2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 3 Game Report: Falcons 28, Jaguars 12 (By Ross Jacobs)
We got the 2nd and 3rd teams playing against each other for most of this game but with one huge difference: the Falcons played Desmond Ridder for almost the entire game and the Jaguars rolled with EJ Perry. That was the deciding factor in the score here, but Perry acquitted himself rather well. Playing behind a garbage offensive line he still managed to deliver some nice passes and even escaped pressure a few times. He's not bad as far as backups go, a bit on the smaller size as many backups are, but he's smart, composed, and accurate. He can definitely hang in this league in the patented Chase Daniel role.
Let's talk Ridder because I still see a lot of bad opinions and takes on him. If you want the comprehensive and most accurate scouting report, just read what RC wrote about him before the draft. He hit the nail on the head. Ridder isn't a zero by any means. Give him a clean pocket and time to throw and he can sling it well enough. He doesn't have an overpowering arm but it's solid, his accuracy is quite good, he can move around a little, he can move through his progressions and deliver the ball on time in a structured passing game. When things are going perfectly around him he can head-fake you into thinking he's a pretty good QB. That's why you saw him struggle a bit against the 2nd team Jaguars defense and then torch the 3rd string. He was under pressure early but later on with nobody in his face it was perfect pass after perfect pass.
The trouble starts when he's under pressure. This is always the difference between the franchise QBs and the pretenders, how they do with someone bearing down on them. Ridder, at least right now, doesn't have the presence of mind to stare down the barrel of a big hit and get the ball where it needs to go. He rushes throws, his feet (watching the feet of QBs is always a huge hint, the best ones have perfect footwork and keep their base under them at all times) get sloppy, and his decision making falters.
For proof just watch his first pass in this game. A defender gets in his face on a deep drop play action pass and Ridder drifts back and to his left then rushes a throw into double coverage trying to throw across his body. The ball is off target and results in an easy pick for the defense. If Ridder starts this season you're going to see a lot of that. He's not ready. Maybe he will be someday. Maybe Arthur Smith can coach him into the next Tannehill. That's not out of the realm of possibility. But in no way, shape, or form is Ridder better than Mariota right now. I'm not saying he's bad. I'd take Ridder over Darnold, for example, every time, but if the media gets their way and Ridder gets in this year do not expect miracles.
The best player in this game that I saw was without a doubt Caleb Huntley...and he got cut Tuesday morning for what reason I can't fathom. He rotated evenly in this game with Ollison and Allgeier and it was painfully obvious he was the best, most explosive option at RB. He looked trim, faster and more agile than I've ever seen him, like a juiced up version of David Montgomery. I would have cut Damien Williams if it was me and let Allgeier work behind Huntley for the time being.
I expect Allgeier to play somewhat sparingly the first few weeks behind Patterson and Williams but to slowly add carries throughout the season. He looked fine enough here, pretty much exactly the way we scouted him. He's not a great athlete but ok enough and makes up for it with excellent patience, instincts, and vision. He'll be playing behind a bad offensive line as a rookie though so let's not get our hopes too high. The Allgeier breakout is probably a year or two away at best.
When I first watched this game I was shocked and confused to see what I thought was Zay Jones working with the 2nd team. That didn't make any sense and I eventually figured out that it was Tim Jones, not Zay, that was carving up the Falcons. Man did he look good! He's a rookie out of Southern Miss with some explosive physical traits and they were on display here along with advanced route running and good hands. He made the final 53 man roster which isn't a surprise. He's one to keep an eye on the next few years."
Jaguars rookie RB Snoop Conner actually showed a little burst in this game but only once the 3rd string Atlanta defense came in. Before that he was getting hit in the backfield every carry and had no space to work. He's not completely horrible but not starting material either.
Ok IDP notes...Jags rookie LB Chad Muma didnt' play here which means he's likely starting the season with Oluokun. First rounder Devin Lloyd will begin his career as a backup after missing a large part of camp with a hamstring injury. We'll see how long Muma can hold him off. Lloyd still plays a bit out of control and needs to learn to wrap up better, but he's a heat-seeking missile with a nose for the ball.
And the biggest surprise from a personnel standpoint, rookie defensive lineman Derrick Tangelo for the Falcons is a ballplayer. He's another one I missed in predraft coverage (as did the league since he was an UDFA) but he's pretty good. He's undersized but very quick and powerful, a tenacious pass rusher. Reminds me of Roy Lopez. Not sure if he'll survive cuts today but there's a chance. If not he's a likely practice squad candidate.
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