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Falcons - Jaguars recap: And so we come to the end of preseason


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Falcons - Jaguars recap: And so we come to the end of preseason

Atlanta wins, and now we brace for the roster cuts to come.

By Dave Choate  Aug 30, 2019, 8:00am EDT

The final preseason game, against all odds, was the most fun preseason game we’ve yet endured. The Falcons came out swinging, played pretty well with their reserves on both offense and defense, and won their first preseason game in many, many moons. It was the kind of game that got you in the right frame of mind for the regular season, even if few of the players are likely to be the same.

It was a terrific night for Danny Etling, by and large, and he’s probably headed for a practice squad spot. Qadree Ollison could not have done more to convince the Falcons to carry him andBrian Hill. Kaleb McGary pushed hard for a starting job. Defensively, Jayson Stanley was stellar and Deadrin Senat and John Cominsky both pushed hard for roles, and frankly the entire defense held up well against a shaky group of Jaguars backups. If you were looking for signs that this team’s depth will be better in 2019, you got a glimpse.

Much has already been decided. The Falcons had staff parked back at Flowery Branch during this game in preparation for the roster cuts to come, as they always do, and there were only a small handful of spots truly up for grabs. But it was worthwhile to see the team’s depth playing well and playing hard for a role on the roster, and we’ll hope that whatever configuration emerges in the days to come is as strong as humanly possible. This team, one prays, is going places in 2019.

For what it’s worth, here’s our recap, with our customary players worth calling out.

The Good

  • Kaleb McGary looked very, very comfortable in his first game action, throwing dudes around and providing a huge block on Qadree Ollison’s first quarter touchdown run and getting Tony Brooks-James free on the team’s second TD. There’s no guarantee he’ll start Week 1, but if the Falcons think he’s ready he appears on track to do so and thrive.
  • Danny Etling heated up in a major way after starting the game looking uncertain and timid. He started to scramble—something he does extremely well—and found a rhythm in the passing game, completing some pretty balls to the likes of Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheaus. He has no real competition for a practice squad QB spot, but he earned it anyways with last night’s performance.
  • Speaking of Ollison, he threw a nice block as a fullback and ran for a nine yard touchdown on the same drive, and throughout the first half he was running hard, picking up chunk yardage, and blocking when he wasn’t. It’s not hard to see why the Falcons like a back who values blocking and offers a nice combination of size and speed. The only question is whether he’s done enough to push past Brian Hill, and the answer to that (given that Hill didn’t play) is probably no.
  • The Falcons are loaded with backs already, but what to do with Tony Brooks-James? He’s done nothing but play well this summer, and this game against the Jaguars was a tour de force that saw him rip off huge gain after huge gain, culminating in a 52 yard touchdown scamper where he looked like human electricity. If he can’t stick as a member of this practice squad, there are teams starved for depth that ought to be looking hard at him.
  • Jacob Tuioti-Mariner with a sack in this one, and it’s unfortunate that the defensive line is so crowded because he’s looked much better than a year ago after spending 2018 on the practice squad. Perhaps one more year will give him his chance to crack the rotation.
  • I don’t know who the final guy on the defensive line will be, but if you’re arguing purely on who performed the best throughout the summer, it has to be Austin Larkin. He made multiple key stops in this one and has had few bad plays along the way, and the Falcons could probably use another capable defensive end. I’m hoping he lands a spot.
  • Jermaine Grace should have had a roster spot sewn up, but just in case there was any doubt, he picked off Gardner Minshew and returned it for a touchdown in this one. I count it even if it was called back.

He simply has been one of the team’s best reserve defenders all summer long and is easily one of the five best linebackers this team can trot out there on Sunday. He’s in.

  • Jayson Stanley is a converted wide receiver with the requisite size and speed to be interesting for Dan Quinn, and this week served as the kind of strong performance that will allow DQ to feel good about stashing him on the practice squad. Don’t be surprised if he’s there come Sunday afternoon.

