Julio Jones shines early to watch Falcons backups flop in defeat to the Ravens
ATLANTA- The Atlanta Falcons first team offense is as potent as advertised. If things stay on track (knock-on-wood) Julio Jones is poised to have a monster year.
When he was on deck it seriously looked like he was toying with a Ravens secondary that is one of the best in the business.
Julio’s numbers of six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown are nice for a guy that played an entire game. He got it done in less than a complete half.
His QB Matt Ryan was 9-of-13 for 155 and one TD.
Of the most interesting notes is the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers who got a healthy dose of production after starting RB Michel Turner checked out.
The other is the concussion that was suffered by Falcons starting MLB Akeem Dent. Dent was injured during special teams coverage.
Some in the local media questioned keeping him on the field in such a capacity as the Falcons have very little depth at MLB. Falcons coach Mike Smith addressed that topic in the post-game press conference.
“He’s a core special teams player. He’s our base linebacker. He’s going to have to play some special teams throughout the season. When you are a base player, you are playing about 45 percent of the snaps. No regrets whatsoever and I can’t tell you about the other injury stuff because I haven’t had the opportunity to have the follow-up meeting with the physician and the trainer.”
Dent’s mentor LB Mike Peterson stated that Dent should be fine.
“I went in and checked on him at halftime,” Peterson said. “It was brief. I’m going to go back in and make sure he’s OK. I’m pretty sure he is.
“He’s going to be a playmaker for the Falcons,” OLB Sean Weatherspoon said of Dent. “We look to get him back on the field as soon as possible. … He is a great listener. He takes what coach says and goes out on the field and tries to work on it to get better at it. I can see it out there on the field.
Going into the half, Atlanta looked like they were the big winners of the evening until the Ravens second and third teamers showed up and wanted it a little bit more than the Falcons depth units grew more and more apathetic as the second half played out.
Former Colts QB Curtis Painter came out for the Ravens after second string QB Tyrod Taylor was somewhat impressive moving the ball.
Painter however did what Taylor did not do and that was score. His three touchdowns lit up the turf and certainly placed a lot of defensive Falcons on the bubble of being cut.
Offensively, Atlanta’s depth corps fared as well as their defensive counterparts did in the second-half.
The sole home stretch bright spot was the spirited play of undrafted rookie QB Dominique Davis who stood held and shoulders above John Parker Wilson who just looked awful.
If the preseason continues down his path, what will Atlanta do to address their lack of depth at key positions?