JACKSONVILLE -- The Falcons lost for the third time in as many preseason games on Saturday night, falling to the Jaguars 17-6.
Atlanta was without seven players on Saturday night, during which the Falcons' starters saw their most action of the preseason. After a nice start from both the offense and the defense, the Falcons showed a bit of inconsistency on both sides of the ball that will provide the coaching staff with some teaching points as the regular season quickly approaches.
Falcons offense starts hot, cools off
For the second straight game, the Falcons' offense looked sharp on their opening possession. Against the NFL's No. 2-ranked defense from a year ago, Atlanta gained 46 yards on nine plays during their first series and took an early lead on a 47-yard field goal by Matt Bryant.
Following that first series, however, the Falcons didn't have as much success offensively. Atlanta had three straight possessions that ended in a three-and-out, and they finished the first half 0-for-5 on third down. In the first two quarters, the Falcons gained 96 total yards - 48 yards rushing and passing - and scored six points on two Matt Bryant field goals.
The ball-hawking secondary
Prior to the start of the game, Dan Quinn told D.J. Shockley on the telecast that he wanted to see more of a ball-hawking mentality from his defense. They delivered. On the Jaguars' first offensive possession, cornerback Robert Alford made an athletic play to tip Blake Bortles' pass into the air where safety Keanu Neal then intercepted it cleanly.
On the Jaguars' next possession, Damontae Kazee looked to knock the ball loose from Marqise Lee but was called for a penalty instead. Kazee nearly came away with an interception later in the possession. Another interception did come for the Falcons in the third quarter when Blidi Wreh-Wilson stepped in front of a Bortles' pass at the goal line to stop a dangerous Jaguars drive.
Tough night overall for Falcons defense
Although they managed to come away with a couple of turnovers, it was a tough night overall for the Falcons defense. Atlanta gave up 236 yards to Jacksonville in the first half and had troubles with missed tackles, including on a 21-yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette. That continued into the second half as the Falcons continued to give up big plays at inopportune, allowing the Jaguars to sustain drives.
Saubert comes through with a big play
Second-year tight end Eric Saubert is one player who made a big play seemingly every day in training camp, and he carried that onto the field Saturday night. In the third quarter, Saubert caught a pass over the middle and showed some impressive running ability after the catch to break out for a 44-yard gain.
If you'd like to go back through our live blog to recap all the action from Saturday night's Falcons-Jaguars game, check out the feed below.