After Atlanta’s first preseason game against the Titans, Falcons fans everywhere shared one main concern — the offensive line. Tennessee defenders were in the backfield on almost every play making life difficult for Feleipe Franks, AJ McCarron, and the running backs. Franks and McCarron went a combined 7/21 for 21 yards and no touchdowns. McCarron also threw an interception. While this isn’t the complete offensive line that will be running with the first team, assumed front-runner at left guard Josh Andrews was in action for most of the game. Like with most of the others, his performance was uninspiring. Thankfully for Atlanta, there may still be hope on a very thin free-agent market:
Former #Chiefs C Austin Reiter still being a FA is surprising:
*28 starts the last 2 seasons
*No sacks allowed in 2020
*77.0+ pass-blocking @PFF grade each of the past 3 seasons
*1.6% pressure percentage allowed since 2018, second-best behind Rodney Hudson among all interior OL. pic.twitter.com/M3575caQK3
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 15, 2021
I’m not sure how much flexibility Austin Reiter has at guard, but reports have come out that Matt Hennessy looks fairly impressive coming out of camp. Even then, the Falcons have made it clear they plan to start the five best linemen on the roster, a strategy that I can get behind. I listed Reiter as a free agent target for the Falcons early in the process, but they never really made any big moves to address the position in free agency. After watching them get dominated by Tennessee on the interior, maybe Terry Fontenot will be spurred into action and bring Reiter in for a workout. We all know what Matt Ryan can do when he has time to throw, and if the first preseason game was any indication, he wouldn’t have very much.