The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons will face off tonight in each teams first pre-season game. It’s the first action for either team in the still young 2011 NFL season. Traditionally, teams have time to scrimmage and practice against other NFL teams prior to the start of the pre-season games. Obviously not this year. Most believe that pre-season should be shortened to two or three games because they are meaningless. After a lot of thought on the subject, I don’t buy that anymore.
Sure, the NFL makes a mint on pre-season games. Full price tickets to watch back-ups and “never wills” play football. So what? The atmosphere surrounding a pro-game is electric…even meaningless ones. It’s football. For over a third of each team, this will be the only chance to play at this level. Cuts will happen this week and someones dream of playing in the NFL will end. That’s a sad reality…so take the time to watch those guys give it everything they have.
Tonight, the Dolphins and Falcons will meet and it’s likely that neither team will field much in the way of starters. This is where new additions get some reps, draft picks get their reps, and the deep back-up get to prove their worth. It’s where an undrafted free agent gets an opportunity to prove he has the chops to contribute on special teams and maybe, just maybe, make the practice squad or in that rare instance, the final 53.
So what should you be watching tonight or on the NFL Replay? Continue reading to find out.