, they've been through a lot together already, so there should be nothing they can't overcome.
2. Kenny Stills is still kneeling during the National Anthem in peaceful protest of police brutality and racial injustice. In light of him calling out team owner Stephen Ross for planning a fundraiser dinner for President Donald Trump, you had to know Stills wouldn't make last night the night he decided to end his silent protests.
3. The Dolphins' first-string defense did not look great. When the Falcons' second-string offense is able to drive 90 yards down the field on its first drive against what amounts to the Dolphins' first-string defense, well, that's not great. Outside of a few new cornerbacks you've never heard of (see: Needham), the Dolphins had their familiar names out there on the first drive. It did not go well.
Matt Schaub and the Falcons marched right down the field — after the Dolphins started the game with a field-goal drive — and stuck it in the end zone, virtually untouched. Things got better on the second drive, though, as Dolphins defensive end Nate Orchard sacked Schaub on third down, forcing a Falcons punt.
4. Round 1, Ryan Fitzpatrick versus Josh Rosen, goes to Rosen! Fitzpatrick had a pair of nice scrabble plays and short passes on the Dolphins' first drive that led to a field goal. That was it, though. Fitzmagic finished a very preseason-ish 2-for-5 for 20 yards.
Rosen entered on the third drive of the game, scrambled for his life, threw up some prayer passes that were answered, and ended the drive by handing off to Kalen Ballage for a two-yard touchdown run. It was sloppy and at times terrifying but, in the end, successful. A nine-play drive for a touchdown on your first drive as a Miami Dolphins quarterback is about as good as it gets on paper.
Then, later in the second quarter, Rosen threw an ugly interception deep in Dolphins territory that the Falcons returned inside the Dolphins' 15-yard line. It was a reminder that Rosen was traded to the Dolphins for a reason — because he was horrendous in his rookie year.
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But then Rosen finished strong! He ended up 13-20 for 191 yards, with one interception. Sure, he looked bad at times, but overall, he had some moments and deserves a shot with the starters.
5. Preston Williams is making this damn football team. The Dolphins really found something in this Preston Williams fellow. The undrafted wideout from Colorado State is a bona fide badass. The rumors were that he was awesome at football, and it took only about four seconds of a preseason game to confirm. Williams finished the game with four catches for 97 yards, none of it coming in what one would consider garbage time.
The Dolphins may have found themselves a new star. And they played a real-life football game — one they won. A score of 1-0 seems like a success. Football is back!