The Atlanta Falcons couldn't get things done late and had their backups generally outplayed by the Jacksonville Jaguars' backups on Thursday night. Atlanta suffered a 24-14 loss in that final preseason game, and will now turn their sights on the regular season. But first, we'll take another look at that game and what stood out the most.
SB Nation's blog for the Falcons, The Falcoholic, took a look at the good and the bad. One of the big positives they found was the play of quarterback Dominique Davis. He had a poor interception on the night, but he also came back with an excellent 49-yard touchdown pass and generally looked like he deserved a roster spot. Dave Choate weighs in on his performance:
The first interception was not awesome, but there's no escaping the fact that Dominique Davis has the most upside of any backup the Falcons have had since pre-injury D.J. Shockley. He throws with poise and finds the open man over and over again, which is more than enough for me to declare that he'll make the final roster. He should be Ryan's primary backup by 2013, especially if he doesn't have to deal with a receivers corps plagued by dropsy.
That's some high praise for a rather unheralded quarterback. At 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday, teams will have to cut down to the regular season limit of 53 players. At that point, we'll know if Davis makes the roster or not. For a negative, the folks over at The Falcoholic were dissatisfied with the lack of "day-seizing" by the backups.
The ultimate upshot of this game may be that the Falcons' depth, when given a chance to really seize the day, by and large did not do so. That's a worrying sign if the Falcons hit injuries, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world. It just means that cuts got a little easier.
Having the roster cuts be easier is definitely one way to look at it, but still, it's disappointing when your backups don't show things in the preseason. The final scores are meaningless in the preseason and what it comes down to is what you see on the field. For the Falcons, it was a generally poor outing with a few bright spots here and there. Still, that kind of thing is generally enough when you're talking about the fourth and final preseason game.