Atlanta Falcons season set to kick off this week

Jul 28, 2023; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith answers questions
Jul 28, 2023; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith answers questions / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons football is finally set to return this week with the Falcons taking on the Miami Dolphins in preseason action. This year's pre-season schedule will see the Falcons take on the Dolphins, Bengals, and Steelers before taking a week to get ready to kick off the regular season against Bryce Young and the Carolina Panthers.

While the preseason will be a bland version of the Atlanta offense it will be the first action Falcons fans have watched in the last eight months. While there have been open practices this is the first chance to look at Atlanta's new additions and how they may fit within the roster.

Desmond Ridder will obviously be the focus of Atlanta's preseason with fans overreacting to every play for better or worse. Ridder struggled with the deep ball in camp but showed improvement throughout and clearly took a step forward from where he was last season as a rookie.

Whether or not Desmond can start long-term is a question best answered in the regular season with the preseason not allowing Ridder to run the full offense. It will be the team's first look at rookies Clark Phillips, Bijan Robinson, and Matthew Bergeron as well all three are expected to play big roles for the team early on in the season.

Atlanta and Miami are scheduled to kick off Friday at 7:00 EST with a local Atlanta broadcast of both of Atlanta's first two weeks of the season before playing their finale on NFL Network. There is no shortage of things to look for in Atlanta's first preseason matchup though it is important to remember that these are glorified practices with neither team tipping their hand as to the season's plans.

Regardless it marks the return of football as the summer winds down and we start what should be the most exciting Atlanta season we have seen in quite some time.