Welcome to The Falcoholic’s Pregame Processor.
Here, we’re going to, in the fewest amounts of words and the quickest amount of time, try to describe to you what the day’s game means.
Time to cracks knuckles process this.
STEP ONE: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How
The Falcons are playing the Jaguars at in Jacksonville at 7:00 p.m. ET to shake off the preseason blues and put on a good old fashioned dress rehearsal. This typically ends up being the August game where the starters get the most run, and the team is able to show a firmer glimpse of what they might be capable of come September.
We’ll get the longest look at Matt Ryan and company in this one, going up against the fearsome Jaguars defense. Though, it’ll be without guys like Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Marvin Hall, who all have roles carved out in the offense to varying degrees. Look for heavy doses of Tevin Coleman, Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley.
On defense, guys like Desmond Trufant, Ricardo Allen and Deion Jones might not play, so key in on what the defensive line can do, and avoid diagnosing too much with what the secondary and linebacking core might struggle with without their best players.
STEP TWO: What will we learn?
On offense, we’ll see how OC Steve Sarkisian’s play calling holds up against an elite defense and if the Falcons can move the ball against top talent like they did against the mediocre Chiefs team last week (that’s the fans saying that; not us).
On defense, we’ll see how they look, potentially, without key parts and how Grady Jarrett and that revamped interior defensive line can stop tough runner Leonard Fournette and limit Blake Bortles behind his decent-enough offensive line. Perhaps the pass rush can come more alive this week with additional reps?
Also, if Matt Bryant doesn’t play, here’s to K David Marvin and his effort to stick around on the practice squad.
STEP THREE: How’s this going to go?
Well, let’s guess that the offense doesn’t look quite as sharp as they did last week, but mainly because they’re missing their best-two pieces against a team where you need your best-two pieces. Don’t freak out if the team doesn’t cash it in; this is preseason, first of all, and second of all, the Falcons’ offense flows through Julio and Devonta. You don’t get to look your Sunday best without those guys against the top guns in the league. No way. So, adjust your expectations accordingly.
The defense might look a bit sharper since Jacksonville isn’t known for their passing attack, but don’t grimace if Fournette breaks off a big run here and there.
So, that’s the scoop on Atlanta/Jacksonville.
Falcoholics, you’ve been put through the processor.