The NFL season is here!!! It is just preseason, but it’s a start. The Falcons start it off against the Dolphins in South Beach, Miami at 7 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Brotherhood is back and looking better than ever. Falcons fans received great news Wednesday morning when the front office resigned Devonta Freeman to a five-year extension, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL. The Falcons enter the game without a few key pieces but only because it is the preseason. Dan Quinn announced on Tuesday that Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel would miss the first week of the preseason to prevent any injury. They are both coming off of injuries that occurred at the end of last season. Quinn also noted that had this been the first week of the regular season, both would be playing. Also, first-round pick Takkarist McKinley, is a game-time decision and the newly acquired Kelvin Taylor will sit this one out most likely because he hasn’t had enough time to practice with the team.
Remember this is only the first week of the preseason… which means that the first-unit of offense will only play two series at the most as well as the first-unit defense. The Falcons will not get a chance to see the recently signed Jay Cutler, who has arguably been the biggest headline of the week after coming out of retirement to sign a one year deal with the Dolphins to be reunited with head coach Adam Gase.
This is the first game the Falcons have played since seven months ago and the beginning of the Falcons redemption tour after what happened to end last year. They have a few additions to the team which will improve their chances of last year. Also the Falcons have 9 of 11 starters on the offense returning from last year. The only missing piece is Patrick Dimarco, who went to New York to play for the Bills, and Chris Chester who opted for retirement. Hopefully team chemistry can carry this offense to an even higher powered offense than last year, which would be hard to beat, but is definitely possible
The Falcons biggest downside is that they have a new offensive coordinator (Steve Sarkisian). You can talk all you want about how Kyle Shanahan blew the Super Bowl and how bad his play calling late in games is (which are both true), but he still had a great system that created the majority of the success in the offense. We hope that Steve Sarkisian can fill the spot that Shanahan had and do an even better job, but Shanahan was one of this offenses greatest weapons.
It has felt like a very long wait, but it is finally time for six months of non-stop football. The Brotherhood is ready to play and we look forward to watching some young guys grind it out and fight to make the roster.