It's been a long time coming as this preseason has been marred by some inconsistent performances and not as much confidence as Falcons fans would like coming into the regular season. While there have been some nice things (Steven Jackson, Paul Worrilow), there have been some bad things (bad pass protection, poor special teams play, bad pass coverage, injuries).
Tonight, most of the starters (minus the offensive line), will get the night off to sit back adorned in baseball caps and t-shirts to watch the backups compete for one last gasp at making the team. Here are a few things to watch tonight:
OFFENSIVE LINE NEEDS TO IMPROVE PASS PROTECTION
It's like the line is a complete polar opposite from last season when it couldn't run block but were solid in pass protection. Now they can run block, but aren't doing well in pass protection as evidenced by giving up five sacks with the first team offense last week.
After their poor performance last week, the starters on the O-line will get a lot of snaps tonight to try and shape up for the regular season.
The O-line needs to have a strong showing, even if it's against Jacksonville backup players. This would add some confidence that would be great to see heading into the regular season.
ROBERT ALFORD'S DISCIPLINE
Last week, Robert Alford was the definition of a mix bag. With six tackles, three passes defended and a pick, it appeared that he had a great stat line. But look at the stats that aren't present in the box score and he didn't really have the best game last week. He was beaten for seven passes for three touchdowns and had a bad penalty called on him. Alford has a nose for the ball as evidenced by how many times he got his hands on the ball last week, but he's got to be more disciplined in his coverage of receivers.
Tonight, he will hopefully get back on track against an under whelming Jacksonville receiving corps.
FIGHTING FOR THEIR FOOTBALL LIVES
For many tonight, this is the last chance to show what they have to the coaching staff. Players like Brian Banks, Pat Schiller, Robert James, Travian Robertson, Martell Moore and many others will be trying to prove themselves in one last ditch effort to make the team.
With the August 31st deadline for roster cuts coming up, 22 players will be cut between now and Saturday. These players mentioned and so many others will do everything they can to prevent that from happening.
We could have a much better idea as to who will make the team after tonight's game.
Kick Off Time: 7:30
TV/Radio: CBS/790 The Zone
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