Atlanta Falcons vs Tennessee Titans: Final Thoughts


Football is back, and the Atlanta Falcons kick off their preseason tonight against the Tennessee Titans. After a long offseason, we finally get to see Dan Quinn’s first game as head coach.

And with the return of football, we also debut a brand new weekly feature here at Blogging Dirty. These are my final thoughts ahead of the game.

So what does this game mean for the Falcons?

Far from a waste of time

To many, preseason can be uninteresting as the third and fourth string players enter the field. Results are meaningless and many players receive either way too much hype or too much criticism. For others, it’s just nice to see football back on their screens.

But there is more to preseason than that. There is a purpose and there’s plenty of reason why you should tune into the Falcons’ opener tonight. While it’s nice to see cameos from the stars, it’s not about them. The time for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to light up defenses will arrive in four weeks time against when the regular season kicks off.

More from Blogging Dirty: Full Falcons-Titans preview

For now, we have a chance to see the young, up and coming players who will fill out the roster. Some players are aiming to prove to Quinn why they deserve to be a starter, others are simply fighting for a place on the 53-man roster.

We will see competition all over the field. Who will emerge as the third receiver? Can rookie Justin Hardy make a good enough impression? How will the defensive line shape up in Week 1? Who will line up alongside Desmond Trufant? Who will be the starting running back?

These questions will be answered between now and September 14, and the four preseason games play a huge role in this.

Plenty of debutants

It seems like yesterday the Falcons selected Vic Beasley. with the eighth overall pick of the draft on April 30. After a summer of excitement, Beasley will get the chance to grace an NFL field for the first time. The same can be said of second-rounder Jalen Collins, who is looking to improve at the cornerback position and improve on a slow start to camp.

Third round selection Tevin Coleman won’t be in action due to a hamstring injury, coincidentally the same problem second-year back Devonta Freeman is suffering from. The running back tackle is on hold, for now.

Rookie receiver Justin Hardy has flashed his potential in training camp, but now he will need to do it against another NFL team to try and boost his chances of climbing the depth chart.

Marcus Mariota

Turning our attention over to the Titans for a moment, and second overall pick Marcus Mariota will likely be making his debut. How much game time he sees is unknown, but we can expect they will want him to get as many reps under his belt as possible but also protecting their investment from injury.

We will catch the first glimpse at the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, and the revamped Falcons pass rush will have their hands full from the mobile quarterback.

There’s plenty to watch out for in this contest. Preseason games don’t have to be boring. There’s plenty at stake for these Falcons, and it’s going to be fun to watch.

Stay tuned to Blogging Dirty for full coverage of the game.

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