The big take from the Atlanta Falcons' 24-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last night was that, while the starters did great, it's unclear whether the Falcons have the necessary depth needed to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.
In his recap of the game last night, Dave Choate of The Falcoholic was excited with how Matt Ryan looked against a pretty good Bengals defense.
Matt Ryan is going to be a monster this season. With the offensive line barely protecting him, he nonetheless threw lasers all over the field, completing 18 of 21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. His supporting cast is going to get a lot of justifiable hype, but it's Ryan who makes the whole thing tick.
And as good as Ryan looked throwing the ball, Atlanta's wide receivers and tight ends looked just as good.
First team receivers and tight ends looked nice. Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones each grabbed at least three passes and each put up at least 40 yards. Things were humming along nicely.
But as well as Ryan played, Choate was unimpressed with backups Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson.
The backup quarterback situation can't possibly be as bad as it looked last night, but this is the second straight week where Redman and John Parker Wilson have airmailed throws, panicked in the pocket and failed to see open receivers. I don't think the Falcons can take the fact that they're one injury away from a guy who can barely throw the ball over his own linemen lightly.
Beyond the depth at quarterback, the entire second team is a big question mark if injuries start to pile up this year.
The depth, however, remains a legitimate concern. The backups are simply going to have to play better, because there will be situations in the regular season where by injury or fatigue the reserves are going to come in. If they're getting scorched by third string wide receivers and quarterbacks, that's not just alarming. It's a friggin' klaxon going off three inches from our collective ears.
So to recap,
Final Word: Yaystarters.