The ATL Sports Car built by Mercedes Benz Stadium started with the engines racing 34 yards by Calvin Ridley on the games opening kickoff. Seven plays later Austin Hooper was going airborne into the end zone for the opening score. It looked great Matt Ryan rolling out having his way tossing the ball to open receivers and Tevin Coleman darting through the middle of the field for two fifteen yard runs. If this is any indication of expectations this season, the greatest show in football is going to be in Atlanta. At this stage, I am not referring to the Super Bowl. The first drive Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian called misdirection play action plays utilizing player skill sets for 7 plays, covering 65 yards in 3:40. Ryan went 2-3 for 33 yards and a touchdown toss. It looked effortless.
When asked whether he wanted to bring play action back: Head Coach Dan Quinn said
“I want to make sure that’s part of our priority. The reason being, when the play-action and run game go hand-in-hand, it is such a challenge for the defense. We really want to make sure we stay connected to that. When the play-action pass game is going good, that meant the run game at some point was going good because linebackers or safeties were having to step up. If they were feeling like you hit them on a couple of play passes, they try to play a little softer underneath, some of the runs can get going. That’s some of that balance you like to have. You’ll see more of that, for sure.”
The Falcons may have lost the so-called meaningless game 28-14, but they won the show unveiling the 2018 ATL Sports Car featuring All World Julio Jones on the right and first-round draft pick Calvin Ridley on the left with a $150 Million trigger man former league MVP Matt Ryan in the middle. This high-performance engine should be the envy of the NFL but and there is always a but quote Bill Parcells “ the sports car looks beautiful when it on the track the problem is it spends too much time in the pit.” If the game could be played on paper, the first team in NFL history will hoist the Super Bowl Trophy in its home stadium.
Folks, the stars, sun, and moon are aligned give credit to the Atlanta Brass for selecting the best player on the board.
On the second series Ryans (5-7-90 yards, 1 TD) final of the night we got a glimpse of the magic, he hit that selection Calvin Ridley with a bullet in stride for a 36 yards pass. My mind’s eye started to sparkle with the thought of another speedster on the other side defenders can’t double and triple team Julio. The field at MBS should be renamed the Alabama Express with Jones and Ridley (both Crimson Tide standouts) racing from end zone to end zone. It should be a high scoring affair NFL be on alert for the all-time scoring record.
HC Dan Quinn On the 36-yard play by Ridley:
“We were bummed we didn’t get a chance to do that last week. You have seen that some at practice and at camp. Having that speed and his ability to make plays down the field was a big factor. Thomas (Dimitroff) and I thought so highly of him. That will be part of his role on this team, using the speed in that way.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the shine of the offense lets not forget the solid defense allowed only 9 rushing touchdowns last season their lowest since 2010. Beside Grady Jarrett who is in a contract year, DT/NT Dontae Poe was a big body clogger for financial reasons he is in Carolina. Opportunity is knocking for the rookie NT out of South Florida Deadrin Senat 6’1 305 Lbs.. on a light day literally speaking the hole is his to fill.
Patrick Mahomes, the new face of Kansas City, didn’t disappoint he showed poise patience and grit on the Chiefs first scoring drive of 13 plays, 73 yards, 6:52 which resulted in a field goal. I was most impressed by the Falcons defense. They made them fight for every single inch.
Mahome played the first half he connected on 8 of 12 passes for 138 yards. He threw a missile of a touchdown to Tyreek Hill for 69 yards. The touchdown looked so good it’s easy to look past the interception it’s just part of the growing pains for a young quarterback in his first season as a starter. Alex Smith played well in Kansas City, but when you draft a quarterback as high as Mahome 2017/Round 1/10th pick overall, it’s a priority to have him on the field in year two.
It’s so attractive because th
ey could have him for 4 years at millions of dollars less teams roll the dice looking into the future. Smith is in Washington by way of a $93 Million contract. Its the Seattle Seahawks formula of success. Russel Wilson outperformed his rookie contract allowing the team to amass great talent on both sides of the ball which resulted in them winning their first Superbowl in franchise history. They say It’s a copycat league.
The Falcons have a proven veteran back up QB the other Matt last name Shaub. He engineered a 75-yard scoring drive connecting on 7 of 10 passes that were capped off with a 7-yard touchdown catch by Calvin Ridley.
Ridley On his home preseason debut:
“It was pretty good, felt pretty good to get some catches and run with them a little, and it felt good to get that first touchdown out the way.”
After a backlash from last weeks performance, Duke Riley bounced back contributing 3 solo tackles.
It appears that no game can be played without the new but ugly helmet penalty Keanu Neal picked up the first one on their home turf. Safety is indeed a priority, but it ’s making it more difficult for defenders to bring down shifty runners which at some point is going to result in more scoring.