NFL preseason, Bengals vs. Falcons: Atlanta OL an early cause for worry

Kevin C. Cox

Atlanta wasn't especially sharp in its preseason opener on Thursday night.

The Atlanta Falcons fell to the Cincinnati Bengals, 34-10, in their preseason opener, and while it's still early, the route to that defeat did leave some room for concern. The Falcons held a 3-0 lead after the first quarter, but mustered little offense all night, and the Bengals never trailed once they pulled ahead in the second quarter.

The Falcons' first-team offensive line in particular wasn't at its best. SB Nation's The Falcoholic has concerns about the long-term stability of that unit:

Look, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not worried about the offensive line, because I am. The run-blocking was borderline atrocious, especially in the first half with the starters in, and the depth isn't looking fantastic. We need to give this unit more than one game-and Lamar Holmes is concerning-but this isn't going to be the Falcons' strength in 2013. Another game like that and they might be scouring free agency.

Atlanta didn't run the ball a bunch during the game -- the team had 24 carries total, including three by quarterbacks -- but there wasn't a lot to like regardless. The Falcons averaged 3.8 yards per carry, and no player had a run longer than 13 yards. Offseason acquisition Steven Jackson finished the night with eight yards on five carries.

On the bright side, Matt Ryan looked like his usual self in limited action, completing six of nine pass attempts for 89 yards.

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