Hark! A preseason win! That also means we’re absolutely done with exhibition football and it’s on to the real thing on Sunday. It’s Labor Day, so you have plenty of time to dive into all of the news and story lines in this morning’s Falcoholinks.
Preseason Week 4 notes and narratives
Rejoice! The ill omen known as The Streak has finally seen its end, as the Falcons jumped all over the Jaguars and won their final preseason game 31-12. We finally have the preseason behind us, and let’s hope that victory over Jacksonville carries over into Atlanta’s first regular season action against Minnesota.
The Falcons managed to mostly avoid those dreaded injury bug bites in this one, which seems to be just as elusive as preseason wins of late.
Onward to actual, real, NFL football.
Show me the Money
Our Evan Birchfield has been pounding the table for the Falcons to bring Matt Bryant back in all offseason, and when the team announced that he would be in the building for a work out Friday morning, the door was open to that wish becoming reality.
We didn’t have to wait very long before the Falcons made it official: Matt Bryant would be returning on a one-year deal for 2019. Atlanta has its franchise-leading scorer back under contract.
It goes without saying that this is a major deal, and major upgrade at the kicking spot that had become an increasing concern with the lackluster performances of both Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh. As for those two: neither made the team.
The Falcons waited until virtually zero-hour to announce their 53-man roster, but we now know who has made the team as they eye their first game of the season. A few of the takeaways:
- As anticipated, the team will carry five running backs. What we didn’t expect was Ricky Ortiz making the squad, but he returns once more as Atlanta’s primary fullback.
- Linebacker Jermaine Grace and wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus parlayed their excellent preseasons into roster spots.
- Tight end Jaeden Graham’s emergence made Eric Saubert expendable, and the Falcons also parted ways with Logan Paulsen.
So with the cuts, Atlanta’s roster is now set as it looks toward the opener against Minnesota. As for the compilation of the final 53, the crew from The Falcoholic post-game podcast provided their thoughts.
Catching up with Jack Crawford
Evan Birchfield was on hand for Atlanta’s tilt against Jacksonville, and after the victory he caught up with defensive tackle Jack Crawford who gave his thoughts on the state of the Falcons’ D-line. It’s certainly a stronger unit on paper than last year, and Crawford believes the unit is definitely ahead of where it was at this point last year.