Bengals – Falcons (Preseason Week 2)

The Falcons dropped another preseason game, this time 24-19 to Cincinnati. Much like last week, at least our starters beat their starters, 13-10 at halftime.

The offense continues to remind me of a modified hybrid West Coast style short passing dink and dunk attack. As long as they continue to mix in Julio deep and threaten with Roddy White, this style can be successful, especially with the newfound emphasis on passing to the running backs.

I’ll cheat a little and jump straight to Pat Yasinskas’ (ESPN NFC South Blog) observations.

Ryan’s numbers (18-of-21 for 174 yards and a touchdown) look spectacular and he completed his first 11 pass attempts. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Ryan’s first eight passes were mostly short ones and he didn’t have a long completion until connecting with Roddy White for a 24-yard gain on his ninth pass. He followed that with a 21-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez and later had a downfield completion in traffic to Julio Jones. Ryan seemed under pressure early, but the offensive line seemed to settle down as time went on. Ryan also missed slightly on a deep throw for Jones. The ball was well thrown, but it went off Jones’ fingertips.

Ryan was sharp for the second week in a row. As mentioned, Ryan just missed Julio, but really, Julio should have pulled it in. Ryan also missed a goal line slant in the endzone that should have been a nice TD.

All in all, nothing to complain about; Ryan has looked fantastic thus far. I just hope he keeps it up when the games start to count!

Jerry wasn’t the only interior lineman producing pressure. Jonathan Babineaux sacked Dalton, but the play was nullified when Babineaux was called for a face-mask penalty. I watched the replay several times and saw no indication that Babineaux’s hand ever got close to Dalton’s face mask. I think the replacement refs botched that call.

The point here is that the d-line looks marginally better, but everyone knows blitzes and offensive packages are vanilla at best in the preseason. For the second week in a row, the replacement refs were awful.

The Falcons appear to be very serious about throwing more to their running backs. Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers and Lousaka Polite each caught passes.

If it works in Madden, it should work in real life.

Tailgate Experience
For the second consecutive week, there wasn’t much of a tailgate. The boys decided that 90F was too dang hot for grilling, while my wife told me she was too sweet to sweat; have to agree with my wife on this one because she is sweet.

We did the Hooters thing on the way up; boys got an eyeful, dad was careful not to gawk, and before mentioned sweet wife tried her best not to stew. I survived the Hooters experience unscathed, and managed to put us in the back of Lot A for about 45 minutes of tailgating – drinking a couple of cold ones, tossing around a football with my three boys, playing a tailgating ring toss game, and just in general, enjoying some quality family time.

Lot A is always sketchy at best; police presence and lot patrol personnel was limited. Thankfully the rift-raft was minimal; should be par for the course September 17, when Monday Night Football comes to town for the Falcons Dome opener hosting Denver.

Go Falcons!


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