August 10, 2018
Falcons 0 at Jets 17
When you get back to back offensive penalties with your first team, then it takes until 10 seconds remaining in the first HALF to get the 1st first down of the game….you can tell how this night is going to go.
Granted this is a scouting game and the first team didn’t play much on offense or defense, but neither squad looked great in their short time. Ty Sambrillo and Matt Bryant were the only inactives. Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman never stepped on the field, but both are 100%, just did not play.
The issue with Friday’s game was that we basically have no backups. There were a few guys that did their job and will come in as good substitutions, but overall, anything past first team is a mess. At least, no one was injured and these guys will not be on the field in mass together.
Overall, the defense did not to a good job tackling. Also, penalties. The starting offense had 2 penalties in the first 3 plays and the team ended with 10 overall. Head Coach Dan Quinn was not pleased with this number after the game.
The highlight player of the game, was Damontae Kazee. He has definitely made that sophomore year jump. Kazee was all over the field. Running down a receiver, then on the next play, in the backfield. He ended the game with 11 tackles (10 in the first half) and was definitely circling on many others.
Dave Archer spoke with Kazee after the game, “I was very comfortable,” clearly fully prepared for his opportunity. And in true Brotherhood spirit, when asked about his versatility, Kazee responded, “Just trying to fit in where ever they need me.” And while all Falcons fans thought he was the star of the game, Kazee commented “I need to work on my game, especially keeping my head up.” He did accumulate one of the new “lower the head” penalties.
Other defensive standouts were rookie Jon Cunningham with 2 tackles and a forced fumble, and the expected, Deadrin Senat who was getting good pressure on the o-line. He and Terrell McClain spent a good bit of time as the defensive tackles together. Deadrin was maybe over running or out of position some, but did tally 2 solo tackles and was definitely moving people back. Isaiah Oliver was not afraid to tackle Friday night. Sometimes Oliver was caught on his heels and chasing receivers, but he managed 2 solo tackles, and was a good start for the second-round rookie.
While Wes Schweitzer got the brief start, Brandon Fusco played with 2nd team 0-line, so hard to judge what he could do as the entire line was getting pushed around/back.
There was some highlight for the 3rd team offense. Kurt Benkert was 9 for 17 for 125 yards, 4 of those passes went for 83 yards to Devin Gray. Granted they were playing against the 3rd team defense, but they were definitely on the same page, likely because they spend much of their practice time together, but may be making spots for themselves on the team…or at least practice squad. Benkurt looked good and very comfortable, while Gray, literally, ripped a ball out of the air…..away from the defender.
Matt Ryan was 1-1 to Calvin Ridley for a 2-yard loss. First team went a quick “three and out” and were backed onto their own end zone before Matt Bosher came out to kick. Matt Schaub, who played most of the first half, was 9-9 for 54 yards.
No running back touched the ball more than 6 times, Malik Williams lead with those 6 carries for 19 yards. Tevin Coleman started and had 3 rushes for 8 yards. Austin Hooper struggled in blocking, had 1 catch, but was choppy getting there, but he did make the 5-yard catch.
In the Oddity Column, after being shown on the depth chart as the first returner, Justin Hardy did not line up to return all night. Marvin Hall and Ito Smith made kickoff returns, while Isiah Oliver and Hall split the 3 punt returns. Ito had 1 return for 35 yards, while Hall had one long return of 21. No word on what happened to Hardy, although he did have a lead block for Ito.
So, as hard as this game was to watch, there were a few highlights and again, no injuries. And as a note, DQ has gone 3-6 all-time in the pre-season, and we all know what he has done in the real season!
After the game, Archer caught up with DQ who called out penalties, missed tackles, and lack of execution. DQ noted that the team has shown in training camp who they can be, just did not show that on the field Friday night. “We have allot of work to do.” DQ says it all.
Photos courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons