The stage is set. The lights will be bright in Mercedes Benz Stadium Sunday night. Cleveland is undefeated, Atlanta is defeated; a matchup for the ages — the preseason finale. In all seriousness, it is just one step closer to regular season football, but the best aspect of the game is both teams’ starters will play in some capacity.
Arthur Smith said "majority" of these guys will play on Sunday.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) August 27, 2021
The Browns offense and defense is a great benchmark for this new-look Falcons team. The personnel is different, the schemes are different, and the staff is different. Cleveland isn’t going to throw a complete game plan at Atlanta, and you can expect minimal game planning from Arthur Smith. Still, the Falcons will have a great chance to play against a playoff-caliber team. Cleveland has one of the best rosters in the league, while Atlanta has an extremely lackluster group on paper.
It’ll be interesting to see the starters get a couple of series against each other. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Falcons starting offense was stifled by the starting Browns’ defense. However, I believe Atlanta’s starting defense can get a stop if they get Baker Mayfield in a third-down situation because of Dean Pees’ ability to dial-up blitzes.