While I wouldn’t read too much into this performance, the lack of offense from all units had to be at least mildly concerning for even the most steady of “It’s just preseason” folks. Considering the ease at which the Revenge Tour had been rolling along prior to this game, it’s understandable why there might be some raised eyebrows after an uglier performance from an offense we’ve come to know as a boulder rolling down a large hill. The defense was, by and large, very good. Multiple forced fumbles by the starters and strong showings from Jack Crawford and Takk McKinley were a major positive, though at times I found myself thinking, “This defense looks familiar.”
I’m disappointed in the result from Mercedes Benz Stadium’s grand opening, but I would be legitimately shocked if this carried over into the regular season. Dan Quinn has built a culture that is not only great, I would say there are few in the NFL that rival it at this point. That culture will sprout the seeds of greatness once again once these games start counting.
You’ve heard my takeaways several times in the last few days, so I’ll strive to keep this short. The Falcons have pulled together elite talent on offense and have somehow managed to assemble a young, dynamic defense at the same time. That’s exceptional, and I love the direction this team is going in, preseason interceptions be damned.
Don't fret too much over the offense. Besides, playing against a good defense (the Cardinals were 2nd in the league in yards allowed in 2016) and struggling gives the team a chance to evaluate what went wrong, and hopefully correct it. Meanwhile, the defense looked awesome against a real offense in extended time. You should be incredibly excited about what Quinn has built, because it looks like he finally has the pieces he needs to execute his vision.
Takk McKinley was electric and borderline dominant at times. Jack Crawford looked big and disruptive. Jarrett and Poe look like a great duo on early downs. The team created 3 turnovers in this game, and the emphasis on the ball was evident. I'm pretty darn excited to watch the defense take the field, which is not something I ever recall saying about the Falcons before.