We are still in the first games of preseason and none of these games matter in the standings. Yet and still, there are things to be learned. A lot of things.
Lions vs Bengals – The Lions looked great with their starters. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson looked locked in at the start of the game and the Lions jumped out to the early lead on the Bengals. Stafford was 6/7 for 71 yards and 2 TDs. Calvin Johnson looked great as well in very short action. The Bengals on the other hand looked fairly abysmal. Andy Dalton started the game and struggled mightily. He was 11/15 for 69 yards and 1 INT. With 4 QBs, the Bengals could only manage a single field goal the entire game. It’s going to be a long year for the Bengals.
Falcons vs Dolphins – The Falcons looked great to start the game with their starters including Matt Ryan who was 6/10 for 90 yards and 1 TD. Julio Jones showed that he just might be THE pickup of the 2011 draft with explosive speed and great hands. Jones had a total of 55 yards rushing and receiving. The Falcons later strings were not as effective vs the Dolphins and Miami won the game 28-23. Miami starting QB Chad Henne looked positively awful for most of his time in the game going going 4/8 for 77 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs.
Redskins vs Steelers – Rex Grossman’s performance in the game gives him at least a week of I told you so’s. Grossman earlier in the week stated that the Redskins would win their division and most everyone laughed. But Grossman got the last laugh in this game going 19/26 for 207 yards and 1 TD. Royster and Hightower both looked good in the running game. Santana Moss also looked good including a TD. Dante Stallworth in his first game in a long, long time had 3 receptions for 46 yards. Big Ben only had 3 passes for the Steelers in this game going 2/3 for 22 yards and his game was done. So the Redskins faced the Steelers 2nd, 3rd and 25th strings for most of the game.
Tampa Bay vs Chiefs – Tampa Bay looked to be in midseason form to start the season. They just reinforced my belief that the NFC South will be one of the most contested divisions of the entire season. Josh Freeman looked great going 9/13 for 73 yards passing and also running in a TD himself. Backup QB Johnson also looked good for the Bucs going 7/12 for 108 yards and 1 TD. The Chiefs on the other hand looked not so good losing this game without scoring a single point. However, the Chiefs starters didn’t really even play at all. Cassel didn’t throw a single pass attempt and in fact most of the Chiefs starters contributed nothing to the game.
Saints vs 49ers – Drew Brees looked rusty. He also looked rusty to start last season and that didn’t turn out as the Saints hoped. Brees went 1/4 for a total of 6 yards. On a better note, RB Mark Ingram had 6 carries for 23 yards and a TD and 1 reception for 4 yards as well. Saints backup QB Daniel looked fairly good going 13/21 for 129 yards. The 49ers didn’t look very good even with their starters. QB Alex Smith went 2/7 for a total of 10 yards. Backup Colin Kaepernick went 9/19 for 117 yards and 2 INTs but he also rushed 6 times for 47 yards. The Saints came out on top in this game 24-3.
Lots to be learned on day 2 of the preseason.