The Atlanta Falcons opened up their preseason against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome. It’s silly to say it was a “loss” because I’m still not convinced that anyone actually wins or loses preseason games. Maybe if we’d change the name to Player Evaluation Scrimmages, the fans would be much less apt to lose their collective minds over a lopsided score.
But lopsided it was, as according to the scoreboard the Bengals whipped the Falcons to the tune of a 34-10 beating. For Falcons fans who are amidst the preparation for lighting themselves on fire, just put down the Bic lighter, and soak in these sobering takeaways from the game.
First Down: Drew Davis is going to add yet another threat to the Falcons passing game. He sizzled last night, and is only going to get better. He made a couple of great catches, including a 22-yard sideline out from Dominique Davis that he expertly got the tips of his toes inside the white paint to make the catch. Davis has some raw speed and talent, and it’s obvious that spending time around Julio Jones and Roddy White is making a man-child out of this kid in a hurry.
Second Down: The defensive line already looks much better than last season. The tackles–Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters and Travian Robertson–all looked solid, and were getting great push. Seeing those guys on the other side of the line of scrimmage was a welcome sight. Osi Umenyiora and Jonathan Massaquoi and the other ends didn’t have what I would call an outstanding game, but both looked like their motors were getting revved up. Massaquoi did manage to plant Bengals QB Josh Johnson once, and it was no playground push to the ground.
Third Down: UDFA linebacker Paul Worrilow scored some major points with the coaching staff last night. He made some excellent run stops and tallied about a dozen total tackles. He still has some work to do on reading defenses, but considering that he was out there without Sean Weatherspoon to help move him around, he did exceptionally well. He’s going to make the linebacker competition very intense if he continues this type of play over the next few weeks.
Fourth Down: Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford are the real deal. Not that there was any real question about this, but last night they both showed a lot of poise and mettle. Both of them got beaten badly at times, but both–in particular Alford–also made some huge athletic plays. Folks that are holding their breath about Atlanta’s secondary can exhale just a bit. As these two get more reps in game situations, they are likely to only get better.
Extra Point: No significant injuries for the Falcons in the game. This is always a plus in the preseason.
Michael Collins is an Atlanta sports humorist, columnist, radio host and owner of Georgia Sports Craze. He is a member of the FWAA and eats peanut butter straight from the jar. Follow on Twitter @GaSportsCraze on Facebook here or on Google here