Antone Smith had himself quite a game in this preseason finale against the Ravens. All in all, the Florida State running back finished the night with 11 carries for 114 yards and two catches for 44 yards. If there was any question as to who should be the team's fourth RB, they were answered emphatically tonight.
While Smith was essentially the only highlight on offense, the defense had quite a few players who had good nights. Some of those guys include Trey Lewis, Carlton Powell, Robert James, Bear Woods, and Kamaal McIlwain. Especially impressive was James, who racked up five total tackles and half a sack on the night.
As a whole the defense was pretty impressive. Most of the points allowed came off turnovers, usually QB-forced turnovers (I'll get to that in a minute), and generally kept Hunter Cantwell & Co. under wraps all night. The pass rush produced by guys like Biermann was also very promising, as several of those guys will play snaps in the Mike Smith's DE rotation.
On the negative side, the entire offense went to sleep in tonight's game. John Parker Wilson looked really shaky and turnover prone. Granted, he didn't get much help from his O-line, but he also threw two (should've been three) picks on the night. Not anything to get worked up over, but I wonder if the team cut Adam Froman too soon.
Also, I'll reiterate that the pass protection was less than stellar, to say the least. Excess pressure caused at least one Wilson INT, along with a fumble that led to Ravens points. Given that I don't expect guys like McMahon and Fenaroli to make the final roster, I wouldn't be too worried. Andrew Jackson was the exception to the group, and actually had himself a pretty solid night springing some good blocks for Antone Smith. I like that draft pick more every day.
One big plus from this game was that there were no major injuries that I'm aware of. Kevin Cone hobbled off the field under his own power in the waning minutes of the game, but it didn't appear to be serious. The Falcons are fortunate to have made it through the preseason relatively unscathed.
Yes, the Falcons were 0-4 this preseason, and every year some bonehead analyst will ask the question "does it matter?" No, it doesn't. Not now, not ever. Bring on the regular season!