The Dan Quinn era in Atlanta officially begins Monday night at the Georgia Dome as the Falcons kick-off the 2015 season at the Georgia Dome against the Philadelphia Eagles.
A collective sigh of relief was exhaled by many on Thursday as the Falcons concluded their preseason with a 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens. A heavy sigh of relief indeed after the first team bumbled its way without scoring a touchdown and the reserves did no better.
Granted, the first team did no play Thursday but for the first time in years the backups were able to move the ball and stop the Ravens for most of the game.
Thanks to Sean Rentfree’s performance under center there is no longer any question as to who will back up Matt Ryan this season. T.J. Yates is now history as is Rex Grossman, whose contract he signed still hadn’t dried by the time he was cut. Why Grossman was even signed is one of the great mysteries in Atlanta sports history as well as what ever happened to Ray Lewis’ white suit he was wearing the night of Super Bowl XXXIV.
Rookie Tevin Coleman will start over Devnta Freeman in the backfield. Coleman showed some flashes of run breaking promise as well as being the only back to come out of the preseason healthy.
Monday night we will get to see for four quarters how much the Falcons defense has changed. In preseason it has shown to be more aggressive and able to put pressure on the quarterback. How they will hold up for an entire game is to be seen. We will also see if they can put enough pressure on Sam Bradford to help out a secondary that despite talent got burned often primarily because the quarterback had all day to throw the ball.
We will also see is Kyle Shanihan’s offensive schemes don’t screw up a good thing as Atlanta’s offense was one of the most feared in the league the last three years. Shanihan’s zone blocking scheme should improve an anemic running game and the fact the backfield is on average 10 years younger than it has been in years.
The Falcons kickoff the 2015 season Monday night at the Georgia Dome as they welcome in an old foe, the Philadelphia Eagles with the kickoff scheduled for 7:00pm. The game will be aired on ESPN.
– Dave Weinthal
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