Another day of preseason, another day of lessons to be learned. A lot to look forward to in tonight’s games.
Giants vs Panthers – Let’s start with the obvious. Although Jimmy Clausen will start for the Panthers, everyone will be watching this game to see the debut of the number 1 overall draft pick Cam Newton. Will he be able to perform in the NFL? Will he oust Clausen from the starting job? Will the Panthers have a team that can even attempt to hang in the stacked NFC South with the Falcons, Bucs and Saints? The Giants will have some new faces and some old ones and some possible holes in their game. Eli Manning will look to lead the Giants into a hopefully better season than last year.
Packers vs Browns – The Packers will be looking to repeat as Super Bowl champs. They have the tools to do it with Aaron Rogers back at the helm. The Browns will have another year of an uphill battle with 2nd year QB Colt McCoy at the reigns. Jake Delhomme is no more with the Browns so it is now on McCoy to guide the ship.
Bills vs Bears – The Bills are looking to fight their way out of the basement and have a much better season than last year. But their prospects don’t look much better this year. For the Bears, Jay Cutler has to prove that he can be a leader. It’s just that simple. If he can, the Bears have a lot of talent. If he cannot, the Bears are in for another season of bad games. It all hinges on Cutler and that’s not a place the Bears want to be I think.
Colts vs Rams – The big story here is Peyton Manning is not playing. In fact, he’s really not even practicing. His ongoing issues from neck surgery and nerve problems in his neck and throwing arm are causing a LOT of concern in Indy. Manning is the leader of the Colts and without him they are a much diminished football team. Rams QB Sam Bradford will start his second year and the Rams are looking to go at much greater speed with Bradford having learned much in his first year. Look for the Rams to show off their new offensive sets in the first series of the game.
Vikings vs Titans – Both teams are starting new eras. The Vikings will start off with veteran Donovan McNabb at the helm. A definite plus to have someone with experience to lead the team, but how well will McNabb perform? He also has only a 1 year contract with the team. The Vikings lost Sidney Rice to the Seahawks so McNabb will be one less receiver to throw to. Will Percy Harvin’s migraines impact his play this season? Can Adrian Peterson stop fumbling the ball? Lots of questions. The Titans also have a new QB in veteran Matt Hasselbeck. This team needed a leader in the worst way and I think they have one in Hasselbeck for sure. It should make a huge difference. Chris Johnson has been a holdout so he will not play. I would look for Mark Mariani to have a big game on Saturday night.
Another night of preseason football…..get some!