clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Key takeaways from the Falcons vs. Jaguars preseason game

What we saw and what it meant.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Carter Breazeale

Isaiah Oliver is a work in progress, but fortunately the Falcons are flush with talent in the secondary. With the emergence of Damontae Kazee and cornerback mainstays Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, Atlanta has no reason or incentive to rush the young second-rounder out of Colorado.

Oliver has the physical traits and ball skills that Dan Quinn covets, and although he’s been burned in coverage in two consecutive games, he’s been afforded the luxury of time to learn the game at the NFL level. There is no need to push the rookie into immediate duty, as the Falcons are stacked with skilled defensive backs.

Kevin Knight

We saw some good and some bad against Jacksonville. Damontae Kazee has been the best player on the field for the Falcons through three straight preseason games. That’s not a fluke. Kazee has demanded a place in the starting lineup, and I think he’ll be one of the most-used DBs in the nickel package. We also saw Jack Crawford consistently generating pass rush next to Grady Jarrett. That was one of the biggest question marks for the defense, and it seems like they’re going to be just fine on the interior.

As for the bad, Calvin Ridley had by far his worst game as a Falcon. The drops were bad, but I wouldn’t worry too much about the rookie. The Falcons offense also struggled to move the ball against the elite Jaguars defense. With no Julio and no Freeman on the field, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Sark has shown me enough this preseason to believe he’ll take a step forward this year. How big of a step that is, however, remains to be seen. At the end of the day, I’m satisfied with what we’ve seen from the starters. Bring on Philly!

James Rael

I have a hard time understanding all the hot takes I see on social media after a loss like this. No matter how hard you try, you won’t convince me the final score matters in preseason games. To that effect, the absence of Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman is somehow irrelevant for some of you. Matt Ryan’s timing was off, which isn’t unexpected, because remember, the season hasn’t started yet!

I was pretty upset by the Damontae Kazee penalty. He apologized profusely after the game, though he really didn’t need to. Kazee is a good football player and a good man; it’s a shame the NFL’s effort to make this a safer game occasionally results in players like him being thrown under the bus.

Dave Choate

We have learned, I think, that Dan Quinn has no intention of making preseason an action-packed thrillfest with wins galore. He and this coaching staff are using it to evaluate players, and increasingly, they’re not even willing to trot their full complement of starters out there. That’s part of why the games have been ugly, but the important thing here is that the Falcons got their evaluation time, they came out of these first three games pretty healthy, and they’ll head into the season when the games matter very soon.

Cory Woodroof

Nobody got hurt. So, that’s all I really care about.