The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Indianapolis Colts 41-10 in the first preseason game of the year. Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger battled for the backup quarterback position, with Eason leading the team to victory.
The jacoby brissett is a quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. Jacoby Brissett had a great preseason debut, going 12 of 18 for 127 yards and a touchdown.
5 p.m. ET
ESPN’s NFL Nation
While the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off the 2021 NFL preseason last week with their Hall of Fame game, the preseason began in earnest this week, with all 32 teams in action.
It began with two games on Thursday, with rookie quarterback Mac Jones leading the New England Patriots to a win against the Washington Football Team in his NFL debut, and 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Friday, three additional games were played, including Jared Goff’s debut as the Detroit Lions quarterback after a trade from the Los Angeles Rams.
With ten games on Saturday, it was a big day. The Denver Broncos defeated the Minnesota Vikings in a homecoming game for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the afternoon. Bridgewater, a first-round selection of the Vikings in 2014, played with Minnesota from 2014 to 2017 and is battling with Drew Lock for the starting job with the Broncos. The NFL’s two newest venues, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, both held their inaugural games with spectators, with the Raiders facing the Seahawks at Allegiant Stadium and the Chargers facing the Rams at SoFi Stadium.
The season came to a close on Sunday in Indianapolis, when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Carolina Panthers. We got a peek at how the Colts might replace Carson Wentz, who is out with an injury, and how Sam Darnold would appear in a Panthers jersey.
PIT-PHI | WSH-NE | BUF-DET DAL-ARI | TEN-ATL | MIA-CHI | DEN-MIN CLE-JAX | NYJ-NYG | NO-BAL | HOU-GB CIN-TB | KC-SF | SEA-LV | LAC-LAR CIN-TB | KC-SF | SEA-LV | LAC-LAR
The game on Sunday
QB Sam Ehlinger of the Indianapolis Colts, who had 155 passing yards and 30 running yards, was a standout performance.
It didn’t matter that the Colts only had two starters in their preseason opener versus Carolina — one offensive and one defensive. If Carson Wentz isn’t ready to start the season, all eyes will be on the quarterback duel between Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger. After Sunday, there is no obvious favorite. Eason finished his playing time by guiding the Colts to a score late in the first half, and Ehlinger led them to a 21-18 win with a mix of his arm and legs. The highlight of Eason’s day came on his last series of the first half, when he executed the two-minute offense. He guided the Colts on a six-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard score by Jordan Wilkins. The game-timing sequence, which featured completions of 47 and 25 yards, was Ehlinger’s finest moment. When Ehlinger showed off his running abilities by retaining the ball on a 2-point conversion, the game was knotted at 18 points. In the closing seconds, Ehlinger utilized the last six minutes of the clock to score the game-winning 30-yard field goal from Eddy Pineiro. Mike Wells’ remark
The next game will be against the Vikings (8 p.m. ET, Saturday)
This is a huge week for quarterbacks, according to coach Matt Rhule. PJ Walker put some space between himself and Will Grier for the backup position during Sunday’s 21-18 defeat in Indianapolis, where Sam Darnold performed well in two joint sessions with the Colts. Walker’s greatest flaw was that he only scored once on three trips within the 20-yard line and four times inside the 30-yard line, which was not a good indication for a club that struggled in similar areas last season. Working with third- and fourth-stringers didn’t bode well for Grier. But Walker obviously has the upper hand, as shown by his 91-yard touchdown throw to rookie tight end Tommy Tremble on the Panthers’ next-to-last series of the first half (3-for-3, 41 yards). Six false starts were made by the offensive line. – Newton, David
The Ravens are the team’s next opponent (7 p.m. ET, Saturday)
The games on Saturday
Bears QB Justin Fields (142 passing yards, one touchdown, 33 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown) was a standout performance.
