The preseason game did not quite go as well as Falcons fans would have liked. Anytime your team loses 34-10, you aren’t going to be happy about it and you’re going to have a time trying to figure out why your guys lost so bad. But let’s be honest here. IT IS ONLY PRESEASON. THE POINTS MEAN NOTHING.
I saw a poor performance from the second and third string. They didn’t seem to work as a team. Considering the second string serves as backups, only a few of them will actually end up as starters for the Falcons one day, and third stringers primarily serve as scout teams, I’m not really concerned on how poorly the backups do.
The preseason is not for the fans. It’s for the coaches to test and determine who needs to stay and who needs to go. They did not even game plan for this game. The only thing the preseason does for the fans is let them watch their favorite team play football after months of not being able to. But I’ll tell you what I did see.
The first string offense was operating without Julio Jones or Tony Gonzalez. Matt Ryan and Steven Jackson were only in for the first two series. They still drove down the field pretty easily. On 3rd and 1, the Falcons wanted to see how Steven Jackson would look like going up the gut against one of the best defensive lines in the league. It didn’t work out very well, but would the falcons really ever run it up the gut against a team like that? No. It was a test. I did see him shift around for a 4 yard gain on the first play of the game.
I saw Matt Ryan go 6-9 with almost one hundred yards in only two series. Without two of his favorite targets. I saw Drew Davis making a name for himself, maybe even vying for a Harry Douglas’s spot. The offensive line allowed zero sacks. Run blocking may be suspect, but pass blocking was A+.
I saw Osi Umenyiora dismantle that poor man who was blocking him. I saw Massaquoi, the guy that will play a large majority of the snaps while Osi is not out there, get a sack and more to prove how good he’s doing. And he’s doing great.
I saw a suspect run defense, with the exception of one missed tackle that went way longer than it should, a shut down run defense. The Falcons stuffed the Bengals consistently on the ground.
I saw an impressive secondary. Trufant may have been knocked out on the first tackle, but he did a good job locking up his receiver. Robert Alford did even better and looked like he really wants a starting role. He’ll get plenty of time with the starters in the regular season.
I saw a kid at half time run right past everyone on the field as the fastest guy out there. Keep an eye on that kid in 10-12 years; he may be a pro one day.
I saw questionable morals and ethics from fans who wanted Freddie Falcons to “Hit the kid with the chair!” during a friendly game of musical chairs.
I saw a lot of things. I didn’t see a reason to panic.