Osweiler makes bid for backup QB job, Dolphins top Falcons

ATLANTA (AP) — Brock Osweiler made a strong final bid for Miami’s backup quarterback job, leading three first-quarter touchdown drives in the Dolphins’ 34-7 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.

Osweiler is competing with David Fales to be Ryan Tannehill’s backup. Osweiler completed each of his first six passes for 65 yards, including a 1-yard scoring pass to Buddy Howell, on Miami’s opening drive. He added a 14-yard scoring pass to Francis Owusu on the final play of the third quarter.

Osweiler completed 16 of 25 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns for the Dolphins (1-3). Fales completed 13 of 20 passes for 94 yards and one interception.

Each team rested its starters in the final preseason game.

The Falcons (0-4) had little offense with its starts, including quarterback Matt Ryan, running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Julio Jones, watching on the sideline. Atlanta was held to nine first downs and 185 yards.

Kurt Benkert played most of the game at quarterback and may have lost ground in his effort to win a roster spot behind Ryan and Matt Schaub. He threw two interceptions while completing only 10 of 25 passes for 103 yards.

Benkert’s first pass of the second half was intercepted by Jordan Lucas on a deflection off the hands of receiver Reggie Davis. Linebacker Stephone Anthony’s interception of Benkert’s pass late in the first quarter set up a 1-yard scoring run by Howell.

A rare offensive highlight for Atlanta came late in the first quarter when Benkert completed a short pass to running back Malik Williams, who jumped over Lucas for a 16-yard gain. That possession ended when Williams was stopped on fourth down.

Benkert’s 13-yard pass to Devin Gray set up Williams’ 8-yard scoring run with 25 seconds remaining in the half.

Miami’s Jason Sanders kicked a 56-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s roof was open for the game. The roof was closed for every game after the Falcons’ opener in the 2017 debut for the $1.5 billion stadium. The complicated camera lens-type design on the roof has been fine-tuned and is ready for more action this season.

INJURIES

Dolphins WR Rashawn Scott suffered an ankle injury in the first half and did not return.

For Atlanta, Williams and cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson left in the second half with shoulder injuries.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Dolphins wide receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills embraced after each took a knee during the national anthem, continuing their protests of social injustice through the preseason. All Falcons players stood during the anthem.

NEXT UP

Dolphins: Miami opens its regular season with a home game against Tennessee on Sept. 9.

Falcons: Atlanta opens its season on Sept. 6 at Philadelphia. The Eagles beat the Falcons in the playoffs on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

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