The Ugly

  • Jordan Miller has had his moments this summer and is a roster lock, but he did not enjoy his best drive against the Jaguars to open things up, committing a pass interference penalty and getting beat soundly by a Jags’ receiver who thankfully dropped the ball. He’s not going to get a ton of playing time this year if all goes well, but he’s got a ton of promise, so this is more of a minor knock on him than something I’m seriously concerned about.
  • The kicking performances last night likely didn’t matter at all, because Matt Bryant is on his way back. But Giorgio Tavecchio missing a third kick in three games wide left, even if it was a 53 yarder, certainly sealed his fate. Bryant is coming back and taking this job, and the only intrigue left concerns whether the Falcons will carry a guy on the practice squad as insurance. We’ll hope Italian Ice lands on his feet elsewhere.

Blair Walsh, meanwhile, drilled his first opportunity but had his second one blocked after John Wetzel and Adam Gettis got absolutely sown into the earth itself. Walsh would be an option for nominal second kicker if he had any practice squad eligibility, but because he does not he’ll be hoping to latch on elsewhere.

  • Penalties are just part of the fabric of this football team. It’d almost be better if Dan Quinn stopped addressing them, because we know they’re not miraculously going to get better with the way things are proceeding now. The positive note is that it’s only preseason, but the number of penalties has been ungodly.
  • As always, I like to end this by noting that there’s not much to celebrate here besides some better-than-expected football. By Saturday afternoon, 37 insanely hard-working men will be out of jobs, and not all of them or even a majority of them will latch on with another football team. They’ll be left to navigate that reality in the weeks, months, and years to come, and it won’t necessarily be easy for any of them to stop doing the thing they’ve been best at since they were quite young. I sincerely wish every current Falcon who doesn’t make the roster well, especially in a year where almost no one played abysmally.

The Wrapup

Game MVP

Qadree Ollison, who did a lot and had fun doing it, and on a night where Brian Hill was parked and thus Ollison was clearly fighting for his job. Respect.

One Takeaway

The Falcons are loaded up with running backs to the extent that had they not made the Qadree Ollison pick, they could still justify keeping five guys. Now Tony Brooks-James will be headed to the practice squad or another team, but this Falcons team looks like it’ll have much stronger depth at RB and a handful of other key positions, at the very least.

Next Week

Real, honest-to-goodness regular season football. The Falcons start the season with a difficult matchup against a Vikings team with a ton of talent but the usual questions at kicker. Visit Daily Norseman for a lot more.

Final Word

Finallytheseasonisuponus

 

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/30/20838870/falcons-jaguars-recap-and-so-we-come-to-the-end-of-preseason-tony-brooks-james-jermaine-grace

 

 

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Falcons-Jaguars takeaways: final score, Ollison's big night helps snap preseason skid

Kasey Richardson

ATLANTAFALCONS.COM

The Falcons snapped a 12-game preseason skid, following a 31-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. The Falcons' last exhibition win was on Sept. 1, 2016, against the Jaguars. Here are some major takeaways from Atlanta's final preseason game of 2019.

Ollison continues his strong play

Falcons running back Qadree Ollison had another strong preseason performance. In the game, Ollison recorded 14 carries for 51-yards and broke for a 9-yard TD run. Ollison has made a strong case for the running back rotation behind Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith. For more coverage on Ollison’s performance, click here.

Falcons GM talks Julio, Bryant and rookies

Falcons' general manager Thomas Dimitroff joined the CW broadcast staff during the game to discuss the ongoing negotiations with receiver Julio Jones, bringing in Matt Bryant for a tryout and his thoughts on the two rookie draft picks in Kaleb McGary and Qadree Ollison. For more on Dimitroff's interview said during the game, click here.

Tavecchio misses another field goal

During the game, kicker Giorgio Tavecchio's struggles continued after he missed his 53-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. He is currently 4 of 9 in the preseason. Although he missed his only field goal attempt, Tavecchio made all of his extra point attempts in the first half.

