MIAMI (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons were stout against the run, dug in on third down and came up with a big takeaway - all things coach Mike Smith is looking for this season.
Atlanta gave up only a field goal while Miami starting quarterback Chad Henne was in the game and beat the Dolphins 16-6 Friday night.
Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton led the Falcons' defensive charge with 11 tackles, two for losses. Erik Coleman intercepted a pass in the end zone, and the Dolphins converted only one of eight third-down situations with Henne, who played one series into the third quarter.
Lawrence Sidbury had a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss. The Falcons (2-1) are hoping for defensive improvement after ranking 23rd in the NFL last year in yards allowed per play despite a 9-7 record.
Atlanta's Matt Ryan threw his first touchdown pass of the exhibition season. He led scoring drives of 60 and 54 yards, the second of which took more than seven minutes.
Ryan played one series into the third quarter and finished 13-of-26 for 103 yards, with one interception. He helped the Falcons convert 8-of-14 third-down situations against Miami (2-1).
Michael Turner was a workhorse for Atlanta in the first half, rushing 47 yards in 16 carries. He lost a fumble.
Henne was 10-of-22 for 123 yards with one interception. He and Brandon Marshall hooked up for completions of 26 and 20 yards in the final 45 seconds of the first half, giving the Dolphins a first down at the 7. Linebacker Mike Peterson tipped a pass and Coleman intercepted it in the end zone.