After a long and eventful offseason, it’s finally here! Only 10 more days until the Jaguars play their first regular season game!
Oh and I guess there’s one more preseason game. Week 4 of the preseason is undeniably irrelevant in the grand scheme of the entire NFL season, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch.
For some last minute insight on our opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, we went and talked to our friends over at fellow FanSided site Blogging Dirty. Here’s what editor Sam Kweon had to say about his squad:
1. The Falcons put a lot of effort into the improving the offensive and defensive lines in the offseason – is that paying off so far?
"Absolutely. The addition of Jon Asamoah has been huge to the offense line. Jake Matthews is holding his own in preseason games, and despite the injury to Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes did very good against the TItans. Paul Soliai will help the defense control the run D, while Tyson Jackson will contribute as well."
2. Matt Ryan lost arguably his most reliable weapon in Tony Gonzales when he retired. What’s the plan at tight end going into 2014?
"The tight end position is in ruins. Levine Toliolo, the 6’8 tight end out of Stanford, came into the team out of Stanford two years ago. He is talented and has potential, but to be honest the Dirty Bird probably wont use the Tight Ends much this season. Expect a lot of Spread Formations."
3. After several years of success, the Falcons had a disastrous year in 2013. Does head coach Mike Smith need to get this team back to the playoffs this year, or is his job safe for the most part?
"Mike Smith will be fine. He is a proven succesful head coach, so he is too valuable to let go."
4. The Falcons were dead last in rushing last year. Is there any reason to believe that will improve in 2014?
"Oh yes! The run game is ready for a huge jump. The three running backs in Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Devonta Freeman will be a three headed monster. Jackson will take the power carries, Rodgers will frequently sub in, and impressive rookie Freeman will also be in the rotation."
5. How do you see the Falcons’ season shaking out?
"The Falcons season will all be on the defense. The D is not looking good, but if they can get a turnover or two for the offense, they will be fine. I predict a 9-7 record."