Atlanta signed kicker Blair Walsh following the Falcons-Redskins exhibition game. Walsh nailed his 46-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter, but his second attempt was blocked.

On Thursday, the team announced that they will bring in former kicker Matt Bryant for a tryout. For more coverage on the Falcons' kicking situation, click here

Tony Brooks-James leads in rushing

Running back Tony Brooks-James had a solid outing, finishing with with 137-yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns -- a 15-yard touchdown run in the first half and a 52-yard touchdown run in the second half.

McGary makes preseason debut

First-round draft pick Kaleb McGary turned many heads with his preseason debut. Earlier this week, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn discussed McGary's return to the practice field on Sunday.

He was sidelined throughout the preseason following his invasive cardiac procedure. McGary has been battling for the right tackle position between TySambrailo. While McGary was out, Matt Gono has also been taking reps at the right tackle spot. For more on McGary’s preseason debut, click here

Other notable performances

 

  • Quarterback Danny Etling played well against the Jaguars. In the game, Etling completed 15 of his 25 passes for 17- yards and connected with Christian Blake for a 12-yard touchdown. Etling also had 67 rushing yards in the game.
  • Cornerback Ryan Neal played well in the exhibition game. Neal led the team in tackles with seven recorded and came up with two pass deflections.
  • Wide receiver Devin Gray finished with a couple notable catches in the game. Gray led the way in receiving with two caught passes for 41-yards. His longest catch was for 29-yards in the second half.

https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/falcons-jaguars-takeaways-final-score-ollison-s-big-night-helps-snap-preseason-s

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Flying Falcon said:

I wish we can keep Brooks James. I just know if he hits the PS, he's gone!!

I agree. 

Call me crazy, but I would keep Brooks-James over Hill. I think Ollison will ultimately “fit the bill” for what we initially drafted Brian Hill for.

You're completely right...if we cut him, he’s as good as gone and will not even come close to our PS. 

Hopefully our RB depth chart looks something like this:

Freeman

Smith

Ollison

Brooks-James

Barner*

*May be considered strictly a special teams player that has a RB designation

 

Edited by Dungeon Family
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By: Scott Carasik | August 29, 2019 10:48 p

The Falcons won their final preseason game of the year 31-12 over the Jaguars. For the most part, nobody had a terrible game and there were a ton of good performances.

Here’s our winners and losers for this week.

The Falcons won their final preseason game of the year 31-12 over the Jaguars. For the most part, nobody had a terrible game and there were a ton of good performances.

Here’s our winners and losers for this week.

Winner: RBs Qadree Ollison and Tony Brooks-James

Ollison and Brooks-James had a true thunder and lightning dynamic going. Ollison rushed for 51 yards on his 14 carries, but the majority of his carries came on short yardage situations. He also blocked well at fullback. Brooks-James killed it on outside runs for a total of 137 yards on 15 carries. They combined for three total touchdowns.

Loser: RS/WR/RB Marcus Green

Green hasn’t shown much to be worth a roster spot. He didn’t drop the lone kickoff he caught, but that’s not saying much. The Falcons would be better off giving him a shot on the practice squad for a year.

Winner: OT Kaleb McGary

McGary played the whole first half without any errors. Before anyone claims he was going against third-string players, he was matched against Datone Jones, who started at left outside linebacker for the Packers in the 2016 NFC Championship game. McGary dominated in the run game and looked solid as a pass blocker.

Loser: CB Jordan Miller

Miller has a ton of potential and could be a solid cover corner with more work, but he showed that he is a bit of a project with his play against the Jaguars. He had a pair of pass interference penalties called against him. Still, Miller has the requisite size, strength and speed. His technique just needs work.

Winner: WR Olamide Zaccheus

Despite a drop and limited targets due to a quarterback with a limited passing skill-set, Zaccheus has looked excellent on offense for the Falcons this preseason. He had a good night again with two catches for 25 yards and no muffs on any of his punt return attempts in the first half. The Falcons should keep him as the No. 6 wide receiver in 2019.

