In what was a defensive struggle throughout, both teams ultimately battled to a 13-all tie thanks to 10 points being scored in the final minute.
Here are this week’s winners and losers.
There are going to be plenty of narratives about the opening series, where the Falcons drove nearly the entire field on a methodical drive. You can take it as a negative if you want, but they got plenty of valuable experience.
They saw several plays with crossers/pick plays, players in motion, and the quarterback breaking containment. What happens on most of those plays is communication/understanding your job on that play.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses in that department, and it is hard to expect that with a mostly new secondary unit. They will get to go back and look at the tape and make corrections. Not to mention they were able to end the drive with Joseph Ossai benefiting from a Mike Hilton tip near the goal line with an interception.
Let's look at it as the glass being half full.
Carman was one of the biggest losers last week after his second half looked horrendous at right tackle. It basically sank his hopes in the right tackle competition that Jonah Williams seemingly had a serious lead in already, anyway.
The team went back to the drawing board, and they decided to give Carman reps at left tackle during practice, and he started there in this one, looking pretty serviceable in the process. Carman played almost the entire game at left tackle, so the team clearly wanted a nice long look at him there.
It isn’t time to go touting him as a starting caliber left tackle, but considering where he was sitting coming into the game, he may be closer to working himself off of the bubble and onto the roster.
Carman would actually stay in the game and play right tackle for much of the second half and made some good blocks on the go-ahead touchdown drive.
This goes a bit beyond football. Chrisman recently returned after an extended stay in the hospital, where he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to keep playing in the NFL. He was able to return to the practice field this week, and he was able to pin the Falcons on the eight-yard line in his first punt of the game. Just a nice moment all around.
Hard to leave a defensive lineman off the winners list when he gets an interception on the day. Ossai also registered a sack on the night. Ossai has looked exactly like who we know he can be. Considering how he ended last year, it is great to see him bounce back and continue making plays.
Browning had some serious ups and downs in his second-half performance. However, you have to focus on the fact he led a beautiful 2-minute drill that ended with a Chase Brown touchdown run to give the team a three point lead.
Browning had some pretty bad misses, but his running ability (50 yards on four carries), and making plays when needed (five for five on the final drive). Sometimes that is all that matters in a competition like the one he is in with Trevor Siemian.
The backup quarterback spot has been up for grabs this offseason after the departure of Brandon Allen. This was Siemian’s week with the second team after playing with the third in the second half last week. This was his chance, and he looked lackluster.
He completed seven of his 14 attempts for 62 yards. His highlight was setting up a field goal after Atlanta failed to convert on a fourth down before halftime. He got them into range for a 50-yard field goal.
Outside of that, he struggled to keep the offense rolling, and it has just been a frustrating competition to watch for fans.
Chris Evans and Chase Brown (backup offensive line)
Neither of these guys was super productive, and you can throw some of that blame on the offensive line in front of them. Brown had a 10-yard run, and Evans had a couple of catches for 20 total yards, but that was really it.
These guys are getting plenty of action with Joe Mixon sitting out the preseason and Trayveon Williams out with injury. Again, the offensive line isn’t making it easy on these guys, but we also aren’t really seeing any tackles broken or avoided either. Both had just about two yards per carry, which is just bad.
However, Brown did salvage his night a bit with the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute.
Not a huge deal, but the team went through their two challenges and timeouts super early in the game. One was close, but the other had no business being challenged. It is preseason for this kind of stuff too. The replay watcher who buzzes down and Taylor needs to get on their game a bit better because not having those challenges later can really hurt.