MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Matt Bryant was wide right once, and the Atlanta Falcons kept coming up short.
Atlanta stalled four times in scoring territory Sunday, and the missed chances proved costly when the Miami Dolphins scored a touchdown with 38 seconds left and win 27-23.
Rookie Dion Sims made a one-handed catch of Ryan Tannehill's 1-yard pass for the winning score, but the Falcons said the game shouldn't have come down to that.
"We had a ton of opportunities," coach Mike Smith said. "We need to be more efficient in the red zone on both sides of the ball. We had way too many field goals."
The injury-plagued Falcons, who were one play from the Super Bowl last season, fell to 1-2.
"We're not where we want to be," quarterback Matt Ryan said. "We're on the wrong side of it now, and we've got to figure out a way to get back on the good side of it."
Atlanta led 10-0 and 20-10 and lost despite advantages of 24-16 in first downs, 377-285 in yards, 5-0 in sacks and 37 minutes to 23 in time of possession.
"Statistics don't always tell the whole story," Ryan said. "We had a lot of opportunities to finish the game. We just didn't get it done in the red zone. We have to find a way to punch it in."
Three times their offense stalled inside the Miami 20. Bryant made three field goals but missed a 35-yard try with 4:46 left with Atlanta leading 23-20.
Miami then mounted a 13-play, 75-yard drive for the victory.
The Dolphins improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2002. An enthusiastic crowd of 70,660 reflected the buzz building about the surprising Dolphins, who are trying to end a streak of four consecutive losing seasons.
"We have a special team, a team with a lot of talent," receiver Brian Hartline said. "We're going to continue to improve. The sky's the limit."
Tannehill finished 24 for 35 for 236 yards and two scores. He shook off two turnovers and five sacks, and was at his best at the end of each half.
On the final drive, Tannehill went 8 for 11 for 69 yards, with two of the incompletions because of dropped passes. The winner came on second down, when Tannehill lobbed his throw over linebacker Stephen Nicholas to Sims, a backup tight end.
Sims scored his first NFL touchdown by pulling the ball in with his left hand because his right arm was tangled up with Nicholas.