It was a frustrating game with some unfortunate injuries. We’re glad it’s just the preseason.
So far this preseason, most of the attention at running back has gone to Brian Hill. Hill has had a strong camp, demonstrating improved receiving skills and a good bit of burst when running the ball. Smith has been overshadowed, but he bounced back in a big way against the Jets. Ito was the best running back on the field Thursday night. He looked good as a runner and receiver and he reminded fans why he was the favorite to be RB2 this season.
Eric Saubert who? Don’t look now, but Jaeden Graham may make a serious push to be on the 53-man roster. His strong preseason only got better on Thursday night with his four-catch, 55-yard performance, which led all Falcons receivers. He even did his best Austin Hooper impression by hurdling a defender. If he continues to play like this, we may be watching Graham play in September and beyond.
The veteran corner has been roundly criticized by fans for his play the past couple of years, but he reminded us on Thursday why he was a first-round pick years ago. His coverage was tight and on-point and his tackling was superb. He did have some gaffes, but he mostly had a very good game.
Sambrail-oh-no is more like it. In general, the offensive line struggled across the board but none stood out more than the presumed starter at right tackle.
Ty looked overmatched repeatedly and was doing little to stop anybody and everybody from getting to Matt Ryan. If he continues to play like this, we may see second-year player Matt Gono get some snaps with the first team. God knows it couldn’t be any worse than what Sambrailo turned in on Thursday night.
Hill has still looked good, but in a critical moment of the game he had a big let down. After Ryan was able to scramble (due to pressure), Matt hit Hill in the end zone with a near perfect pass ... that bounced off his hands and went incomplete. For all the talk of Hill improving as a receiver, he managed to drop one of the most high profile throws that came his way. Doh!
Hey coach, did Matt Ryan kick your dog? Did he take your parking spot at camp? Because it sure as hell looked like you were trying to get our franchise QB murdered on Thursday night.
I get that you want to see certain things in a preseason game, but you also had the criminally evil Greg Williams running a blitzkrieg defense on the other side. That was not the game in which to test your OL with your starting QB in the crosshairs. You’re lucky Ryan is a tough SOB, because had he gotten hurt, the level of heat coming down would be infinitely hotter.
What’s your take?