Jalen Mayfield ends Atlanta Falcons preseason in fitting fashion

Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons guard Jalen Mayfield (77) following the
Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons guard Jalen Mayfield (77) following the / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons closed out the preseason losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-0 in a game that was ugly for the Falcons from the first snap. Arthur Smith opted to sit his starters and the majority of players who have locked up a defined role heading into the season.

Taylor Heinicke started at quarterback before Logan Woodside took over and closed out the game. Neither side of the ball played at a high level in what was the perfect example of how little Arthur Smith values the preseason.

While there were a number of individual performances to focus on none fit the tone of tonight's game better than Jalen Mayfield. Mayfield has been competing for the swing tackle role moving from left guard back to tackle throughout camp and the preseason.

The results have been much the same as they were at left guard with Mayfield struggling to block in anything aside from the air in front of him. At times this has even proven difficult for the third-year offensive lineman.

Mayfield ended Atlanta's night and preseason at right tackle directing traffic directly to Logan Woodside. Woodside hopped up and attempted to squeeze in another play before opting to simply walk away and allow time to expire. It wasn't the first ugly play that Mayfield had in pass protection but it is likely the last in an Atlanta Falcons uniform.

If there is one good thing to come from this game for the Falcons it should be Arthur Smith finally ending the Jalen Mayfield experiment. This front office has hit on far more draft picks than they have missed admitting they are wrong and moving on from Jalen is the only move. Not even the practice squad should be an option considering the level of play we have seen.

While the finale for Atlanta's preseason was far from satisfying it only builds the anticipation for opening week. The team is heading into the 2023 season with a roster that should for once be consistently capable despite how the 3rd team performed in an ugly finale.