Winner: TE Jaeden Graham

Graham finished his preseason campaign strong. He had a great day blocking and looked even better as a pass catcher, with three catches for 35 yards. Graham was able to get open consistently and even made a great catch on an intermediate route over the middle.

Loser: K Giorgio Tavecchio

Despite hitting the three extra points with ease, the Falcons will be looking for a new kicker. Tavecchio missed his one field goal attempt wide left and has looked mediocre throughout the preseason as a whole. The team will be bringing in Matt Bryant for a tryout tomorrow, so we may have seen the last of Tavecchio.

Winner: CBs Ryan Neal and Jayson Stanley

These two combined for five pass deflections and also played well on special teams. On top of that, Stanley made an exceptional run stop on 4th-and-1 in a crucial spot. Atlanta should look to keep both players on the practice squad and continue to develop them both.

Game MVP: Falcons offensive line

On designed runs, the Falcons offense averaged 6.48 yards per carry to gain 206 total yards and score three touchdowns. On passing plays, they allowed just three quarterback hits. Any time a team scores 31 points, it’s usually because the offensive line did their job and blocked well.

 

https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/08/29/falcons-jaguars-preseason-week-4-winners-losers/

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4 takeaways from the Falcons' preseason win over Jaguars

By: Matt Urben | August 29, 2019 11:20 pm

The Falcons may not have suited up 35 of their players, but that didn’t stop the scrappy bunch head coach Dan Quinn put out there from pulling off a 31-12 road win over the Jaguars to close out the preseason.

Here are four takeaways from Atlanta’s final on-field action before the start of the 2019 regular season.

The streak is over

The Falcons had lost twelve consecutive preseason games coming into this one, which is almost impressive when you consider most teams don’t really care about the outcomes. Still, the team needed a win to feel good as they enter the season with a positive vibe. You can’t take away too much from the fourth week of the preseason, but Atlanta had to show a sense of urgency and they finally did that against Jacksonville tonight.

Rookie RBs shine

Tony Brooks-James and Qadree Ollison helped the Falcons get out to an early lead. Ollison put Atlanta on the board with a nine-yard touchdown. Then minutes later, Brooks-James powered through the Jags defense for a 15-yard touchdown. He wouldn’t stop there however, rushing for an impressive 137 yards and two scores on just 15 carries. The Falcons are fortunate to have Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith as their top two running backs, and if anything this game proved how deep they are at this position.

Kickers struggle again

Matt Bryant cannot get here soon enough after Atlanta’s two kickers did little tonight to earn the team’s confidence to be the starting kicker. Giorgio Tavecchio went 0-1 on field goal attempts, but was 3-for-3 on extra points. Blair Walsh wasn’t any better, going 1-for-2 on his field goal tries and hitting his one extra point opportunity. The Falcons will host and probably sign Bryant tomorrow. There couldn’t possibly be a better time for the 44-year-old to prove he should’ve never been released.

Backup QB Danny Etling was solid

Former Patriots quarterback/wide receiver Danny Etling continued to showcase his dual-threat ability in Atlanta’s win. Etling was 15-of-25 for 174 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 94.4. He also added 67 yards on the ground. With Matt Schaub locked in as Matt Ryan’s backup, Etling was really auditioning for all 32 teams tonight. He made the most of his opportunity and hopefully will land somewhere.

 

https://thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/08/29/falcons-jaguars-preseason-week-4-takeaways/

 

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1 hour ago, Flying Falcon said:

I wish we can keep Brooks James. I just know if he hits the PS, he's gone!!

I doubt it....people tend to overinflate UDFA's getting picked off a PS.

He had a good night, but its tough to see how his game would translate to a regular season game. He has a ton of hesitation coming to the hole, but it was actually eye opening once he had a few carries his vision seemed to improve, and he was hitting the seams with authority and acceleration.

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Just now, ki46dinah said:

I doubt it....people tend to overinflate UDFA's getting picked off a PS.

