Folks, we made it. We really, truly made it.
This is the final preseason game, and after tonight we’re on to the 53 man roster. There’s not much that’s fun or gratifying about learning that 37 men are going to be looking for new jobs in the very near future, but getting the roster to its semi-final form does mean regular season football, which means an offseason that seems to get longer every year is over. That I can’t wait for.
In the meantime, satiate yourself with football-like content as Danny Etling scrambles madly for his life for four quarters. We’ll update you on the happenings here.
Look, Blair Walsh had his field goal blocked. It gives me no pleasure to report this.
I gotta be honest, the Falcons had a huge lead and I was in and out at this point. Regular season football will be so, so welcome.
I startled awake in time to see Tony Brooks-James rumble for 52 yards and a score, capping a genuinely impressive night from a guy who absolutely needs to get a shot somewhere. Falcons 31-Jaguars 6.
The Jaguars got on the board again behind scrambling wonder Alex McGough, who punched it in to bring the Jaguars within 19. They would get no closer thanks to a failed two point conversion. Falcons 31 - Jaguars 12.
The Jags fizzled out.
The Falcons got a quick 15 from Qadree Ollison..but it was called back after penalty on Jaeden Graham. Then C.J. Worton picked up 23...but had the ball stripped and the Falcons lost the fumble. Jags ball.
They didn’t make much of it. Thomas Rawls carried it three straight times and fell short of the first down marker, with Del’Shawn Phillip’s big third down tackle ensuring they had to punt again.
The Falcons would fall short—Danny Etling’s frighteningly off target pass was nearly picked—but then Blair Walsh hit a 46 yarder to put the Falcons up by 18. Falcons 24 - Jaguars 6
The Jaguars were driving. At this point, preseason fatigue set in. They did punt.
The Falcons punted.
Jermaine Grace got a pick six, just the latest and most impressive play he’s made in a preseason full of them. He has to have a roster spot now...even if the play was ultimately called back.
The Jaguars flamed out. Punt.
The Falcons flamed out. Punt.
The Jaguars flamed out, this time with more Alex McGough. Punt.
Brooks-James would find the end zone after some nice quick passes from Danny Etling, especially to Olamide Zaccheaus, opened things up. Kaleb McGary threw the fateful block on Brooks-James’ touchdown run, and if the Falcons weren’t so loaded with backs I’d say Brooks-James might have a real shot based on how he’s done this summer. Falcons 14 - Jaguars 0
The Jaguars got close enough to get on the board despite Jacob Tuioti-Mariner’s timely third down sack. Falcons 14 - Jaguars 3
I walked away for another beer and the Falcons scored with surprising quickness, this time on a touchdown strike from an increasingly game Etling to Christian Blake. Falcons 21 - Jaguars 3
Tre’ Crawford got a sack! Jaguars punt.
Danny Etling at this point was on fire, scrambling like crazy to pick up big chunks of yardage. He did eventually slow down, opening the door for a 53 yard attempt by Giorgio Tavecchio...which went wide left. He sealed his fate, unfortunately, even though that’s hardly an easy kick.
The Jaguars managed a long Josh Lambo field goal. Falcons 21 - Jaguars 6
The Falcons went three and out quickly thanks in no small part to a penalty, but Kaleb McGary looked good!
On the Jaguars’ drive, Durrant Miles notched a quarterback hit. A pass interference call on Jordan Miller and a bad Duke Riley angle saw the Jaguars convert, but Riley rallied and Deadrin Senat was a beast as the Falcons forced a punt. It was not, to put it mildly, Jordan Miller’s finest drive.
Danny Etling struggled again on the next drive, holding on to the ball a bit too long and failing to move the offense.
The next drive saw Jordan Miller recover nicely and get a third down pass breakup to end things for the Jaguars, but not before making a couple of nice tackles. You can absolutely see why the Falcons like him: Nothing appears to faze him.
The Falcons got on the board thanks in no small part to a pass interference call on the Jaguars, with Qadree Ollison punching it in from nine yards out. He continues to run well. Falcons 7 - Jaguars 0
The defense did what it does and made Gardner Minshew’s life miserable. Austin Larkin drew a hold, Ryan Neal looked sharp in coverage, and the Jaguars punted yet again.
They finished the quarter with Tony Brooks-James charging down the field.
What: Preseason Week 4
Where: TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
When: Thursday, August 29, 7 p.m. EST
TV Channel: CW69
Streaming: NFL Gamepass
Radio Channel: 92.9 The Game/Westwood One/SiriusXM
All-Time Records: These teams meet in the preseason fairly regularly, but they’re just 3-3 against one another in regular season action. Atlanta has won the last two.
Opponent Site: Big Cat Country