Taking in the first preseason game from the couch instead of the Dome. Typically, the preseason is a snooze fest, but we are really wanting to watch how much the Offensive Line is improved, has the Defense improved, and what about the new faces? Right off the bat, we get to see the Defense and all the new parts. Woof, we made Ryan Tannehill look like Tom Brady out there carving the Defense up. The Defense definitely looked out of place running the Nickel. There was no pressure, shocker, and no real purpose. No reason to panic, still preseason.
Next, Matt Ryan came in with no Julio (sitting out) and no Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Matt looked sharp and in command to start the series. He threaded the needle to Harry Douglas for his first completion. Then Ryan continued to march up the field hitting the Toilolo and Roddy for a couple of completions. The main takeaway was the offensive line gave Ryan time to throw (sans one sack) and looked like an NFL Offensive line. One thing to watch is the growth of Jake Matthews, he was tagged with several flags and got blown up a couple of times. Matthews looked like a rookie not used to NFL speed.
So, what’s going right? Quiz looks good with several touches, Antone Smith makes you still wonder why he’s not getting more regular season touches, Roddy is catching balls, Matt Ryan looked comfortable again, the Offensive line looked so much better (not too early to say that), TJ Yates gives us that back-up QB we needed, and Hester came in on several series.
What’s going wrong-ish? Hard to say negatives in a preseason game, but the Nickel formation is not going to be a good base Defense. WE NEED A PASS RUSH. Worrilow and Bartu looked confused/lost. Again, I hate to pile on negatives, but those were valid points.
I am just happy Falcons football is back!