The first preseason game of the year, played out to a Falcons win, but for the most part was tearfully boring, which is typically of meaningless games. I think that going into these preseason games, for the most part the rosters are set except for fringe players looking to fill out special teams, possibly backup a position as the third or fourth option. The big goal is to make sure everyone escapes uninjured, give the starters some live contact action, and to get some of the backups some much need experience.
From this perspective, I think the Falcons succeeded. Ryan and company only played the first two series, and while it is concerning that Atlanta had to settle for field goal attempts (made one, missed one), Turner looked explosive, with fresh legs, and he was a check-down receiver on one play.
If the Falcons establish Turner as a receiving option out of the backfield during the preseason, even as the check-down receiver, I believe this new wrinkle will add a nice element for opponents to consider when setting up their defensive game-plans. Mughelli could also play this part very well; hopefully we do not forget about our backfield receivers when the games start to count!
It was nice to see the Falcons really establish control of the o-line, pounded the ball, which is my favorite style of football. With that said, I was really expecting to see (make that wanting to see) some of the vertical passing I have read about all preseason.
I also enjoyed seeing Ryan moving into a no huddle offense on the second possession. Hopefully this will be a regular component of Atlanta’s offense in the upcoming season. Ryan has the ability to run this type of offense with great success, and he has the weapons to make it a feared attack.
John Parker Wilson did nothing wrong to establish himself firmly as the number three QB. I have read that he may battle for the backup spot, but I am not sure that is realistic this season. Then again, it is not like Redman is top self material.
I don’t think keeping the Chiefs to 10 points is much of an accomplishment in the pre or regular seasons. Their offense sucks, and it is much too hard for me to grade ours since so many key starters did not play. I’ll be interested to read what some of the pundits have to say about the defense’s performance.
Next up are the Pats for some good Thursday night National Prim Time action.