The Atlanta Falcons close out the preseason with a bang by defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14 at EverBank Field. This closes the book on seeing what the Atlanta Falcons have up front, from the free agent signing of Paul Soliai to the third year player out of Troy Johnathan Massaquoi. We are now reaching the time of the year when those questions are going to turn into answers come that first week in September.
The offense gets off to a good start with a lot of explosive plays. Offensively and Defensively, the Falcons got off to a good start. Whether it was Devonta Freeman pounding it in on the goal line or Antone Smith taking a screen play for 66 yards, showing that the offensive line doesn’t have to be great in order for the offense to be effective this year. Lamar Holmes has been holding up well in his pass sets. Head Coach Mike Smith and Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice have talked about the “competition” at right tackle, but with Lamar Homes getting most of the snaps at that position he looks like a shoe-in as the starter.
On the defensive side there were some bright spots as well. The defensive line held up very well against the run only giving up 2.4 yards per carry overall. The play of Johnathan Massaquoi and Malliciah Goodman painted a picture of young promising pass rushers if they are able to get some snaps in week 1 versus the New Orleans Saints. There also was a Kroy Biermann sighting as well.
The second round draft pick out of Minnesota, Ra’shede Hageman has come to the spotlight because of his antics on HBO’s Hard Knocks. This is the player you should keep an eye on throughout the season because the coaches left him in well in to the fourth quarter.
The only thing holding Hageman back from being a contributor this year is his conditioning. There were plays that he showed why he was considered a first round draft pick and there were plays that showed why the Atlanta Falcons may have reached a bit by taking him in the second round.
The offensive and defensive lines really summed it all up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, by stating that all we have to do is be consistent and we will be a solid football team this year.