Preseason Week 1 (Over)Reactions Part 2

Posted: August 12, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The much anticipated follow-up to part 1. I will throw in here for anyone who missed my sum up of the first few games that what I’m about to say is more or less useless at this point. The first preseason game is a pretty poor indicator for the season, it’s just fun to look at while we wait for September.

The youth movement is underway in Tennessee. Second year QB Jake Locker (7/13 for 80 yards) and rookie WR Kendall Wright (3 catches on 3 targets for 47 yards) looked sharp in the Titans preseason opener and I expect both guys to be staring week 1 (Locker should win his battle, and I’m still expecting Kenny Britt to miss at least 2 weeks on suspension.) Meanwhile, Chris Johnson looked awful. There were a few dropped screen passes and he just couldn’t find any running room. To CJ’s credit the Seahawks defense is better than most people realize, and it was the first game, still not the kind of performance you wanted to see from a guy who’s suposed to be gearing up for a big comeback year.

On the other side of the ball in the same game Russell Wilson scored a pair of touchdowns (one throwing, one rushing…also had an INT) and looked good in his NFL debut. It was against the 2nd and 3rd string of a Titans defense who’s starters aren’t even scaring anyone, but hey it shows promise for a guy a lot of people had doubts about. Fellow rookie, RB Robert Turbin had a mixed night running with the first team in place of Marshawn Lynch. He ended with 10 carries for 24 yards, but he ran hard and was able to catch all three balls that came his way out of the back field. Leon Washington did well on limited work (5 carries 26 yards) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue to get regular touches as a change of pace back.

It was a disappointing game for each team’s superstar in the Texans/Panthers game. Arian Foster was stripped for a lost fumble by rookie Luke Kuechly on his only carry of the game, and Cam Newton managed to complete only 2 of his 6 attempted passes for a meager 17 yards, but was able to gain add another 16 yards to his total on two carries. Cam didn’t look bad (and at least a pair of those incompletion probably should have been caught) but still I imagine neither player is satisfied their stat line, even if it is only preseason.

The 49ers running game seems as good as advertised. 6 different players managed to break runs over 10 yards, highlighted by a 23 yard scamper from big man Brandon Jacobs and a 78 yard TD run by back up QB Colin Kaepernick (who lead the team with 92 rushing yards on 3 carries to go along with a 5/9 passing effort for 40 yards.) And now is when I remind you that this was the preseason…against the Vikings. Just in case you were wondering who the other four guys running the ball were it was Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright.

On the other side of the ball Toby Gerhart averaged 6.2 yards per carry on 5 carries against a tough 49ers defense. Adrian Peterson just got reactivated from the PUP, so Gerhart may not get the early season shot at starting we thought, but still gotta give him credit for what he did in AP’s absence. Rookie TE Kyle Rudolf (2 catches 22 yards) looks like he could develop into a nice target for Christian Ponder…not much else going on in that passing game.

If you’re wondering about Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez, well….they looked like Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez. Tebow completed 50% of his passes, had as many rushes as completions (4) and threw a pick. Sanchez was 4/6 for 21yds no TD no INT. Shonn Greene was bad (22yds 11 carries) Joe McKnight was good (32yds 7 carries, 34yds on 3 catches.) Fairly typical Jets stuff. Rookie Watch: Stephen Hill had a pair of catches on three targets for 17 yards.

Not much to report from the Bengals end. Disappointing outing for AJ Green who didn’t come up with a catch on a pair of targets (Revis Island is not the place to build a summer home.) BenJarvus Green-Ellis put up 22 yards on 7 carries for a solid debut as a Bengal.

Even though the Browns won their matchup with the Lions, the game probably did not go quite the way Cleveland hoped. After impressive debuts from RG3, Ryan Tannehill (and earlier today Andrew Luck) it was Weeden’s turn to show his stuff. That stuff ended up being 3 completions on 9 attempts for 62 yards and an interception. The rag tag receiving group in Cleveland likely didn’t help matters with Greg Little missing his only target and rookie Josh Gordon unable to come down with any of the 3 balls thrown his way (for the record I have no idea when Gordon was playing so it may not have even been Weeden throwing to him.) Obviously there’s no need to panic, the team was without top pick Trent Richardson, and it was Gordon’s first game action since Baylor suspended him in 2010. The Browns need work, but that’s what the preseason is for.

It was a bad game for rookie QB’s on the other side of the football as well. Undrafted rookie Kellen Moore saw his first game action but finished 4/14 for 40 yards with an INT. Not the kind of debt you want to see from a guy with the kind of questions around his ability Moore has, but he should get plenty of opportunities to redeem himself in the next few weeks.

*Just a quick disclaimer reminder; I get all my stats and info from either or unless otherwise noted with a hyperlink.

  1. Game three of the pre-season is the one I usually take more notice of…probably the most meaningful one.
    Nice article & recap!

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