Brian Sullivan

That was fun, wasn’t it? One week down, 3 to go before we’re at the real thing. So to be honest with all of you, I didn’t have time to sit down and watch all of these games. But I did surf through them live, and I watched a few drives on each of the ones I didn’t focus much attention on when they were live. Some of these are simply overreactions; the sample sizes were too small to make rash assumptions. But here’s some things I noticed as I watched the games.

Saints 24 Jaguars 20

Notable Stat – Saints WR Tre’Quan Smith – 4 Rec, 48 Yds

Key Takeaway – Trey Hendrickson Is A Force

Overall, the Jaguars offensive line looked pretty solid. They were clearing up some lanes and getting a nice push overall. Leonard Fournette’s vision could still use some work, but he was able to gain yards consistently with all of the space in front of him. But that doesn’t apply to Right Tackle Josh Wells, who was absolutely abused by 2nd year DE Trey Hendrickson. It felt like every other play Hendrickson was a half second away from Blake Bortles. Bortles did a nice job of getting rid of the ball quickly, but Hendrickson’s pressures were too impressive not to notice. Imagining him, Cameron Jordan, and Marcus Davenport on the field at the same time must be gorgeous for Saints fans.

Steelers 31 Eagles 14

Notable Stat – Steelers WR Damoun Patterson – 6 Rec, 77 Yds, 1 TD

Key Takeaway – The Eagles Are Still Dominant In The Trenches It was so obvious. There’s a reason they won the Super Bowl. The Eagles are going to absolutely wear down opposing teams on both sides of the ball. For the first few drives, it felt like every play somebody was in the Steelers backfield within a second. On offense, there was time to throw for Sudfield and running lanes opening on every play, at least when the starters were in. Eagles fans are in for another good year.

Patriots 26 Redskins 17

Notable Stat – Patriots WR Devin Lucien – 4 Rec, 71 Yds

Key Takeaway: Semaje Perine Could Alleviate The Loss of Guice Redskins fans are torn that Derrius Guice is out for the season with a torn ACL. But I’ve got good news; Semaje Perine could be a very solid option on 1st and 2nd down. His numbers didn’t jump off of the screen, he only had 31 yards on 7 carries. But he was making a physical impact on every carry. I hope he gets a chance to shine this season.  

 

Bengals 30 Bears 27

Notable Stat – Bears RB Ryan Nall – 9 Rush, 95 Yds

Key Takeaway – Adam Shaheen Could Be A Problem This Year

Does anybody know how to cook crow? Because I need to eat a ton of it. Shaheen has looked impressive in 2 Preseason games; he amassed 53 yards on 3 catches, and it looks like he’s been working on his route running. But he’s already proven that he will be that big bodied TE that can go up and make tough, physical catches every week. Him and Burton will be a real tough matchup for any team.

Shaheen

Ravens 33 Rams 7

Notable Stat – Rams RB John Kelly – 13 Rush, 77 Yds, 2 Rec, 14 Yds

Key Takeaway – Flacco Looking Accurate

It appeared that many of the Rams defensive starters were out. Because of this, they weren’t able to get a ton of pressure on Joe Flacco. But their coverage was solid. Despite this, Flacco was delivering dimes. It’ll be a sign of nice things to come if the Ravens can continue to protect him like that this season.

Browns 20 Giants 10

Notable Stat – Browns WR Antonio Callaway – 3 Rec, 87 Yards, TD

Key Takeaway – The Browns Have An Abundance of Talented Young Weapons

Everybody is talking about Baker, and he was impressive, as was Tyrod, but let’s talk about something else… It’s amazing to think that Josh Gordon could miss this season and the Browns would still have an arsenal full of talent. We all knew that Jarvis Landry can play, but how about David Njoku? 2 receptions, 2 touchdowns. Rashard Higgins made a few very nice receptions and displayed excellent timing with Baker Mayfield; I liked him a ton out of college, maybe he just needed a QB and some time to develop? Antonio Callaway has had an unfortunate week, but he looked fantastic out there tonight.

 

Buccaneers 26 Dolphins 24

Notable Stat – Buccaneers QB Ryan Griffin – 20/26, 179 Yds, 1 TD

Key Takeaway – Will The Bucs Defense Be Awful Again?

I’m not going to overreact yet, because there wasn’t a lot to work with. But when the Dolphins had their starters in on offense, the Bucs looked outmatched on the defensive line aside from Gerald McCoy. Again, it was only one drive, so I won’t put too much into it, especially since Vita Vea wasn’t able to get any reps. But it was something I noticed. Kenyan Drake looked very nice for Miami by the way, he could be a very nice fantasy option.

