It wasn't a large sample size, but it was enough to see why the Falcons may value Marcus Mariota's speed and athleticism this season.
Mariota started the Falcons first preseason game against the Lions on Friday night, and promptly led a nine-minute scoring drive for the Falcons. In said drive, Mariota provided a look into what Arthur Smith can do with a mobile quarterback. Mariota scrambled for 23 yards on three carries. One of those carries resulting in a diving, six-yard touchdown run.
The quarterback showed off his physical running style, never shying away from contact in each of his runs. (Never sliding even though this is a preseason game).
One of the most impressive moments came, though, when Mariota connected with Drake London for a 24-yard catch to get the Falcons past midfield. It was notable, too, because London injured his knee on the play. He went into the medical tent and was ruled out of the rest of the game fairly quickly after his emergence. The extent of London's injury is not known.
The 24-yard pass was one of Mariota's two of his appearance. He went 2-for-2 in the first quarter for 36 yards.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions in the first preseason game of 2022.