clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lions plan to roll out starters for first quarter against Falcons

Atlanta will likely follow suit.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been told we should expect to see Falcons’ starters in preseason this year, but it’s not clear how much we’ll see of any of them. A comment from Lions’ coach Dan Campbell might help us get a little closer to that before kickoff on Friday night.

Per our friends at Pride of Detroit, Campbell has talked to Arthur Smith and confirmed he intends to play starters, and the Lions are rolling theirs out for about a quarter. It’s not a given that the Falcons will match that, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption.

This will be a real (if limited) chance to see how Atlanta fares against NFL starters in a low-stakes setting. We’ve been waiting to see Marcus Mariota run the offense, to see rookies like Drake London working, and to get a glimpse of this new-look pass rush. Drawing sweeping conclusions from what we do see Friday night will be a mistake, but we won’t have to wait until the regular season to get at least some sense of what the Falcons plan to trot out there on Sundays.

The Lions will provide a solid test as a team on the rise that almost beat the Falcons a year ago with their backup quarterback in. Detroit’s added intriguing pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson to a retooling defense and have a solid set of pass catchers to challenge Atlanta’s strong young secondary, including second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and tight end T.J. Hockenson, and is coached by a man who has promised to have his teams attack opposing kneecaps. I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing how far Atlanta and Detroit have come.