Falcons' rookie Takkarist McKinley shows burst in National Football League debut

Don Wright  AP

The Atlanta Falcons (0-1) meet the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) in an National Football League preseason game on Sunday, August 20, 2017 (8/20/17) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

With the third-year pro seemingly completely healthy after breaking a leg last season, this could be the season he becomes one of the top five or six QBs in the league, evenly unsafe running or passing.

The Steelers scored 14 unanswered points in the second half Sunday after falling behind 13-3 at halftime.

The concern during this offseason was that Atlanta might never emotionally recover from its meltdown in the Super Bowl after leading New England 28-3.

One reason to be concerned: There were some noticeable special-teams blunders, including missed tackles and bad angles that led to surrendering a 64-yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter, and poor punt protection that nearly led to Matt Bosher getting injured on a blocked punt.

Today the Falcons offensive line did a tremendous job of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan and setting up running lanes.

Texans fans finally get chance to see their team in action
Brisett had driven the team from midfield to the Houston 8, but he was hit while going back to throw and fumbled. Roberts went down in pain and walked off under his own power but left moments later on a cart.

But preseason is the time for everybody to knock the rust off, including punters. If his performance looks more like the first quarter of the Giants game, where he looked scared and lacked confidence, then Jones may be the team's safest bet as a backup going into the season. They changed that rule the other year where the play-caller could be in the box and we want to turn over all the stones in preparation for the year and we just made a decision to look at it.

Dobbs was 10 for 19 for 70 yards and an interception. This may be the last opportunity with the spotlight firmly placed on Dobbs.

"I missed a lot of reps in camp this year, so I'm trying to do everything I can to improve", Shazier said. "It was a good learning experience for him, and I'm sure he will".

Shazier will not play although he did return to Steelers practice this week. He is the power style back that fans are sure to love.

"When taking the tunnel and walking to the field, it's like I've been doing it for so long, so it's comfortable", Conner said. I didn't like being someone else. You might as well like yourself. "And if you don't think too much of yourself, how do you expect others to?" For years the Falcons have had problems to be dominant on defense, but they look promising this year. For now, let's just be excited for what the offense is showing without them.

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