The 2017 NFL Pre-Season Opens And Football Is Back
The NFL Preseason kicked off on Thursday night and NOW there is something FUN to argue about. Not that week one is REAL, but it is The National Football League. We love Arena Football and the Indoor Football League(IFL) but this is the NFL.
Now why are we excited for Week 1 of Preseason? That is another question all together. Facebook, Twitter and all of social media EXPLODED last night with the news that the Jaguars beat the Patriots. You would have thought this was the SUPER BOWL, but no lass it’s Football.
Talking about the Jaguars/Patriot game, we saw Blake Bortles for 2 series last night and he was 3 for 5 for 16 yards. The plus was one incomplete was a drop and Blake didn’t throw an interception. New England on the other hand, sat their stars and played a pretty good game. The NFL got their first dose of Leonard Fournette and saw pure power. The stars of the game, well Chad Henne went 5 of 6 for 139 and a touchdown. Keenlan Cole and Dede Westbrook made some really nice catches, and we found out about some guy named Jacob Hollister.
Give the Jaguars a B for the game, yes they won, but have some work to do. The Patriots also get a B. True, your star players watched the game. You learned a lot about your backups, but you lost at home.
In Chicago, The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears came together and the real winner is some guy named Kyle Sloter. Kyle went 5 for 6 for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Bears spent a lot of money on Mike Glennon, who brought that HUGE Contract on the field and was a complete FAILURE. Glennon was 2 for 8 for 20 years and that Pick six to Chris Harris Jr. Mitchell Trubisky was 18 for 25 for 166 and a touchdown while De’Angelo Henderson showed out with 7 rushes for 54 years and a touchdown. His 41-yard run sealed the game for the Broncos.
Down in South Florida, the Atlanta Falcons visited the Miami Dolphins and the NFL’s highest paid running back Devonta Freeman is already reaping Dividends. Freeman, who agreed Wednesday to a $41.25 million, five-year contract extension, scored to cap the Falcons’ first preseason possession.
The Falcons did pretty good. Matt Ryan was perfect on the night. 3 for 3 with a touchdown while back up Matt Simms went 10 for 20 for 104 yards. Along with Freeman, Falcons RB Terron Ward put in a good night with 11 rushes for 48 yards including a 26-yard TD run.
The Dolphins showed that never give up attitude coming back in the 4th quarter to win 23-20 and a lot of the offensive credit goes to David Fales who went 8 for 17 for 184 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. A ton of those yards came on a 99 yard touchdown pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow mid-way thru the 4th quarter.
Now tonight the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in Cincinnati playing the Bengals and one of the Questions will be, who will be doing the kicking for the Bucs! Roberto Aguayo and Nick Folk drew criticism from coach Dirk Koetter after struggling during practice.
“Whatever they ate for breakfast today? Off the menu,” Koetter said. “Neither one of them was very good today. … You’re a kicker in the NFL, inside 50 yards you got to make your kicks. I’m not being a hard ass or anything. That’s just what it is.”
Expect Tampa to play their starters in the First quarter. Giving the Bucs plenty of time to check out Ryan Smith and QB Ryan Griffin. Jameis Winston is the unquestioned starter at quarterback but the battle to be his primary backup is still a long way from being decided. The competitors are Ryan Griffin and Ryan Fitzpatrick, and they will likely divvy up most, if not all, of the snaps in the last three quarters on Friday night.
The Bengals come out of the first two weeks of the preseason quietly encouraged for a variety of reasons. You can start with the flash and dash of rookies Joe Mixon at running back and Carl Lawson at pass rusher, trace the comeback of one-time Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and the steady symbiosis of franchise staples A.J. Green at wide receiver and Andy Dalton at quarterback.
And as they prepare for Friday night’s pre-season opener at Paul Brown Stadium (7:30-Cincinnati’s Channel 12) against Tampa Bay, there is the sense that several of their first- and second-year players have taken steps from where they were and made their team as fast as it’s ever been.
Guys like cornerbacks William Jackson, Darqueze Dennard and KeiVarae Russell, wide receivers Tyler Boyd, Cody Core, and Alex Erickson, linebacker Nick Vigil, safety Clayton Fejedelem, and running back Tra Carson have caught the eye at one time or another at training camp. It’s tougher to tell in the trenches, but young tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher look more equipped mentally and physically.
The New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns took to the field in Cleveland and the Browns are in a QB Battle. Cody Kessler, and DeShone Kizer both made STRONG Claims to the starting job held by Brock Osweiler but after last night.. the BATTLE IS ON.
Tommylee Lewis had a good day for the Saints 10 receptions for 124 and a touchdown.
So sit back. Enjoy the Pre-Season. And Say it with me… ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!