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The fourth preseason game is where jobs are finally won and lost

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When you watch the last preseason game, bear in mind that it only matters for one reason.

Atlanta Falcons v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

If the third preseason game was a (disastrous) season dress rehearsal for Atlanta, the fourth preseason game matters only for the reserves. Don’t be fooled by Matt Ryan getting (perhaps) a single drive in this game, because all that represents is a little extra playing time before the season kicks off.

Most of this one will be turned over to the reserves and deep reserves, the players fighting for roles and fighting for roster spots with 22 cuts coming just a couple of days after this last game. It could not matter more for a player like Brandon Wilds, who has made a strong case for the third running back spot and may need just one more quality performance to push him over the top, or Brian Poole, a UDFA cornerback trying to crack a team with weak cornerback depth.

If you’re the kind of fan who can’t stand to watch the Falcons play poorly, no one’s going to blame you if you just tune out for this one, because it’s basically beside the point how this one ends up. If you’re a roster guy and you’ve got your eyes on a couple of UDFA types, you’ll absolutely want to tune in, however.

We’ll have projected cuts coming up later in the week, but suffice to say you shouldn’t expect to care about the outcome of this game, only the standouts.