MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Falcons’ high-intensity joint practice ended on a high note for the defense and a low note for the offense, which struggled for most of the steaming hot second practice in the shadow of Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday.

In the final period, the offense got the ball trailing 17-13 at its 40-yard line with 1:30 left on the clock and one timeout.

Miami’s offense, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa zipped to the Falcons’ 40-yard line before the drive ended with incomplete pass in the end zone.

“It felt good to get that stop on that last drive,” Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett said. “They had to get a touchdown to win. That was our situation that we practiced today. They had a couple of conversions early. Guys were tired on both sides.”

The defense dug in and fought for the stop.

“You have to be able to (test your will) at the end, which is good,” Jarrett said. “We came out of top, something we can build off of.”

The teams will meet again in their exhibition game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

After two hours in the sun, the Falcons nearly were exhausted.

“It was actually good for us, too, because it pushed guys conditioning,” Jarrett said. “I can attest to that. Being in there for like 10 to 12 plays, you have them lungs starting to go, but the coaches want to keep you in there to see how far and hard you’re can fight. Guys stood up and executed. It was good to see.”

Tagovailoa, who was without his top receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring), tried to connect on a deep pass to the right side of the end zone, but the pass was off the mark.

“It was just situational football, and it came down to everybody doing their job,” Falcons safety Duron Harmon said. “When you look at a situation like that, sometimes they move the ball, but you have to stick with it. You (must) keep pressing. You (must) keep staying mentally locked in to do your job, and that’s what we were able to do and come away with a win in that last two-minute drill.”

Tagovailoa, a former Alabama quarterback who’s set to enter his second season in the NFL, had some success passing deep down the middle of the field to his tight ends.

However, Harmon and Isaiah Oliver both had interceptions earlier in the practice.

“I don’t feel that we were surprised with anything,” Jarrett said. “We were happy to have success.”

The defense knows there’s plenty to work to be done before the Sept. 12 opener against the Eagles.

“I feel like the successes makes you feel good,” Jarrett said. “At the end of the day, teams make adjustments. We need to make some adjustments to get better. It was good to have some success, but it definitely wasn’t a perfect showing the past two days, so there is always room to get better.”

The Falcons’ offense converted on two fourth downs, the second one was a 14-yard pass from Ryan to wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus on fourth-and-5 from Miami’s 44.

The Falcons drove to the 7-yard line, but left tackle Jake Matthews and left guard Jalen Mayfield jumped offside to make it third-and-goal from the 12.

Ryan tossed an incompletion on third down and was sacked by Miami defensive end Emmanuel Ogah on fourth down. Ogbah glided around right tackle Kaleb McGary for the sack.

“It’s a good match every time I go against a starter,” Ogbah said. “It was a good match. I’m going to be ready. I know we play them again this year (in the regular season). So, I got some film on him that I have got to keep up with for when we play them. It was a good competition on both sides of the ball.”

It was the end of a tough day for the Falcons’ offense.

Things got off to a good start with Calvin Ridley dominating in the one-on-one matchups at the beginning of practice. He beat Miami cornerback Byron Jones in the end zone for a score.

Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts continued to struggle against Miami safety Eric Rowe.

In the 11-on-11 work, the Falcons offense struggled as the receivers were unable to create separation, and the quarterbacks had to throw a lot of passes in the ground.

Pitts did get open for a long touchdown pass from Ryan, but that was about the only highlight.

The day ended for the offense with backup quarterback AJ McCarron throwing an interception in the situational drill for the second-stringers.

The Bow Tie Chronicles