Aug 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Atlanta Falcons offense huddles during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
We're getting closer to the regular season, as the Falcons have just two road games remaining on their preseason schedule. After two matchups at home, there have been plenty of impressive facets of Atlanta's game. Of course we've seen the bad as well, so let's take a look at what we know as of now.
- Matt Ryan looks great. He's going to be throwing the ball, a lot. I'm looking forward to it. Don't expect the ridiculously lopsided run-to-pass ratio like we saw against Cincy, though. They were clearly working on the pass game that night, and it looked good.
- The starting receivers are going to tear apart opponents. Julio is phenomenal, Roddy is reliable as ever and HD, as long as he's healthy, is a good fit at No. 3. Tony Gonzalez is still going strong as well. Ryan has a impressive arsenal at his disposal.
- Quizz will have much bigger impact than anyone anticipated. The second-year back is performing so much better than Turner is right now. Yes, it's preseason. I get it. But Quizz is boosting his stock.
- Dominique Davis deserves a spot, or a least a chance to play one level up. He easily would have led a game-winning drive (which I tried to predict) if he was passing to receivers actually capable of catching the ball. He caught my eye at the beginning of rookie camp, and everyone seems to be on his bandwagon now.
- Peria Jerry might be ready for a solid season. He's been active at the line and getting into the backfield.
- Blocking needs improvement, still. Game 1 the O-line exceeded expectations. Game 2, not so much. Run blocking was poor against the Bengals. It's hard to tell if that was because everyone was so focused on pass protection, but that should pick up.
- Nolan's defense is fun to watch. He changes it up often, which is refreshing to see. The first-string D, aside from Asante getting completely burned by A.J. Green, is playing well.
- Turner probably can't be called "The Burner" anymore. I pitched "The Slow-Cooker" earlier, and another follower responded with "Crock Pot". It's a work in progress.
- Special teams deserves more recognition. The two Matts are clutch. Bosher pinned four punts inside the 20-yard line this past Thursday, and Bryant is automatic. Return coverage is on top of things too, something we've kind of taken for granted in the past few seasons. Keith Armstrong, the special teams coordinator, has coached units who have limited opponents to the fewest punt return yards and the third lowest punt return average (6.9 yards per return) over the last four seasons. He deserves more credit.