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Cleveland Browns 27 – 17 Green Bay Packers

BROWNS – Cleveland starting QB Colt McCoy looked impressive in his playing time for the Browns, as he went 9/10 for 135 yards and a TD. McCoy, who played well for the Browns at the end of last season seems to be showing growth and poise, the kind of stuff that could make him a viable fantasy option.

WR Johua Cribbs was also impressive in the play time he saw as he reeled in the Colt McCoy TD with very impressive hands, with the Kick Return rule change it seems Cribbs may be adding more to his playbook. TE Ben Watson was also solid in the effort as he hauled in 2 catches for 37, and 19 yards respectively. Rookie WR Greg Little quickly became a favourite of McCoy as he grabbed 2 early catches for 20 yards.

PACKERS – Aaron Rodgers didn’t play a whole lot but showed no ill signs when he did finishing the game 6/8 for 74 yards and a TD.

WR Greg Jennings continued his role as a TD machine, bringing in a 21 yard TD pass from Rodgers. Veteran WR Driver also made an appearance, as he caught a 31 yard pass that helped set up the Jennings TD. On a side note, 18 different players caught a pass for Green Bay.

RB James Starks only got 2 carries but made them count going for 13 yards, one more yard than RB Ryan Grant was able to get on his 3 carries.

Carolina Panthers 20 – 10 New York Giants

PANTHERS – QB Cam Newton made his first NFL appearance and showed plenty of signs that he can be a very talented QB in this league. He led his team to a pair of FG’s as he went 8/19 for 134 yards. Though his accuracy wasn’t exactly spectacular, he was effective at moving his team down the field and also showed good potential in his arm strength as he twice completed passes of more than 30 yards; though he did over throw an open WR on a TD pass at one point.

TE Greg Olsen looked great in his playing time; he had 3 catches for 58 yards including a TD grab from backup QB Jimmy Clausen. His other 2 catches came from Cam Newton who seemed to enjoy throwing the ball to Olsen.

The Panthers running game was rather effective for most of the game, DeAngelo Williams had 23 yards on 4 carries, Jonathan Stewart had 12 yards on 2 carries while Mike Goodson was able to rack up 30 yards on 8 carries.

GIANTS – QB Eli Manning didn’t see a lot of game time, but didn’t look particularly good in his time on the field finishing 4/9 for 36 yards while failing to lead his team to a score.

Giants RB’s Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs looked solid as they each broke for a 16 yard run on 5 and 3 carries each respectively.

WR’s Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham were not on the field much allowing 6th year Veteran WR Dominick Hixon to show off as he finished the game with 5 catches for 86 yards.

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who was a very raw player last year, had 2 sacks and showed the growth and potential that has had people talking about him since he joined the club. Pierre-Paul is on pace for a breakout year at DE.

Chicago Bears 10 – 3 Buffalo Bills

BEARS – QB Jay Cutler didn’t play for long and was sacked a bunch of time as his O Line continued to show virtually no signs of improvement. Cutler was on the run early and often as the Bills Defensive line got to know him quite well. Cutler ended the game with only one attempt and completion for 0 yards, also adding 10 yard gain with his feet. Things are looking to be the same this year for Cutler and company, lots of sacks and mistakes that come from not having any time in the pocket. Matt Forte didn’t see a lot of action, instead 3rd year RB Kahlil Bell rushed 13 times for an impressive 74 yards, albeit against Bill backups.

Not much else to talk about in this game due to most of the starters from each team being pulled early. New addition Roy Williams didn’t see a target while Hester, Knox and Bennett were not often used. The Bears also ignored the new rule in which you kickoff from the 35 yard line(30 last year) claiming there Kicker Robbie Gould can easily kick a touchback every time (most can) and that they wanted to see what their coverage was capable of.

BILLS – QB Ryan Fitzpatrick looked solid in his brief playing time going 7/9 for 44 yards before being replaced. RB Fred Jackson saw only 3 touches but was able to gain 18 yards, while CJ Spiller received only 2 carries for 3 yards. Fred Jackson is obviously the more experienced and versatile RB out of the two and will likely be the Bills starter on a weekly basis. Spiller was however, able to add 16 yards with 2 catches.

