The Atlanta Falcons’ fan base wanted more out of the offense in their second preseason game and they got it
In last weeks’ preseason opener, the Atlanta Falcons downed the Washington Redskins 23-17. But despite the win, the offense looked sluggish and they weren’t about to let that happen again.
The Falcons racked up 498 yards of offense that included a combined 274 yards passing and 224 yards rushing.
Matt Ryan traded in his 0-for-4 night against the Redskins for a solid 6 of 11 night with 78 yards passing. Ryan connected with Julio Jones on a beautiful 20-yard roll-out on their opening possession before handing the ball off to Devonta Freeman for a 19-yard touchdown.
Freeman finished with 42 yards rushing on four carries.
Mohamed Sanu had 45 yards receiving on three receptions highlighted by a 32-yard catch and run.
The first-team offense was very impressive, but it was the backup’s that stole the show.
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The running back duo of Cyrus Gray and Brandon Wilds combined for 125 yards rushing, with Gray leading the way with 76. Wilds added the Falcons’ longest run of the night, a 32-yard scamper down the sidelines that ended with a dive into the end zone.
Devin Fuller led the team in receiving with 49 yards, one of which resulted in a 15-yard touchdown. All-in-all, 13 different receivers caught a pass.
Matt Simms led the Falcons through the air after completing 11 of 13 for 136 yards and a touchdown. Backup Matt Schaub picked up right where he left off in last week’s game with a respectable 78 yards on 8 of 12 passing.
What we learned…
We learned last night that the Falcons are extremely deep at the running back position. There are three guys fighting for the No. 3 spot at the moment. With Terron Ward yet to play in the first two preseason games, it appears that he might be out of the running. Both Gray and Wilds are doing everything the can to show Dan Quinn and the rest of the coaching staff that they deserve that third and final spot.
Wilds is likely the front-runner at this point in time. But regardless if he makes the 53-man roster or not, a practice squad spot is inevitable.
We also learned that Schaub still has “it.” If his strong performance last week against the Redskins wasn’t proof enough, tonight’s performance in which he rattled off seven consecutive completions at one point should do it.
And lastly, we learned that there is a fair amount of depth at receiver as well. Sanu looked very comfortable in the wide receiver No. 2 spot. He played with a lot of aggression and poise and appears to be well on his way to shutting up the doubters.
Aldrick Robinson stole the show last week, but was fairly quiet last night. He caught just one pass, but it was a very impressive sliding catch. He still appears to be a lock to make the 53-man roster with two games to go.
Stay tuned as we travel through another week before the Falcons’ kickoff with the Miami Dolphins next Thursday.