Panthers 28 Bills 23

Notable Stat – Bills QB Nathan Peterman – 9/10, 119 Yds, 1 TD

Key Takeaway – I Understand the D.J. Moore Hype Now

I won’t back down from what I believed; I didn’t understand why everyone loved DJ Moore so much. I did have a 3rd round grade on him, but he was my 84th ranked player and I honestly allowed outside input to bump him up my board a little. Well, he made some very nice plays this game that I didn’t see in college. Maybe I watched the wrong games. Moore had 4 receptions for 75 yards, including this eye popping play. Also, a full breakdown of Josh Allen’s debut will be out tomorrow; let’s just say, overall I was impressed.

Moore.gif

Texans 17 Chiefs 10

Notable Stat – None  – There Wasn’t Much Offense In This One

Key Takeaway – Duke Ejiofor Has Me Feeling Vindicated

I went into this game for one reason; watch Patrick Mahomes. Well, he didn’t do much, though he barely played. One reason he performed so poorly was because the Texans managed to get a lot of pressure on him, and Ejiofor played his part. He looked very smooth and powerful out there. He could really be the biggest steal of this draft if he stays healthy.

 

Colts 19 Seahawks 17

Notable Stat – Seahawks DE Rasheem Green – 3 Tackles, 4 Ast, 1.5 Sacks

Key Takeaway – This New Colts Offense Is Gonna Be Fine

Andrew Luck’s numbers look pedestrian; 6/9, 64 yards. He was sacked once as well. But overall, against a fast/talented Seattle defense, I saw Andrew Luck have some time in the pocket. I saw Andrew Luck dump it off to Marlon Mack for some easy gains. I saw a more comfortable Andrew Luck with some decent talent around him. He looked a little rusty, and yet he was still fine. As the season goes on, this team should be very good on offense.

 

Packers 31 Titans 17

Notable Stat – Packers WR Marquez Valdez-Scantling

Key Takeaway – Malcolm Butler Looks Rusty

I’m here to overreact. But for real, we’ve seen a trend of Patriots defensive backs going into other systems and significantly decreasing in their level of play. I’m not too worried about Butler, he’s a very talented corner. But he looked lost at times on the few snaps he played, including this play where he gets burned by Adams. He even had a chance to recover, and he still couldn’t make a play. Hopefully it’s just an adjustment period, but I couldn’t help but notice it.

Butler.gif

49ers 24 Cowboys 21

Notable Stat – Cowboys WR Michael Gallup* – 1 Rec, 30 Yds, TD
*Only notable because nobody had a huge game, and he could be their #1 or #2 guy this year

Key Takeaway – Please Stay Out Of Trouble Reuben Foster

This guy is so talented. A world where he, Deforest Buckner, and Jaquiski Tartt all become All-Pro level players this year is actually possible, and I think that’d be awesome. Those 3, surrounded by a bunch of other talented defenders would be so much fun to watch. This play in particular stood out; how can a linebacker make a play like this? Foster is a rare talent. I hope he plays as much as he can this year.

 

Jets 17 Falcons 0

Notable Stat – Jets QB Sam Darnold – 13/18, 96 Yds, TD

Key Takeaway – This Could Be The Year Deion Jones Becomes A Superstar

Ok, we all saw Sam Darnold. He was awesome. Teddy Bridgewater actually looked pretty good too. And the Jets offensive line as a whole was surprisingly good the first few drives. But watching the Falcons defense, it was amazing how Deion Jones immediately jumped off the screen. 3 plays, 3 tackles. 3 and out. There’s a lot of hype surrounding him, and just seeing that must get Falcons fans very excited.

Raiders 16 Lions 10

Notable Stat – Kerryon Johnson – 7 Rush, 34 Yds, 4 Rec, 33 Yards

Key Takeaway – Why Didn’t I Just Buy Into The Kerryon Hype?

So you might have noticed, I’ve been trying to keep the notable stats separate from the takeaways. But this was the Kerryon Johnson show. He was doing everything. He can catch out of the backfield, and he’s incredibly elusive. His stats were already solid, but if you also include this run that was called back, his numbers would look absurd.

Vikings 42 Broncos 28

Notable Stat – Vikings RB Roc Thomas – 8 Carries, 29 Yds, 3 Rec, 102 Yds, 2 TD

Key Takeaway – The Vikings Might Have Offensive Line Depth After All

Results of games and individual games surprise me regularly, but it’s not often that an entire unit surprises me for multiple drives the way that the Viking’s makeshift offensive line did last night. Against a very talented Broncos front 7, the Vikings managed to give Kirk Cousins time and opened up some rushing lanes for Latavius Murray. It was a small sample size, but credit to the coaching staff for developing their depth. This could pay huge dividends going forward.

Cardinals 24 Chargers 17

Notable Stat – Chargers WR Geremy Davis – 4 Rec, 88 Yds, TD

Key Takeaway – Keep An Eye On Chargers RB Austin Ekeler

Ekeler had a few nice plays in his rookie season last year. When he was out there with the 2nd and 3rd stringers, he stood out. He looked like the best player on the field at times, and he could easily end up being a prominent 3rd down option for the Chargers.

Image Credit – https://www.cleveland.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/08/c38baae35b7751/baker-mayfields-preseason-debu.html

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