WATCH: Falcons Score First Preseason TD
Atlanta's new-look quarterback room is off to a solid start.
The Atlanta Falcons scored a touchdown on their first offensive drive of the preseason, matching a 10-play touchdown drive by the Detroit Lions to kick off the game.
The touchdown was scored by quarterback Marcus Mariota , a free agent addition brought in to fill the Matt Ryan-sized void at the position. Mariota dropped back, face early pressure, rolled left, and scrambled into the endzone.
Mariota's first-drive touchdown highlighted the changing of the guard from Ryan, who had just 12 rushing touchdowns in 14 seasons with the Falcons.
Mariota, 28, has had quite the rollercoaster of an NFL career. Entering the league as a Heisman Trophy winner and the 2015 draft's No. 2 overall selection, he was a day one starter in the league.
After trudging through injuries and spurts of inconsistent play with the Tennessee Titans, Mariota was benched in 2019, his fifth season in the league. He's spent the last two seasons as Derek Carr's backup in Las Vegas.
In Atlanta, Mariota gets to reunite with head coach Arthur Smith , who was Tennessee's offensive coordinator. While things didn't work out too well last time for Mariota, he's off to a strong start with the Falcons, as Smith dubbed him (and Ridder) among the team's most impressive players at OTAs.
Mariota and Smith are off to a quick start together, with Mariota's athleticism on full display early, as Mariota has used his legs to his advantage behind the shaky Falcons offensive line, while also being employed on bootlegs.
With all eyes on the quarterback position, Mariota is off to a sound start in the face of pressure, both on and off the field.