Aug 30, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) rushes for yardage against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter at EverBank Field. Jacksonville defeated Atlanta 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
The last preseason game kicks off tonight at 7:30 PM. For the starters, it means very little. Just to keep the mindset fresh and to get used to the swing of game weeks. For the backups, it’s a chance to get some snaps and prove their worth. For many undrafted rookies and other guys, it’s one last shot to prove they belong in the NFL. Unlike many games, the intensity of play will most likely rise the deeper it gets into the game. There are a few things to watch for on this final game.
Lamar Holmes should get a lot more time playing than with just the starters. Atlanta would probably want a lot of film on this guy to see where he needs to improve. Sometimes just extra reps are what are needed to get caught up and used to NFL speed.
Robert Alford had a terrible game last Saturday despite showing great ability and athleticism at camp and practices. I am of the optimistic thought of the Titans game to simply be a fluke at how bad Alford played and he’ll actually fill in nicely. But that’s just optimism. Keep an eye out for how much he improves.
Wide Receivers have one of the most important position in this offense. Matt Ryan can get you the ball, but it takes a talented receiver to make the catches necessary to succeed in the game. Julio Jones and Roddy White have already proven themselves they can do it. Harry Douglas is decently reliable. There are two more options at wide receiver that still has yet to be decided. A lot of receivers are making a name for themselves and there are only two spots available. Kevin Cone has always done well as a backup and in special teams and Drew Davis showed a little of what he’s capable of last year. This year Davis is still showing up, but the competition is far from over. Martel Moore was sensational early, but due to some minor injury problems, hasn’t played much the last few games. James Rodgers also showed exceptional hands the last game and both of these guys will be pushing for a roster spot.
Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu are two very impressive linebackers moving up the depth chart. They have both won the backup job and most likely solidified their position on the roster. Tonight will be a chance to play a majority of the game and we’ll get to see how good the depth is at linebacker. Both of them should have big nights and be very exciting to watch.
Brian Banks will have his last shot at making the roster tonight as well. As far as what we have seen, he may be just competing for a spot on the practice squad, but to him, he’ll give it everything he has. If he really looks amazing, he may squeeze in a spot on the final roster. If he looks good, he will most likely find a good spot on the practice squad. Either way, this guy has a lot riding on this game. It should be a treat to watch him play.