The Atlanta Falcons finished their preseason campaign with another loss. However, their final game against the Cleveland Browns still feels like a victory for fans as they got to witness outstanding debuts by prized rookie Kyle Pitts and backup quarterback Josh Rosen.
Pitts has been the talk of the town here in Atlanta ever since the Falcons selected him as the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Pitts teased fans when he suited up in the previous two preseason games, but they were left disappointed as he only stayed on the sidelines.
Pitts dazzles in cameo appearance
The moment finally arrived on Sunday against the Browns, and the Florida product lived up to the hype, even though it was just a cameo appearance. The Falcons’ tight end lined up on the left side of the offensive line before running to the right; as soon as the center snapped the football.
Get used to this, Falcons fans.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 30, 2021
That move created an opening for Pitts in the flat, who received the dump-off pass. He displayed the speed and athleticism that made him one of the most sought-after rookies in this year’s draft, quickly pulling away from a pair of Browns defenders.
Pitts displayed his strength when several Browns defenders converged on him, carrying a couple of them for a few yards before eventually settling for a monster 27-yard reception. And just like that, Pitts’ night was done with head coach Arthur Smith deciding that short performance was enough to get Pitts rolling and also appease the Falcons’ faithful.
Pitts admitted in an interview after the game that he was nervous ahead of his NFL debut, saying that he felt like his heart was moving faster than his legs. He later added that “it was just fun being out there being in that atmosphere.”
Rosen impresses in audition for backup QB role
Another player who starred for the Falcons in this preseason finale is Josh Rosen. The journeyman quarterback is looking to seal a spot in the Falcons roster, and he may have done just that after a stellar showing in the second half against the Browns.
— NFL (@NFL) August 30, 2021
Rosen, who signed with the Falcons on Tuesday after being waived by the San Francisco 49ers, displayed nice velocity and accuracy with his quick release throws, completing 9 of 18 passes for 118 yards with one touchdown. He also recorded 13 rushing yards against the Browns, showing that he is also a dual threat.
Rosen is in a battle with undrafted free agent Feleipe Franks to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Falcons starter Matt Ryan. The position opened up after backup quarterback AJ McCarron suffered a season-ending injury.
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