Before rookie quarterback Justin Fields infused life into Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears’ offense was burn-the-tape awful in the first half, with Miami outgaining Chicago 215 yards to 79. When Fields replaced Andy Dalton in the second quarter, he looked like a rookie (14-of-20 for 142 yards, one score, 33 running yards, one rushing touchdown), but the first-round selection finally got into a rhythm and caught fire after halftime. Fields’ pocket command improved as the game progressed, and when he scrambled, he frequently froze Miami defenders, who were uncertain whether he would throw or take off. Fields’ lightning speed will be a major advantage if he is named the starting quarterback. Fields’ 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter demonstrated his speed, as he skillfully evaded a Miami defender who grabbed at him before sprinting for the score. Is it simply the start of the season? Yes. But did Fields show enough potential to make his NFL debut? Absolutely. Dickerson, Jeff
The Bills are the team’s next opponent (1 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Tua Tagovailoa just committed one error, but it cost him a lot of money. The Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback had a solid preseason game until he tried to thread the needle on a pass to Adam Shaheen in the end zone, which Chicago Bears cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson intercepted. That one blunder, which came on Tagovailoa’s last play of the day, was the one blemish on an otherwise promising performance. Until rookie quarterback Fields got hot after halftime, the 2020 first-round pick was 8-of-11 for 99 yards as Miami’s offense completely outperformed the Bears. Tagovailoa’s finest play was a 50-yard touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki on a wonderfully placed downfield pass. Although the Dolphins’ quarterback situation remains a problem, Tagovailoa made a step in the right way on Saturday. — Dickerson, Jeff
The Falcons are the team’s next opponent (7 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Drew Lock completed 5-of-7 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns; Teddy Bridgewater completed 7-of-8 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.
In the preseason opener, the Denver Broncos wanted to see pace, production, and great choices from quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater as they try to decide on a starter. Coach Vic Fangio has said repeatedly that he hopes the two make it “as difficult a choice as possible.” The Broncos did not punt while the two were in the game, thus they combined for four touchdowns in five drives. It was obvious that the Broncos can succeed on offense with either quarterback, but particularly Lock, when they utilize some of their larger personnel groups, use play-action, and keep the run game alive. Lock was composed in the pocket and, out of a two-back set, found the big play — an 80-yard touchdown pass to KJ Hamler. — Legwold, Jeff
The Seahawks are the team’s next opponent (10 p.m. ET, Saturday)
This is probably how a game would look if 31 players were absent, including 21 starters and many important backups. The Vikings’ depth problems were highlighted more than anything else in Saturday’s defeat. Dakota Dozier, who seemed to be a solid match as a backup guard, was replaced four drives into the game by freshman Wyatt Davis, who was immediately shoved back into quarterback Jake Browning. Minnesota’s linebacker depth, which attracted coach Mike Zimmer’s ire last week, remains deficient. Browning and Kellen Mond, the two quarterbacks that participated, combined for 79 passing yards. The secondary’s backups are still unproven, so the Vikings should be pleased to have signed veterans Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Woods to start. Courtney Cronin (Courtney Cronin)
The Colts are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Browns QB Kyle Lauletta threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cleveland Browns rookies stole the show in their preseason opener against Jacksonville, winning 23-13. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a sack, four receptions by Demetric Felton, and an interception by Richard LeCounte III. JOK and Felton, in particular, as well as first-round selection Greg Newsome II, seem to be important players for the Browns this season. Jake Trotter’s remark
The next game is against the Giants (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Trevor Lawrence had a lackluster debut in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 23-13 defeat to Cleveland at TIAA Bank Field. Lawrence was sacked and fumbled on his first play, failed to lead the offense to any scores in two drives, and sometimes held the ball too long. He did, however, make a few nice passes, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones on third down. Despite being under significant pressure due to poor performances by veteran offensive linemen Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, Lawrence completed 3 of 4 passes in tight windows, which was the highest completion % on narrow-window throws among Jaguars QBs in 2020, according to NFL NextGen Stats. Despite this, Lawrence’s first-team offense was more effective than Gardner Minshew’s. Lawrence accounted for 74 of the Jaguars’ 120 first-half yards and directed the lone drive inside Cleveland territory. — Mike DiRocco is an actor who has been in many films.
The next game is against the Saints (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 23)
Jets QB Zach Wilson (6-of-9 passing, 63 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) was a standout performance.
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In his preseason debut, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson gave the New York Jets precisely what they wanted. He made sound choices, had composure in the pocket, and put up a strong effort (6-for-9, 63 yards).
