The Falcons took a tough third preseason loss, falling 17-6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Falcons third preseason game 17-6 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars is summarized in one word: inconsistency. Both the offense and the defense were very inconsistent in regards to execution, in all phases in a game where the starters saw the most playing time.
The Falcons offense had a good showing on the first drive. After, the offensive line had major issues slowing down arguably the best defensive line in football. Also, player execution began to falter in other facets. Drops by Sanu, Ridley and Hooper didn’t help the offense. Ridley, the 2018 1st round pick, had a particularly rough outing with 3 drops.
What I did find encouraging was the play calling and adjustments made by Coach Sarkisian as the game progressed. He deployed different personnel groupings and good route combinations. As I’ve said many times before though, none of it matters without player execution and the Falcons were underwhelming and very inconsistent on that front.
The defense, minus Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen, looked good also in the 1st drive but began to give up big chunks of yardage against the Jaguar offense. The defensive line was mostly underwhelming. There were issues with gap integrity in the run game and pass rush in passing situations. However, there were flashes in regards to pass rush when it comes to sacks, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. That is a little disheartening when the starters got quite a few reps. Also, there were entirely too many big plays given up and too many missed tackles. There were some turnovers created, but I’m very sure Coach Quinn isn’t very happy and will be very focused on the tackling and big plays based on this game’s performance.
Despite all the missed opportunities by the team, there are some positives.
Special teams had a very solid showing, doing well in both punt and kickoff coverage. Damontae Kazee is the real deal, and Coach Quinn will have to find a way to put him on the field. Duke Riley is certainly showing improvement when it comes to his awareness and tackling. Eric Saubert could well be the surprise of the season if he sees adequate reps. Most importantly, the biggest positive was there were no significant injuries.
This was a very underwhelming and inconsistent game on many fronts, and I’m sure Coach Quinn isn’t happy at all. This will be good film for the coaches and good teaching moments for the players.