The Miami Dolphins have come out on top against the Atlanta Falcons in their first preseason game of 2019 with a score of 34-27. Things were shaky at first, the starting offense and defense clearly have some bugs to work out. However, there’s no denying that at least a few players shined bright against Atlanta. Some players also did badly. But here, it’s time to breakdown the top three players from Thursday’s game.
Preston Williams, WR
Williams was one of the players to watch for the first preseason game, and Williams really delivered. The former Colorado State standout put on a show, making four receptions for 97 yards, averaging 24.3 yards per catch. However, those catches were anything but routine. One catch was made as Rosen was being dragged to the ground, and he dove to make it. Then another was made over the hands of a defender deep.
But the most impressive one of all, was made as Williams tiptoed the very edge of the sideline and forced the officials to review their call. It was reversed, and Williams was credited with an 18-yard gain.
Josh Rosen to Preston Williams in short time.
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) August 9, 2019
This past week was filled with speculation regarding Williams and his rapport with Josh Rosen. There’s no more room for doubt, Williams is turning into a special wide receiver. Credit the coaching staff for taking a raw talent and refining him into a dangerous weapon. If this keeps up, Williams could go from merely making the roster, to becoming the team’s number one target.
Josh Rosen, QB
His box score doesn’t show it, but Josh Rosen was solid against the Atlanta Falcons. The Dolphins offensive line could barely find time to protect him, forcing the second-year quarterback to improvise more than he should’ve had to. However, that performance he put on doing just that shows Rosen just might be worth investing in. Rosen’s favorite target, as previously mentioned, was obviously Preston Williams. Their rapport could go a long way this season, if Rosen gets to start.
Having trust in a wide receiver makes QBs willing to take chances, which leads to big plays. Rosen completed 13 out of 20 passes, for 191 yards. His only real mistake was when he made an egregious interception to a linebacker just standing there waiting for him to throw the ball. No one’s perfect though. The big plays far outweighed the one mistake.
— Zach Dean (@ZachDeanDBNJ) August 9, 2019
If nothing else, this week’s performance shows that Rosen deserves a chance to play with all the starters. Fitzpatrick was okay, but he did not do nearly as well as Rosen did. He was elusive, showed tremendous pocket presence and awareness, and he was accurate on his throws. That’s everything a quarterback needs to be. There was skepticism still surrounding Rosen, but if the offensive line can just find a way to protect him, he might just break out in 2019.
Josh Rosen after his first preseason game as a Dolphin. pic.twitter.com/qVeJpeEV9P
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) August 9, 2019
Dewayne Hendrix, DE
There are a lot of young players trying to stand out and make a case for why they deserve to be on the final 53-man roster, and the choice for week one of the preseason is Pitt defensive end Dewayne Hendrix. The undrafted free agent has had his moments in training camp, and he had a few against the Falcons on Thursday. Hendrix made two sacks on QB Chris Simms in timely moments, resulting in the defense stopping Atlanta before they could make a game-winning play.
Hendrix battled a lot of adversity making it to the NFL, his college career was rife with struggle for one reason or another. Clearly, he’s making the most of his opportunity. With Miami’s pass rush being as weak as it is, recording two sacks is nothing to sneeze at. He’s flashed in camp, now he’s flashing in preseason. All he has to do is keep this up, and his spot on the roster should be secured.
Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung