Week three of the NFL Preseason means the starters usually will play deep into the first half, possibly into the third quarter. What does that mean for players still looking to solidify a roster spot? Let’s get into that with our Four Keys:
- The Atlanta Falcons defense has not forced a turnover all preseason long. Last season, the Falcons ranked 27th overall in the NFL in turnover-ratio, with 30 turnovers and 23 takeaways (15 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries) equalling minus-7. The only teams with a worse turnover differential were the Browns, Jaguars, Titans, Cowboys and Ravens. By comparison, the 2015 Carolina Panthers tied the league lead for interceptions (24) and the most fumble recoveries (15).
- Brandon Wilds, running back out of South Carolina, has impressed Falcons coaches. The 6-foot-2-inch, 220 pound undrafted free agent ran for 75 yards on 18 carries and found the end zone twice in two preseason games. In the Cleveland game last Thursday, Wilds fired off a 32 yard touchdown run. “He’s done a good job so far, in terms of giving himself a chance as we’re moving forward through some of these really important evaluations over the next few weeks,” Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn said.
- Wilds’s performance has come on the heels of running back Terron Ward’s ankle injury. Dan Quinn declared Ward will not play tomorrow against the Miami Dolphins. Also, strong safety Kemal Ishmael will not play tomorrow due to a lingering shoulder injury.
- Tomorrow’s game was moved from Miami to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium due to renovations at Hard Rock Stadium. Thursday’s game gives NFL officials the opportunity to observe the gameday experience and stadium operations since the league decided to move the Pro Bowl from Hawaii to Orlando.