Coach Mike Smith's starters rested more than he did on Thursday night vs. Jacksonville. (AP Images)

The Falcons' 24-14 loss to Jacksonville on Thursday night in the preseason finale was immaterial to the majority of the regulars. Most of the starters, on both offense and defense, saw just one play. 

Coach Mike Smith had planned to keep six defensive starters in for a series but that series turned into just one play when Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert botched an opening-drive pitch, which the Falcons recovered. 

“We felt we got enough work with those guys in the first three games,” head coach Mike Smith said. “We told them they were gonna play one series and they got it. It was quick and short.” 

The Falcons, who began with the ball on the Jaguars’ 5-yard line, scored on their first play from scrimmage on a burst from backup RB Jacquizz Rodgers

The only starters who saw an extended period of action were LB Akeem Dent and DT Peria Jerry, both of whom the coaches wanted to see more from. Dent tied for the team-lead with eight tackles on Thursday night and Jerry had two tackles including a tackle for loss.

Thursday was also a big day for reserve QB Dominique Davis, tabbed the starter as Matt Ryan rested. Davis, playing against a first-string defense for the first time all preseason, performed well enough for coaches to seriously consider the rookie free agent as Ryan’s backup. Davis was 14 of 24 for a touchdown and two interceptions. 

Although the two interceptions won’t help his cause, it was the third consecutive preseason game which Rodgers has thrown a touchdown. 

“It was a learning experience,” he said to Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I got to pretty much see everything, every coverage. I got knocked on my butt a couple of times. It was a good experience.” 

Quarterback Luke McCown, who was signed earlier this week after being waived by New Orleans, didn’t play. 

Solid performance:

Wide receiver Kevin Cone, who’s had some untimely dropped balls this preaseaon, benefitted from the strong-armed Davis under center. The two connected on a 49-yard touchdown strike which somewhat atoned for an earlier dropped pass that stalled a positive drive. Cone, battling wideout Drew Davis for the fifth spot, is on the bubble for making the Falcons’ final 53-man roster. He’ll find out his fate by Friday night when the team makes mandatory roster cuts. 

Redman shocked by release:  

Veteran QB Chris Redman wasn’t prepared when the Falcons released him earlier this week.

“It was a big surprise for me,” he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I didn’t really expect it. But the unexpected is part of the NFL. They made their decision so that’s the way it is. If it’s over, it’s been great.”

Redman played in five games last year and was 18 for 28 for 188 yards and an interception. 

For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSSportsNFLATL.