Game action is here, but don’t get too excited. The players are probably pumped up, but preseason games don’t often show a lot about a team. Teams use the most basic and streamlined playbook. What these games are about is how your starters match up against the other team’s starters, how your two’s match up against the other teams two’s, and so on and so on.
Despite the fact that we won’t see any anything exotic from either team and from either side of the ball, we may get an idea how the team looks in the various formations, such as 3-4 rather 4-3 alignment. You know we’re going to see nickel and dime formations but there may be some wrinkles as to who is in them.
The starters in this game won’t all necessarily be the starters in the regular season Game 1. There’s definitely some experimentation and psychological warfare going on here. Flores is trying to motivate certain players to ascend while also giving some people an opportunity to flourish. It’s a common theme in the preseason, all teams do it.
What I’m looking for is for guys to execute their jobs well. On the offensive side, that means the O-line holds their blocks and win their individual battles. Same goes for the D-line, beat the guy in front of you.Due to the fact that the playbook (for both teams) will be basic, I want to see the RB’s be patient and find the hole, not try to bounce everything to the outside too quickly. I want to see the QB’s throwing to multiple receivers, WR’s, TE’s, and RB’s as well, but not an overload of check downs.
Atlanta has a lot talent on the offensive side of the ball. Matt Ryan will play sparingly, and because they recently placed 3rd string QB Kurt Benkert on IR, Matt Schaub and now 3rd stringer Matt Sims will get the majority of snaps. tevin Coleman is gone, but Devonta Freeman is still there and Coleman is replaced by Ito Smith. Julio Jones is still there but he will get limited snaps. The Falcons O-line is formidable and should be a good litmus test for our front 7. On defense the Falcons are less dangerous, allowing 423 points last season.
For the Dolphins, it will be very interesting to see how LG Michael Deiter fares, and also how RT Jordan Mills is coming back from injury. Besides LT Laremy Tunsil, everyone on the O-line is a question mark. RB’s 1A and 1B Drake and Ballage should both be motivated to show they deserve more carries, so that should be fun to watch. Parker, Stills and Wilson round out the WR’s with Gesicki starting at TE On defense, Harris and Carradine are the ends and rookie Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux are inside at DT. Baker at WLB and RaeMac in the middle and Alonso at SLB. As of now it shows Jones and BobbyMac at S, but Jones is in a walking boot so it may be TJ. Eric Rowe will be the CB opposite X. Keep an eye on Rowe because he should see a lot of action.
Let’s hope we see some good play, and no injuries and we’ll call the night a success!