WR Stevie Johnson the new and unabashed #1 in Buffalo was able to catch 3 balls for 15 yards.

The Bills defence was able to rack up 9 sacks against the weak Chicago Offensive line, including 2 by newcomer Shawn Merriman. (Who also provided us with our first lights out dance as a Bill)

St Louis Rams 33 – 10 Indianapolis Colts

RAMS – Rams Young Gun Sam Bradford was very impressive in his 4 offensive drives, leading his team to 17 points, including a TD pass to TE Lance Kendricks.

New Backup RB Cadillac Williams got 11 carries for 40 yards and a TD in Steven Jackson’s absence while second year RB Keith Toston was able to gain 64 yards on 11 carries.

Most impressive of those who saw significant game time for ST Louis was TE Lance Kendricks who caught a TD to go with his 57 yards as well as Denario Alexander who finished with 3 catches for 43 yards.

The Rams improved secondary was able to jump on the sloppy play of Peyton Manning’s backups and snag 3 INT’s.

K Josh Brown was perfect; going 4/4 on FG’s including a 60 yard bomb and a 53 yarder.

COLTS – Peyton Manning, who hasn’t missed a game in his career didn’t suit up, so nothing to talk about in terms of Colt QB’s.

RB Joseph Addai only saw 1 carry on the day, going for 2 yards, while 3rd year Donald Brown got 4 for 21 yards. Undrafted Free Agent Darren Evans was impressive for the colts receiving 8 carries and going for 52 yards.

WR Pierre Garcon showed more signs of his immense talent as his only catch was a very impressive 41 yarder along the sidelines in which he had to fully extend himself.

Tennessee Titans 14 – 3 Minnesota Vikings

TITANS – In the battle of 2 rookie QB’s, it was the Titans Jake Locker who impressed, Locker finished the game 7/10 for 89 yards, including a 45 yard TD pass. QB Matt Hasselbeck, brought in to help mentor the young Jake Locker was also impressive in his lone drive, going 5/6 for 55 yards.

Chris Johnson obviously did not play as he is still not signed to his team.

4th year WR Yamon Figurs, who was blistering speed hauled in the long TD throw from Locker.

Though he has long been a very consistent and powerful kicker, Rob Bironas missed on a 38 yarder.

VIKINGS – Veteran QB Donavan McNabb, playing a similar role to Matt Hasselbeck started the game well but struggled a bit in the second series before being replaced by QB Joe Webb. McNabb finished 6/11 for 40 yards. Ponder did eventually see game time and was rather effective going 8/13 for 84 yards.

RB Adrian Peterson only saw one carry on the day, going for 3 yards, not much to talk about. In his absence it was 4th year RB Lorenzo Booker who for the bulk of the workload, going for 79 total yards on 9 carries and 3 receptions.

The Vikings offence spread out the ball a lot among backups as many starters were scratches.

Notables: Players who impressed, struggled, or are just trying to make a name.

Looked Good: Jake Locker, Aaron Rodgers, Colt McCoy, Greg Jennings, Josh Brown, Jason Pierre-Paul, Sam Bradford, Lance Kendricks, Greg Olsen.

Struggled: Rob Bironas, Eli Manning, CHI O Line, Jay Cutler.

Looked OK: Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Greg Little, Ben Watson, Donovan McNabb, Matt Hasselbeck, Cadillac Williams, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs.

Trying to establish themselves: Darren Evans, Lorenzo Booker, Yamon Figurs, Pierre Garcon, Keith Toston, Khalil Bell.

Thanks for reading my 3rd installment of preseason breakdowns!!

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2 thoughts on “NFL Preason Thoughts: Games from August 13th 2011

  1. Keep up the good work. I’m not getting enough time to watch the games or study up on them, and your insight is helping me get a good picture of what’s going on.

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