Preseason Week 4 Recap
We are just one day away from Pittsburgh v. New England on Thursday Night Football. Tom Brady’s in. Jimmy Garoppolo is out. So it should be a great start to the 2015 season.
There were a stack of notable cuts that happened over the weekend, so take note just in case you have already drafted your fantasy team. If you drafted Tebow, you don’t know what you’re doing and you weren’t going to win your league anyway so don’t bother adjusting your lineup. Just find another hobby. One that you may actually be good at.
Let’s blast through the last week of exhibition NFL football so we can move on to the real games. Most of these games featured third stringers to make final cut decisions so don’t be baffled by any unknown players you see pop up.
Bengals 9 Colts 6
It’s my duty to report even on a shootout like this. Apparently Adam Vinatieri refuses to grow old and retire. He was the lone offensive weapon for Indy in this contest.
This game was a turnover fest, with the Colts having four and Cincy with two.
Tom Obarski made a FG with under two minutes to seal the win for the Bengals.
It looked like Tim Tebow had found a home in Philadelphia after he threw two touchdowns in his fourth opportunity of the preseason. Matt Barkley was traded so it seemed inevitable Tebow would stick. Alas, the guy was cut over the weekend and it may be the end of the line for this former college great.
Bucs 22 Dolphins 17
Tampa got the win and never even got Jameis Winston dirty. He didn’t play at all, but watched backup Mike Glennon throw two picks. Glennon did toss in a touchdown on his 11 of 20 game.
Miami’s Josh Freeman didn’t impress enough in this preseason. After throwing two INTs of his own in this game he found himself cut over the weekend.
Tampa scored a safety to make some degenerate gamblers happy with their squares ending with a ‘2.’ Mike Gillislee added a late touchdown to make the score closer in this seven turnover game.
Saints 10 Packers 38
Brett Hundley will take over for Aaron Rodgers….maybe someday. The kid out of UCLA did impress for the second straight game. He passed for four touchdowns and went off for 236 yards. Hundley will be QB3 to start 2015, but could be the number two guy by next year if he continues to learn the system.
The Packers continued to search for bodies to fill in at receiver due to injuries. One such body belonged to Myles White, after catching two TD passes.
The Saints gave up too many big passing plays, prompting Sean Payton to state, “We’ll have to watch the tape, but I thought we struggled at corner,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. No tape needed. Hundley’s stats tell the tale.
Ravens 19 Falcons 20
This was a decent game at the end. The Falcons made sure there was some excitement for the few fans left in the Georgia Dome with about two minutes to play.
They achieved that by letting Baltimore score with less than two minutes on the clock. Then for good measure the Birds had a punt blocked close to their own end zone. Baltimore went for two in order to save fans from preseason overtime. They failed so Atlanta backed into this win.
Bills 10 Lions 17
An 81 yard INT return for a touchdown was a good start for the Bills. Ron Brooks took it to the house late in the first quarter for Rex’s boys.
Detroit’s TJ Jones had a long score of his own as he went 64 yards after a short pass.
Rex didn’t sound pleased after the loss, “We did some of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen in football,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “It was awful. A football follies play, offside on a fourth down call on defense by a lineman.”
His fourth string QB lost three fumbles so his frustration was well warranted.
Giants 12 Patriots 9
Another field goal fest in this one as both teams played out the string of exhibition ball.
Brady signs were abundant and New England fans are setting up a crowdfunding campaign that should allow Judge Richard Berman to retire by next week.
Ryan Lindley got a workout for the Pats, throwing 45 times, completing 22 of those.
Panthers 23 Steelers 6
Pittsburgh is just glad to move past the preseason. They will open the regular season on Thursday Night Football against the Patriots. They already had players suspended for that opener, but the preseason added some injuries to the MIA list.
Carolina used their preseason to search for receiver help to replace Kelvin Benjamin’s numbers. This game against the Steelers saw them rack up plenty of rushing yards, so that would be a good theme to keep up in the regular season. The Panthers had 454 yards total offense in this one.
Cam has depth behind him in case he gets roughed up again this season.
Jaguars 17 Redskins 16
Pretty fitting that a former Arena League kicker was the difference in this last preseason game. Jason Myers made his NFL kicking debut in this one and put the Jags ahead with under four minutes to play.
Colt McCoy played the entire game for the Redskins, ending up with 208 yards passing.
Corey Grant put on a nice show at running back for Jacksonville. He had 74 yards on just five carries. He should be a solid backup running back as the season starts next weekend.
Vikings 17 Titans 24
Marcus Mariota can only hope to play as well in the regular season as he has the past three weeks. He wrapped up his preseason with just four plays, one of which was a 59 yard pass to former Falcon Harry Douglas.
Mariota had a 102.9 passer rating in his four preseason outings.
Taylor Heinicke played well for the Vikings, racking up 279 yards and two touchdowns.
Chiefs 24 Rams 17
The Chiefs going undefeated in the preseason was nice, but not as good as Any Reid’s quote afterward. “We’re in America so you play to win whether it’s ping pong or a hot dog eating contest,” coach Andy Reid said. “It’s the preseason, and we understand that.”
I’m not sure that should make us Americans very proud.
The Rams were winless in their four game 2015 launch. Tavon Austin did make the highlight reels with his 43 yard catch that ate up about 99 yards of overall zig zagging.
Texans 14 Cowboys 21
Ryan Mallett was hoping to eat some hotdogs on the sidelines in this last exhibition game. Instead he had to enter the game after third stringer Tom Savage was hurt.
Mallett failed to score once he entered the game so Dallas held on after their late score.
Dallas tried out more young runners in this game, but none are likely to see much action in the real reason, behind the group the Cowboys brought in to replace DeMarco Murray.
Browns 0 Bears 24
Getting shut out will happen if you give up seven sacks and turn over the ball three times like the Browns did. It’s almost like the game didn’t matter.
Terrelle Pryor did very little to earn a roster spot this preseason, but ended up making the cut. The Browns needed to roll the dice since Josh Gordon is off the grid and they need some hope for big plays.
Cardinals 22 Broncos 20
Denver started fast, but the Cardinals finished the drill after a slow start.
The Broncos had a chance to win the game and participation trophy for their last exhibition game, but Brandon McManus missed a long field goal with under a minute to go.
The Cardinals finally got a look at Chris Johnson who got 45 yards on 11 carries.
After the game Montee Ball was released by the Broncos. Another epic college player that just could not make it at the NFL level.
Chargers 12 49ers 14
The Niners’ Bruce Ellington had a 70 yard TD catch to go along with more highlights from Jarryd Hayne.
Levi’s Stadium turf was an issue once again and seems like it will be an issue the entire 2015 season. Opponents won’t be able to protect starters from the awful field now that real games will begin.
Raiders 21 Seahawks 31
Tyler Lockett impressed once again as the Hawks ended their exhibition stretch with a win over Oakland. After the rookie has exploited opponents’ special teams with his return skills this preseason, he did the same to the Raiders defense in this game.
Lockett grabbed a 63 yard TD pass from Russell Wilson.
I have no idea why Wilson even played when every other player of note from both teams never saw the field. Pete Carroll seems to love playing with fire.