My Post-Game Quick Hit Thoughts


With the first preseason game in the books, I offer my initial thoughts. In random order and possibly lacking coherence.

• Trey Lewis started at defensive tackle in place of the injured Peria Jerry. Lewis was listed as the third stringer behind Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters so not sure why Thomas Johnson or Vance Walker didn’t get the nod.

• Sean Weatherspoon started for Mike Peterson but Peterson did play. Weatherspoon’s attitude brings excitement to the defense. He’s celebrating after plays and always around the ball.

• The defense forced a 3-and-out on their first possession of the game. This was expected against this Chiefs team.

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• The Falcons were missing 3 starters and 11 overall.

• Harvey Dahl is a bad, bad man.

• Matt Bryant and Steven Hauschka both went 1-for-2 on field goals. They each nailed a short one but missed on their 50+ yard attempts. Hauschka was cut on Sunday so I guess his miss was more important.

• Antone Smith saw a lot of action (12 carries for 36 yards) but didn’t do enough to make the team.

• Jason Snelling saw 11 rushes for 24 yards and looked good attacking the middle of the field. The Falcons continued using him on the edge on sweeps and he doesn’t have the speed to get to the corner. As Dave Choate of The Falcoholic says, “He’s Michael Turner Lite.”

• Speaking of Turner, he looked completely back to 2008 form. He ran hard and was explosive through the hole. The first four plays all went to “The Burner.” He even caught a checkdown pass from Ryan. I expect a huge year from #33.

• Dimitri Nance did score the Falcons only two touchdowns but he’s in the same boat as Smith. With Turner, Snelling and Jerious Norwood on the roster, there’s not any room for a fourth running back.

• Matt Ryan was only 3-for-6 but would have been 5-for-6 if Roddy White hadn’t dropped two passes. Ryan targeted Tony Gonzalez three times and it looks like they’ll pick up right where they left off in 2009.

• White had two drops (despite the stat sheet saying he only had one) but finished his night with a 22-yard gain on a great outside cut. It was the team’s longest play from scrimmage. White is one of the game’s best five receivers.

• The backup quarterbacks (Chris Redman and JP Wilson) had decent outings but neither were extremely impressive.

• Brian Finneran got the start for the injured Michael Jenkins but was non-existent. He wasn’t targeted and I had to really pay attention to even notice him on the field. He’s not the answer if Jenkins misses significant time.

• Eric Weems is a solid returner but he is not a wide receiver. If he doesn’t win the return duties, he won’t make the team.

• Kerry Meier can play. Part of me wonders if he might bulk up and take over at tight end for Tony Gonzalez if #88 calls it quits after this season.

• It was great to see Shann Schillinger and Chevis Jackson both get interceptions. I wasn’t convinced they would make the team but plays like that is how you ensure your spot on the 53-man roster. Jackson also had a forced fumble and defended two passes.

• I was disappointed not to see Dominique Franks return a punt. He had two chances but fair caught them both.

• Kroy Biermann is the real deal. He was too much to handle for the Chiefs tackles and had a forced fumble which John Abraham recovered.

• The offense was effective but not impressive. In their first two drives which featured both first-team offense and defense, they had back-to-back 10 play drives that put them in field goal range. They came away with only three points though.

• Focused on the run. The Falcons ran 8 times against only 1 pass during their first drive.

Curtis Lofton (The Police) had a sack and five tackles but was down on the field with an apparent leg injury before walking off under his own power. The injury isn’t serious but I questioned why he was still out there late in the second quarter.

• The secondary looked solid. They didn’t give up a play longer than 19 yards but this is deceiving. The fact is the Chiefs don’t have the type of receivers to really test the Falcons’ revamped secondary. The concern was containing Jamaal Charles. He had three runs for over 10 yards and averaged 9.3 yards per.

• Heads-Up Play. Not sure if it was Ryan or Todd McClure but they made a smart play snapping the ball when a Chiefs defender jumped into the neutral zone – getting a 5-yard penalty.

• The offense ran eight plays to start the game before facing a third down.

• Jamaal Anderson did look good pressuring the quarterback and playing defensive tackle in passing situations.