He had a good night, but its tough to see how his game would translate to a regular season game. He has a ton of hesitation coming to the hole, but it was actually eye opening once he had a few carries his vision seemed to improve, and he was hitting the seams with authority and acceleration.

It just wasn't this game. He's been producing all Preseason.

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Ollison playing some FB last night was intriguing. Maybe Ortiz will be cut. Ortiz is a very average player anyways. 

Freeman, Smith, Barner, Ollison, Brooks James should be kept. Hill is similar to Ollison IMO. Ollison is ahead of where Hill was his first preseason. Brooks James has that speed element.  

EDIT: Ortiz was injured. I still stand by my opinion though.

 

Edited by The Don™
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Funny how the talk at the beginning of preseason was that we could possibly keep 4 RBs and now reporters are talking about cutting 2 guys at the position who have had the most impact.

Hill hasn’t played any better than Ollison or TBJ, but is getting preferential treatment for some reason that baffles me.  If we keep him over Ollison or TBJ it would be a huge mistake.

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1 minute ago, KRUNKuno said:

Funny how the talk at the beginning of preseason was that we could possibly keep 4 RBs and now reporters are talking about cutting 2 guys at the position who have had the most impact.

Hill hasn’t played any better than Ollison or TBJ, but is getting preferential treatment for some reason that baffles me.  If we keep him over Ollison or TBJ it would be a huge mistake.

Go back and read the "Beware Brian Hill doubters" thread, they love him for some reason.

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2 hot takes from Falcons - Jaguars in the final week of preseason

The Falcons won, and more importantly, we have takes. Only two this week, though.
By Dave Choate  Aug 30, 2019, 9:00am EDT
 

Hot takes are easier to dispense in preseason when the consequences aren’t so weighty for this football team, so let’s get to dispensing them. Here’s what I came away with in my addled brain after four quarters of (blissfully, final) preseason action in Week 4. You’ll note that there are only two this week, with an explanation at the end.

Jermaine Grace has sewn up not just a roster spot, but a role

You cannot talk me out of this. Grace didn’t make this Falcons roster before, but on his return he’s taken his already acknowledged special teams skills and paired them with striking growth on defense.

His pick six of Gardner Minshew that wasn’t didn’t count in the box score, but it was another athletic, heady play in a summer full of them. Grace has done nothing but elbow other guys out of the way, pushing his way past promising rookies Yurik Bethune and Tre’ Crawford, holding his own against the also very impressive Del’Shawn Phillips, outplaying veterans like Bruce Carterand to a lesser extent Duke Riley, and making the most of every single chance he’s gotten. He’s on this roster, and the athleticism and skill he’s shown this summer should ensure that he actually gets onto the field for this football team, be it Dan Quinn or Ben Kotwica.

 

The Falcons are going to keep five backs

This one has been percolating for a while, and I was a little reluctant to accept it given that RB is no longer one of the most coveted positions on the field. But with Devonta Freeman, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill seemingly locked in to spots based on the fact that none of them played Thursday night, Qadree Ollison’s big day was meaningful. Had he just showed that he can run well it would’ve been intriguing but not necessarily impactful, but Ollison also threw some nice blocks. With the team potentially foregoing the traditional fullback position altogether, Ollison’s ability to play there a little bit alongside Luke Stocker and maybe Jaeden Graham should earn him a spot.

With Marcus Green wilting mightily this summer—though I still like his long-term potential—it seems at least one of the returner gigs will be going to Kenjon Barner. Tony Brooks-James made his case Thursday night not by returning the ball—which he didn’t get much of a chance to do—but by running it exceptionally well. If the Falcons think he can be a useful returner, it’s always possible they dump Barner for him, but it remains a longshot. Barner not getting time Thursday indicates he’s already locked in.

All told, that’s five backs, and the Falcons don’t seem like they’ll be particularly inclined to just cut Ollison and hope they can get him on the practice squad. We’ll see if they can do anything interesting with that many guys, or if they buck expectations and trade one away.


