The Falcons' defense was solid as they defeated the Jaguars 17-15 in their final exhibition season game. The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter joins Simon Rose to break it down.
Led by backup quarterback Matt Simms and running back Terron Ward, the Falcons defeated the Jaguars 17-15 Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.
The Falcons improved to 3-1 during the exhibition season. Next up, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the regular-season opener on Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Georgia Dome.
Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday:
1. Cut down time. The Falcons must trim their roster down from 75 to 53 players before 4 p.m. on Saturday. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team will handle the cuts in waves with likely a few players being released today and the others closer to the deadline.
2. Pass Rush is ready. Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley said the team’s pass rush has been developing well in practice and that the defense is ready for the regular season.
3. Julio Jones is ready. Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones tested his ankle before the game on Thursday. Quinn is expecting to have him back at practice on Monday.
4. Simms makes his case. The Falcons are unlikely to carry three quarterbacks into the season, but backup Matt Simms made a good case for himself. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 217 yards against Jacksonville. He finished the exhibition season by completing 26 of 39 passes for 353 yards and one touchdown. He had an 82.5 passer rating. “I don’t know,” Simms said when asked about making the team. “I’m just happy that I got a chance to play tonight and showcase my skills. I love being a Falcon. I love everything that we have going on here. I love being a part of this brother hood, but at the same time too, it’s a business and I understand that. So, we’ll see how it works out, but I’ve really loved every minute of this experience.”
5. Goldson passes first test. Former All-Pro strong safety Dashon Goldson, who was signed on Sunday, played 32 snaps (52 percent) against the Jaguars. Quinn was impressed. “He’s still got work to do in terms of learning the system, but we were pleased with the physicality,” Quinn said. “There was a very nice tackle with him on the sideline. I said ‘welcome back’ and he kind of smiled. That’s definitely a part of his game.”
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