The Atlanta Falcons first preseason game is less than a month away. Nobody cares about the preseason in most years, but for Atlanta Falcons fans there is some obvious intrigue to this game. It’s not only in Atlanta, but it’s also against the Tennessee Titans.
Ah yes, it’s time to get petty in the preseason. Per the NFL’s schedule rotation, the Atlanta Falcons aren’t slated to face the Titans again in a meaningful game for another three seasons (counting this one). It’s very likely Julio Jones will be out of the NFL by then or not nearly performing at the level he’s still capable of.
Now, the opponents the Falcons will face could very well change since the NFL added the 17th game but let’s keep the math simple.
The Atlanta Falcons should make every attempt to win their first preseason game.
Ten times out of 10 starters play zero meaningful snaps in the first preseason game. Usually, all the marbles are saved for the third game. But there are only three games this year so the Falcons would be smart to get their starters some reps early and often.
That means Arthur Smith will get a chance to coach against his former team in his first appearance as the Atlanta Falcons head coach. He’ll get a chance to stare down the guys that helped get him a head coaching job and also the main guy (AJ Brown) who consistently lobbied for the Titans to sign Jones.
How’s that for your first game on the job? There’s no way Smith isn’t or shouldn’t be salty that the team he just left now has a stacked offense. Yes, Mr. Arthur Smith, dial-up a zero blitz on the first defensive possession of the game.
As for the Atlanta Falcons as a whole, there is a slim to zero chance Julio is suited up. But we can dream here at Blogging Dirty.
If he is and I’m AJ Terrell or anybody else in the secondary, I’m jamming him at the line and double teaming. Who cares that this game doesn’t matter, it’s a chance to build some swagger and to send a message to the NFL that you won’t just be pushed around this season.
Most of the time, the preseason resorts to sloppy play and backups going gangbusters for a chance to get a roster spot but the Atlanta Falcons can and should make this matchup personal. Strap up the chin straps and get out there and hit the team that gave you your new head coach but took the best receiver in team history for pennies on the dollar.
It’s fun to be petty sometimes. And if the Atlanta Falcons were ever gonna pick a time to do it, this matchup versus Tennessee is the one. As for the fans, it’s up to you how you want to respond to Julio’s return since this is the only guaranteed one for the next few years.