I know it’s just preseason football, but I’m excited. I’m browsing video clips and highlight reels looking for standout plays and sleeper picks for my fantasy team, which you don’t give two shits about.
Did y’all watch any of the Cowboys, Giants, or Redskins last night?
Obviously Saquon Barkley’s first run made the rounds, and he looked like a monster on this effort, which was his first carry of the game:
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 9, 2018
He finished with 4 carries for 43 yards, so there wasn’t much productivity after that 39 yard gashing. But still.. that run.
“Everybody talks about the speed difference in the NFL, but to see you still have that burst and you can get to that line of scrimmage like that and create space; I just have to find a way to gain even more yards than that.”
Matt Lombardo, who used to cover the Eagles for NJ.com and anchor nights on 97.5 the Fanatic, is now covering the Giants. His take on Saquon’s performance:
Granted it was only a couple of series in an NFL exhibition game, but the Browns’ defensive line features No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett and former Nittany Lion standout Carl Nassib, and Barkley’s patience while his blocks developed and rapid cut upfield turned heads not just in MetLife Stadium but sent reverberations across the league that Barkley’s college tape is no aberration.
I wonder how he does behind that offensive line in the regular season. It’s not their best unit, not at all, though they did overpay for ex-Patriot Nate Solder to come in and play left tackle. I also wonder what Eli has left in the tank, and I hope it’s something, because Davis Webb is not the answer at QB. The Giants can’t be any worse than they were last year, but how much of a threat is Pat Shurmur, Eli Manning, and a rookie running back? Knowing how good the Eagles were against the run last season, I don’t think there’s any reason to worry, but if Eli starts dinking and dunking with success like he did in week three of last season, it might open up the field elsewhere. Those divisional games always seem like a pain in the ass even if one team is heavily favored on paper.
The New York defense looked good enough in limited action, holding the Browns to just 4 rushing yards in the 1st quarter. They’re switching to a 3-4 defense this year under new coordinator James Bettcher, so keep an eye on that if you watch them in the preseason.
How bout them Cowboys
This one kind of sucks for me, because I’m pulling hard for Tavon Austin to turn his NFL career around, yet I loathe the Cowboys with the burning heat of 10 bazillion suns. He had two grabs for 25 yards last night and Allen Hurns, who came over from Jacksonville in the offseason, snagged one for 13.
Beyond those two you’ve got Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley, who had shown flashes in the past but are not world beaters. I don’t know who steps up in the WR department, and I don’t know what they get out of that tight end group. The Eagles really fleeced the Cowboys when they traded up to get Dallas Goedert, knowing that Dallas really needed a Jason Witten replacement.
But Dak Prescott finished 3-3 in limited action last night, hitting rookie Michael Gallup for a 30-yard score:
[Highlight] Dak Prescott nails Michael Gallup for a 30 yard Touchdown pic.twitter.com/nDmjiPTE0i
— TheRenderNFL (@TheRenderNFL) August 10, 2018
Dak had a 12 yard scramble on third down to keep that drive alive. Zeke Elliott did not play.
On defense, Joe Thomas started for Sean Lee at linebacker, finishing with 5 tackles, one for loss, and adding an interception. Jaylon Smith I thought looked pretty good and I think Dallas takes some steps forward this year on that side of the ball. I just think they have too many question marks offensively and they don’t feel like a complete team right now, but who knows if 2016 Zeke and Dak (and the offensive line) show up this season.
The big news was that rookie running back Derrius Guice left the game with a knee injury, but wait –
Derrius Guice says all is well pic.twitter.com/oELzfARxSi
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 10, 2018
Washington Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice said he suffered a hyperextended left knee at the end of a first-quarter run in Thursday’s preseason opener against the New England Patriots but sounded optimistic, even as the club acknowledged he would undergo an MRI on Friday.
Saying he “felt good” and could “walk fine” and that “all is well,” Guice detailed how the injury occurred at the end of a 34-yard run that was called back because of a holding penalty.
“At the back end of the play, when I was stiff-arming [a defender], my feet just kind of planted weirdly on the turf and my knee just hyperextended a little bit,” he said. “It’s fine.”
Guice finished with 6 carries for 19 yards, sharing the load with Samaje Perine and Kapri Bibbs. Chris Thompson didn’t play.
This was Guice’s best run of the night, with a little spin move and stiff-arm at the end:
Derrius Guice with the nice run 🔥pic.twitter.com/GefiEbyxAu
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) August 10, 2018
Alex Smith also did not play last night, so we got a healthy dose of Colt McCoy and Kevin Hogan instead. I don’t know if Smith is an upgrade to Kirk Cousins, but he’s not a downgrade. Is it a lateral move? That’s literally the only thing that interests me about the Redskins this season.
Week one opponent Atlanta plays tonight against the Jets. Andrew Luck, who the Birds face in week three, got on and off the field with no problems. Ryan Griffin and Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will cover for the suspended Jameis Winston for three weeks, did pretty well last night, going 20-26 for a touchdown and 6-8, respectively. The Eagles play the Bucs in week two.
That’s about it for the first week of preseason games.