So why just two takes? The truth is that there are few surprises left. Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh must give way to Matt Bryant, the competitors are pretty much every key position have been whittled down, and whoever wins the DE and WR jobs that are left will be a deserving candidate. Let’s be thankful there aren’t more shocking truths to be revealed about this roster before the season begins.

 

https://www.thefalcoholic.com/2019/8/30/20840102/2-hot-takes-from-falcons-jaguars-in-the-final-week-of-preseason

 

 
 
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Just to add this snippet from PFF to your thread since it's recap related:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Former seventh-round draft pick Danny Etling was the only quarterback who saw the field for Atlanta on Thursday night. Etling had a decent if unremarkable night, characterized by conservative play. Of his 25 pass attempts, 17 traveled less than 10 yards downfield in the air. He finished the game having completed 15 of his 25 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown.

Second-year UDFA Ryan Neal had an excellent night in coverage, despite being frequently targeted by Jacksonville’s passers. Neal broke up multiple passes and never gave up a reception longer than 11 yards, despite being thrown at more than any other Falcons defender. He showed good closing speed, coming up to tackle receivers quickly and limiting yards after the catch.

Rookie Takeaways

Chandler Miller played nearly the entire game at center and had an impressive night. The former Tulsa lineman generated movement in the run game while also holding up extremely well in pass protection. First-round draft pick Kaleb McGary also had a good night in his preseason debut. McGary held up well in both the run and pass game and will look to compete for a starting job going forward.

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The most glaring weakness from last season was the physical game. The second saints game and the baltimore game were flat out embarrassing, both teams just bullied us up and down the field running the ball. The oline at times was manhandled.

It is clearly evident that crap is over. Both lines have been bolstered with size, strength, and depth. Mularkey was brought in for his acumen in the power running game, which has been much improved. If this offense develops a good power running game that can be relied upon in short yardage and late in games, it could be unstoppable.

If we can force opposing defenses into having to devote safety help to stop Hill and Ollison coming down hill, Julio and company are gonna feast.

On defense, the options at dline are numerous and deep. Where we were weak up the middle and teams could focus on taking out Grady, we now have added the depth and talent to make that no longer an option. The additions of Bailey and Davison along with the development of Senat, Takk, and hopefully Beasely have turned around what was a weak link.

Not to mention the LB core. What was already one of the better lb units in the game has gotten better and deeper. Having Grace turn into a force in pass defense is huge, and gives the falcons an edge defending against teams like the saints which kill us throwing to Kamara. Foye should be improved with a year experience under his belt.

Like the dline, the falcons have the option of going big against teams like the ravens with Cambell, Jones, and Foye. Or they can go pure speed/coverage in nickel with Jones and Grace. Even in base with Cambell and Foye, they don't lose the ability to cover, as both can hold their own in coverage.

The only unit that concerns me is cb, due to lack of experience behind Trufant. While Quinn has shown he can coach up youngsters enough to get by, like he did when Trufant went down in 2016, there is no Alford or Poole there behind Tru now to help overcome. Oh well, had to free up cap to bolster the lines and you can't have it all.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, ki46dinah said:

I doubt it....people tend to overinflate UDFA's getting picked off a PS.

He had a good night, but its tough to see how his game would translate to a regular season game. He has a ton of hesitation coming to the hole, but it was actually eye opening once he had a few carries his vision seemed to improve, and he was hitting the seams with authority and acceleration.

You aint lyin bro. There are many canned TATF reactions and that is definitely one. We've probably had 100-120 practice squad players over the last ten years. I can only remember three getting plucked. Middleton, Bush and Hill, who TATF wants to cut. What an overreaction.

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8 hours ago, theProf said:

On designed runs, the Falcons offense averaged 6.48 yards per carry to gain 206 total yards and score three touchdowns. On passing plays, they allowed just three quarterback hits. Any time a team scores 31 points, it’s usually because the offensive line did their job and blocked well.

Wow.

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