What to Look for Against the Bengals


Jul 28, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) shown on the field during training camp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight is the big night! After several months of zero Falcons football and a little less than a month of a little bit of Falcons football, We finally get to see one of the most powerful teams take the field for a full-fledged game.  Although it’s a preseason game, it’s the first game when we actually get to see all the guys, starters, backups, and who is trying to make the team, play full speed football.

The special thing about this game is that the teams aren’t game planning for each other.  The first game will be nothing but watching one-on-one matchups.  We’ll see who can actually play.  As for the first team, we get to see how the questionable positions hold up against major competition.  Here’s what to watch.

Desmond Trufant was the first round selection for the falcons.  He started out a little rough in training camp, but has been really making a name for himself.  He’ll probably have a few matchups with A.J. Green.  And we’ll get to see how he does in coverage at full speed. Hopefully Julio taught him a thing or too.

Lamar Holmes will be starting this game at right tackle.  We will finally get to see how he does with the first team against one of the best defensive lines in the league.  We heard a lot about his freakish athleticism and we’ll get to find out if it’s true or not.  He’ll have one hell of a test tonight.

Forget Lamar Holmes, The entire offensive line will be tested tonight.  The line lacks star power no doubt, but a lot of pundits are getting that confused with having a bad line.  Blalock and Baker are pretty good.  Peter Konz is feeling comfortable, Gerret Reynolds is looking as good as ever and I just said what I wanted to say about Holmes.  None of those guys are top tier lineman, but none of them are bad.  So we’ll see how this line performs against one of the best defensive lines.  I think it’ll be surprising.

Robert Alford may be listed as the second stringer, but any one of the guys slated for a job at CB will probably be matched up against Green.  But he will probably play a lot more of the game as the second stringers take the field.  Keep an eye on how he performs.

Chase Coffman will also be starting with the first team.  We’ll get to see how he does game time.  He’s been all over the field in camp and making an exciting name for himself.  We’ll look at him for being a big tool.  We’ll get an insight if this guy is for real, or just a big name.

Steven Jackson probably won’t get a whole lot of touches, but he will be in for the first series or so.  Look to see how he does powering through or running around everything.  This guy is probably the most important acquisition the team has made and it’ll be important to see how he can run.  Behind him, Watch Jacquizz Rodgers who will probably see a lot of touches this upcoming year.  He’s a talented back that will tear up the second team.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have developed an amazing chemistry.  Julio Jones has been noted for having an incredible improvement on his rout-running, which was probably his only weakness last season.  He may be unstoppable.  Look at how this duo blows up the field.  It could be the first look of something very exciting for the upcoming season.