There wasn’t much positive to gleem from the Falcons’ performance in tonight’s third pre-season game with the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Falcons, who put their second-string players against the Steeler’s starters, got blown out of their own field 24-0. The Steelers dominated the Falcons in all phases of the game and the Falcons were never able to mount an offense or defense against Pittsburgh. The Falcons got 183 yards in contrast to the Steelers 310. Logan Woodside, the night’s quarterback, got 196 yards, but no points in the end zone to show for his efforts. Carlos Washington Jr. got 27 yards, the most of the non-quarterback Falcons.
The Falcons got penalized earning 7 penalties that got cashed in for 72 yards, but fewer instances than the previous game’s 10 penalties.
After the game, Head Coach Arthur Smith said the loss, however painful, was not a bad signal for the coming season. “Certainly nobody wants to lose, but you have to look at the big picture,” he said. He added that there were some players who did not fully get to play that he would have liked to have seen to aid in his decision of who makes the roster. He benched the starters tonight to give them a rest, and he expects them to be ready by the team’s season opener.
The Falcons’ preseason performance matters because the team is about to make some difficult decisions regarding the Falcons’ team makeup. Starting Tuesday, They need to trim their current 90-man roster down to 53, and this game, as well as the other two, could determine who makes the final roster. The individual performances will tell Coach Smith and GM Terry Fontenot who has the stamina, focus, and dedication to join that roster.
The Falcons finished with a 1-1-1 record in the 3-game preseason. Those games did not officially count. From this point on, everything counts.