The Miami Dolphins visit the Atlanta Falcons for the last preseason game of the 2018 season. The Falcons are now 0-3 in preseason play, but fans can be optimistic about the glimpses of the first-team offense and defense they have seen. Falcons have to cut their roster down to 53 on Saturday, Sept. 1 by 4 p.m. ET. For the second year in a row, the Falcons face the possibility of losing all of their preseason games. Judging off of the past years, the preseason holds little weight on the direction of the play of the team in the regular season.
The Miami Dolphins also enter this game with a 0-3 record in the preseason. The Dolphins have a few young linebackers battling for spots on their roster which should give a decent test for the Falcons’ young offensive players who are also battling for positions.
OFFENSIVE POSITIONS TO WATCH
Many of the offense are looking to have a bounce-back season after the dip in production in 2017. In addition, the rookie, Ito Smith, could be given another chance to prove himself enough to be an actual option for punt returner. I believe the position for returner is wide open and definitely something to keep your eye on in this game. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley, Marvin Hall, and Reggie Davis have also had opportunities performing at the position. Even the cornerback Isaiah Oliver has gotten some reps at returner. Davis has more of a shot to hold the position based on the depth of the wide receiver chart. Davis was on the practice squad last year, but this year many people think he will get a chance to make the roster.
The Falcons need a good run blocker and help on pass protection and the full back position seems to have a good battle there. Although Ricky Ortiz took most of the snaps with the first team in the last game, Jalston Fowler could make a case for himself. The full back position is one of the only positions that seems to not be obviously locked down by now.
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO LOOK AT
Players such as Vic Beasley, Jack Crawford, and Duke Riley are trying to prove their importance to the defense. Beasley hopes to show the dominance he possessed in the 2016 season rather than the performance he gave last season. Crawford’s last season was ended by injury and he is looking to make a push to get a starting position. His preseason play has been pretty solid, and fans should look out for a decent performance on Thursday. Riley has faced a lot of critics lately. That is due to the poor performance last season and this preseason has not been any different. He should come into this last game playing hard to show coaches why they drafted him so high. He has not lived up to his potential thus far.
The last preseason games are most commonly looked at as a pointless games. Fans view the games as having little to no indication of how the regular season will go. This seems to be the case for the Falcons this year seeing that there are no major battles for roster sports going into this game. Most of all the starters will rest for both teams and many fans agree the players need their rest because of the huge task they have only seven days later. The Atlanta Falcons look forward to the season opener next Thursday against the defending Super Bowl Champs, The Philadelphia Eagles