Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars
It was the Miles Sanders show in the first half. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Sanders should get the bulk of the RB work once the season starts. He had 5 carries for 31 yards against the Jags, looking both explosive and shifty. Here’s one of his runs -> https://twitter.com/JoshNorris/status/1162148154403381249 . Look at him gaining yards after contact. Perhaps the most important play of Sanders night was his blitz pickup on Clayton Thorson’s 38 yard TD pass to Greg Ward. Here it is -> https://bit.ly/307urYR . The most notable thing that happened for the Jags was the ankle injury that knocked Alfred Blue out of the game in the first half. Ryquell Armstead didn’t play and none of the other backup RBs did anything to hang their hat on.
Green Bay Packers vs Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson dazzled with his legs on a nifty 18 yard touchdown run. But it was nullified by a penalty. Here it is anyways -> https://bit.ly/31K2uqG . He ended up 6/10 for 58 yards and led the offense on two field goal drives. Ravens coaches and players cannot stop raving about Jackson. His floor is pretty high this year. His ceiling is astronomical if he can prove that he’s improved his passing. Justice Hill impressed for the second straight week. He also showed that he isn’t just a third down type back with his powerful 1 yard TD run ( https://bit.ly/2P1XCeW ). “He had some tough runs,” Harbaugh said. “He had some speed runs, too, where he accelerated, but man, he had some tough runs along the goal line.” Hill also demonstrated his elusiveness when quarterback Trace McSorley handed him the ball on second-and-7 in the third quarter. After tucking the ball in, he dodged the linebacker on his right, evaded the other on his left, then threw off the safeties in front of him with a dancing hesitation move before plowing through them for a 14-yard gain. He’s earning himself a sizable role in this run heavy offense.
All Jake Kumerow does is make plays. Day after day, week after week, Kumerow finds an open spot and makes the catch. He had 3 catches for 52 yards last night. Watch this route where he beats Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey -> https://twitter.com/JuhKipp/status/1162204308932218882 . Aaron Rodgers was a late scratch with back tightness but he should be fine. Allen Lazard had a good week of practice and capped it off with a 3 catch, 63 yard performance last night. He’s making it very hard for the Packers to cut him.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Washington Redskins
The Bengals have a wide open battle for their 5th and 6th receiver spots. Auden Tate, Damion Willis, Stanley Morgan, Cody Core, and Josh Malone all seem to be in the hunt for those spots. Tate had a touchdown last night, Willis had the most catches (5) and yards (59) on the team, and the others all found their way onto the stat sheet. This is a group to monitor with the injuries to AJ Green and John Ross. The Bengals running game was nonexistent until Jordan Ellis entered late in the game. He paced the team with 15 carries for 52 yards. He also added 5 catches for 19 yards. He was very busy.
Dwayne Haskins had a much better game this week. Watch him stand in the pocket and deliver this 55 yard TD strike to Robert Davis -> https://twitter.com/JoshNorris/status/1162166051792199680 . That thing was on a rope. He ended up 7/14 for 114 yards and 1 TD. Terry McLaurin was suited up but didn’t play due to a hurt tailbone. So we continue to wait to get a glimpse of the Training Camp MVP.
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons
Sam Darnold led another touchdown drive in his first series of the night. He played 2 more series that led to no points. Robby Anderson looks ready for the regular season. He caught all 3 of his targets for 32 yards. Here was his longest catch of 21 yards -> https://bit.ly/2TMMem5 . Great adjustment to make that catch. Ty Montgomery was a busy man. He made multiple big plays on the opening drive, culminating in a touchdown run. He looks poised to be Le’Veon Bell’s top backup.
Matt Ryan was sharp in his preseason debut, despite his supporting cast letting him down. He went 10/14 for 118 yards. Three of the four incompletions were drops. Brian Hill has gotten all the pub over the last couple weeks, but Ito Smith reminded everyone that he is still the man to beat for RB2 snaps. He reeled in a 28 yard catch-and-run, plowed through contact and forced his way into the end zone near the end of the second quarter in a very impressive effort. Qadree Ollison had a quiet night until he broke off 30 yards combined on 2 carries late in the game. Russell Gage, who has been hot in practice lately, left the game with an injury. The Falcons last receiver spot is up for grabs.
Oakland Raiders vs Arizona Cardinals
Josh Jacobs made his debut for the Raiders last night and looked the part of an NFL running back. He had 4 carries for 21 yards and showed off his power, vision, and patience. His first run looked like a 3 yard gain that ended up being a 7 yard gain. Doug Martin doesn’t have a strangle hold on the RB2 job and didn’t help himself last night. He only had two carries, but one was at the goal line and he didn’t score. He struggled in that area last year. DeAndre Washington had a good game, displaying his ability to make big plays in the passing game with a 35 yard catch and run. Keelan Doss, the Hard Knocks darling from this past week, had a nice game with 5 catches for 38 yards. Derek Carr didn’t need but one series to show that he’s ready for the regular season. He went 2/2 for 40 yards and a TD in his only series. The Raiders first-string offense played only six snaps last night, but both Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller were on the field for all of them. Positive signs after Waller recently shed his sling.
For Cardinal fans, last night was a huge letdown. Kyler Murray was going to get more playing time to showcase his skills, but he ended up struggling mightily and capped it off with an awkward sideline interview. He finished the night 3/8 for 12 yards, 2 sacks, 2 false starts, and committed a safety. It was a stark contrast to his preseason debut. There was some good news for the Cardinals. Andy Isabella is back and scored a 59 yard touchdown. See the play here -> https://bit.ly/2TEuQjc . He should start working his way up the depth chart fairly quickly. Trent Sherfield had another big night, catching a 40 yard touchdown.