Offensive Line Play Was Very Concerning
It’s the preseason and it is against one of the best defensive lines in football, but last night was a debacle on the Falcons offensive line. They could not open up any holes for the run game, leaving Tevin Coleman and Terron Ward as easy targets for the Dolphins defense. They also were so atrocious that Matt Ryan had to leave the game early, which is a terrible sign to see. The lineman who was beaten for most of the night was James Stone, which is concerning because he has been taking first team reps since training camp. This unit needs a find a way to get back to protecting their quarterback and creating holes for the running backs, otherwise this team will be in some serious trouble when games matter.
Defense Continues Their Great Play
While the Falcons offense did not play to par, the defense once again excelled. The defensive line played another great game, while the rest of the defense made some spectacular plays. A player who has been standing out all preseason is middle linebacker Paul Worrilow. I’ve been very hard on him in the past, but he looks to have changed his game for the better. He has been all over the field making plays at key times in order to get his defense off the field. O’Brien Schofield also had a very nice move off the line and forced a fumble on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore. Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn shined yet again, and they will be key players coming into the regular season. Hell, even late in the game Tyler Starr forced an interception that dropped in the hands of Joplo Bartu, helping both of their chances to make the roster. Kudos to this defense thus far.
We Are Starting To See Which Players Might Be Packing Their Bags
It is never good to see someone lose their job, but in the NFL, it is business as usual. With Atlanta having to shed players in order to make the 53-man roster, some players will have to pack their bags. T.J. Yates looks to be as good as gone. Even though he has won a playoff game in his career (2011), he just has lacked the skills in order to backup Matt Ryan. Rex Grossman will likely be backing up Ryan, as he is a veteran and knows Kyle Shanahan’s system. Lamar Holmes is another player who looks like he is a long-shot to make the team. He has been injured, and the Falcons do not want to waste a roster spot on someone injured and concerned about. Tyler Starr has made some noticeable plays this preseason, so maybe Kroy Biermann and Joplo Bartu could be on the outside trying to loom in. Either way, some players will be cut very soon.