Falcons Good, Bad, and Ugly
The Falcons opened the preseason with a shutout loss to the New York Jets, 17-0. Let’s break down the good, bad, and ugly from Friday night’s game.
Nobody got hurt.
Also, the Falcons backup quarterback situation appears in decent shape. Both Matt Schaub and Kurt Benkert performed well enough to secure a roster spot. Folks were more impressed with Benkert because he took more shots down the field. However, Schaub completed all nine of his pass attempts, and you can’t argue against the leadership he brings to the quarterback meeting room.
Hybrid defensive back Damontae Kazee impressed me the most. The second-year man flew around the field, consistently making open field tackles, totaling 11.
Preseason or not, penalties aren’t good. The Falcons committed 10 penalties on Friday night, including a couple of infractions of the new helmet rule. For the record, this rule is awful and will certainly cost teams some games this season.
Atlanta also went almost half the game without a first down. 3rd down is something the Falcons emphasized in training camp. Not being able to execute 3rd down conversions in a game situation is bad, I don’t care if it’s the preseason or not. No need to panic over it, though.
Linebacker Duke Riley was pitiful on Friday night. For someone who coaches praised for having a strong offseason, Riley deserves nothing but ridicule for his performance against the Jets. He missed numerous tackles and took a terrible angle on Jets running back Isaiah Crowell which led to the game’s first touchdown.
But nothing was as ugly as Falcons Twitter during, and after, the game. Fans took to the internet to beg for the removal of Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinator because they didn’t like his play-calling. Fans also complained about Atlanta’s failure to score points, as if it indicates what will happen in the regular season. Check this out, the Cleveland Browns went undefeated in the preseason last year, to go 0-16 in the regular season. So, internet Falcons fans, all the overreacting to what happened in a preseason game is a waste of energy. Relax.
By: David Schiele