With one preseason game in the books the Atlanta Falcons have a ton of work to do. They didn’t score any points during a 17-0 loss the New York Jets. The Falcons didn’t play their starters much if they even made their way into the game. Atlanta played mostly backup players, trying to find who they have to fill in their bench players and special team spots. The game proved noteworthy as the Falcons found a few surprises. Not all of them were good.
The Best Ability:
It seems the best attribute starting Quarterback Matt Ryan can bring this year is health. Ryan would play a lone series completing one pass for -2 yards. Then the the Falcons turned to Matt Schaub, Kurt Benkert and Garrett Grayson to finish the game.
Schaub looked solid going 9/9 for 54 yards. None of his passes really wowed but the decision making was sound. It was mostly short passes and underneath stuff.
Benkert is an undrafted rookie out of Virginia and he came in with a live arm. He completed a 30 yard pass and nearly a touchdown on his first drive. His accuracy was off though going 9/17 for 125 yards overall. Grayson came in for the last drive and was forced to throw on every down going 3/10 for 38 yards.
Watching those performances leads to one conclusion, Matt Ryan cannot get injured. Benkert and Grayson are not set to make Atlanta’s main roster but one will most likely be the practice squad quarterback. Schaub can run the offense, but he would need a significant push from the rushing attack. Putting him in any kind of long pass situation is not a good idea. There doesn’t seem to be a viable option behind Ryan, which is a real concern.
A unit where the Falcons are looking to have good depth is defensive back. Damontae Kazee finished the game with 11 total tackles and one for a loss. The second year player out of San Diego State will play safety but head coach Dan Quinn said ” We will play him at nickel some”. During the game he he covered multiple players and looked to be all over the field making tackles. Kazee played mostly on special teams in year one and now is finding his way to solid playing time.
The Falcons second preseason will be at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Friday, August 17th versus the Kansas City Chiefs.