We can all agree, even though it was "only the preseason" it was still a great start to the season for the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons dominated the Dolphins all game long as they scored a touchdown on offense, defense, and special teams, while also allowing just three points against two quarterbacks who have starting experience in the regular season.
Here we are going to go over the great, good, and bad of the Atlanta Falcons week one preseason game.
The great for the Atlanta Falcons
Great: Ryan Nielsen and the vibe of the defense
Sure, it is preseason and we didn't see any starters in the game but good teams have a different vibe to them no matter who is in the game. The Falcons defense looked and felt different. Ryan Nielsen's unit was able to suffocate inside the redzone and no matter who made a play, everyone was getting hyped. Seeing A.J. Terrell, who didn't play a single snap, getting hyped for others was amazing to see. The vibe is different.
Great: Redzone defense
As I just mentioned, the Falcons allowed some yards between the 20s but then they clamped down. They did not allow a single point when the Dolphins entered the redzone as they forced a team-effort interception and two turnover on downs. In day and age, there are many aggressive coaches so having a good fourth-down defense can be a season-changing thing.
Great: Playing as a team
The offense struggled to put points on the board and finish drives but they still managed a rushing touchdown. Late in the game, Dee Alford showed that he wants to be Avery William's replacement as he took a punt back for a touchdown and right after that, there was another team interception that went for a TD. Great team effort.
It is always good when your offense, defense, and special teams all individually outscore the other team.
Great: Defense making plays
Three interceptions, five sacks, a forced fumble and recovery, and only three points allowed. That will get the job done.
Great: DeMarcco Hellams
Wow, DeMarcco Hellams looks like a seventh-round steal. He was able to snag the interception to start the game off and had two huge hits that will make guys think twice about going over the middle.
Great: Breon Borders
Breon Borders was all over the place. He was in the right place on the pick-six and made plays on the ball all night. Too bad he is suspended to start the season.
Great: Dee Alford
While Dee Alford was good on defense (as usual), it was his play on special teams that really stuck out. He broke five or six tackles on the punt return and showed some ridiculous top-end speed to finish it off. It looks like the Falcons might have found their punt returner.