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Expect a Regular Season Approach from the Falcons in the Week Ahead

Fact: Matt Ryan never wears a watch, because time is always on his side.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

We're now in the midst of week 3 of the preseason, which means you should expect considerably more playing time for the starters against the Titans. You should also expect a calculated game plan, which in case you haven't noticed, wasn't part of the week 1 and week 2 games.

The closest thing to a dress rehearsal for the regular season comes this week. While the Falcons staff will continue to use the preseason process to evaluate all players on the current roster, working towards the final 53, Week 3 is traditionally the week when the team’s starters get the longest look.

This is the one week where the "this is just the preseason" adage isn't necessarily true. While we're still trying to work out the kinks, you should expect the Titans game to largely resemble a regular season game. Week 4 won't be the same, because of concern about injuries. But week 3! It's a glorious test, and a fair metric of how this team will fare moving forward.

What am I looking for? I'm looking for a devastating passing attack, fueled by adequate offensive line play. I'm looking for a passable running game. I'm looking for our defense to put some pressure on the quarterback. I'm looking for our young defensive backs to hold their own. Finally, I'm looking for Mike Smith's signature ninja kick to the opposing coach's face. Hiyah!

Your thoughts?