There were no jaw-dropping, off-balance passes like those that impressed the Jets brass at his BYU pro day. He just stuck to the script and ran the plays as they were called — small steps for the presumed starter. In his only two series, he demonstrated the ability to organize lengthy drives, with 10 and 11 plays respectively. The caveat: He was up against the Giants’ reserve defense, so don’t get too excited. Nonetheless, this was a huge step forward for the Jets’ franchise quarterback. Cimini, Rich
The next game will be against the Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Saturday)
The preseason opener did not alleviate any worries about the offensive line of the New York Giants, who are in Year 8 of their reconstruction. Their three drives were difficult, particularly at the start. On the first drive, left guard Kenny Wiggins fumbled, right tackle Matt Peart gave up a sack, and left tackle Andrew Thomas couldn’t get Carl Lawson out of the backfield. Even though it was against weaker competition, the Giants’ offensive line improved as the season went, which may offer a ray of hope. Right guard Will Hernandez, in particular, showed some encouraging repetitions as a puller on power runs. However, with the season less than a month away, the unit remains a major question mark. Jordan Raanan is a writer.
The Browns are the team’s next opponent (1 p.m. ET, Sunday)
Ravens QB Tyler Huntley (77 yards passing, 43 yards running, 1 touchdown) was a standout performance.
Tyler Huntley grabbed an early lead in the Ravens’ backup quarterback competition, sparking a fourth-quarter rally to give Baltimore its 18th preseason win. Huntley scored the game’s clinching touchdown on a 7-yard run and finished 12-of-16 for 77 yards. Beyond the numbers, Huntley’s athletic abilities are a better match for the Ravens’ system than Trace McSorley, who started in place of Lamar Jackson and was hampered by a back spasm. In his first four drives, McSorley (11-of-18 for 86 yards and one interception) failed to register a first down, and Baltimore only managed three long field goals with him. After employing a total of four quarterbacks last season, the Ravens may retain all three on the 53-man roster. On a difficult night for Baltimore’s patchwork offensive line, which was dealing with another injury, Huntley’s scrambling abilities shone. Bradley Bozeman, the starting center, exited the game in the first half with a right ankle injury. Coach John Harbaugh stated after the game that Bozeman had a “mild ankle strain.” Jamison Hensley (Jamison Hensley)
Next game: Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers (7 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Taysom Hill was the first to take the field. The most spectacular drive came from Jameis Winston, who finished it off with a gorgeous 8-yard touchdown throw to WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey. In a 17-14 defeat to Baltimore, none of the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback candidates really distinguished themselves in the fight to replace Drew Brees, with each of them tossing an interception as part of the team’s total of six turnovers. Hill and receiver Ty Montgomery were anticipating two different routes on a quick read, while Winston’s slightly underthrown long ball to Humphrey bounced out of Humphrey’s hands. However, both quarterbacks produced enough great passes to keep the game competitive going into the second round, with Winston set to start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 23. Triplett, Mike
The Jaguars are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 23)
RB DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans is a standout player. Scottie Phillips rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown on 13 attempts.
Deshaun Watson did not go to Green Bay, so all eyes were on the Texans’ quarterback position for their preseason opener versus the Packers. After Tyrod Taylor completed four of his four throws for 40 yards, rookie Davis Mills took over and completed 11 of 22 passes for 112 yards. Mills had a few of spectacular third-down passes, but he also threw an interception in the red zone and was erratic. Coach David Culley has stressed the significance of the rookie quarterback learning from his errors during training camp. The game against the Dallas Cowboys next week will provide a clearer indication of Mills’ development. While Taylor seems to be the Texans’ clear-cut starting quarterback to begin the 2021 season, the real issue is how long he will stay there. Taylor is in Houston on a one-year contract, and the Texans need to know what they have in their 2021 third-round selection before the draft next year. Sarah Barshop is a writer.
Next game: Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys (8 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Jordan Love’s first NFL start, in any capacity, was just that. It’s not a very good one. It’s not a bad one. But it’s a good place to start. The 2020 first-round draft selection produced one efficient touchdown drive in which he went 6-for-6 for 89 yards, including a 22-yard scoring throw on a screen, despite not seeing any preseason action and never even putting on a game uniform last year as a season-long inactive. He didn’t get much more done, earning just one first down on his six subsequent drives, which totaled only 26 total net yards and 18 plays. Despite this, he went away from Lambeau Field for the first time with a passer rating of 110.4 after just playing the first half. Because Aaron Rodgers isn’t scheduled to participate in either of the next two preseason games, Love could get plenty of action. Demovsky, Rob
The Jets are the team’s next opponent (4:25 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Bengals running back A.J. Green is a standout performer. Jacques Patrick gained 71 yards on 15 carries.
The Cincinnati Bengals have put a tremendous amount of money into their defensive line, using every possible resource. The Bengals signed a major free agent (Trey Hendrickson), extended a rookie contract (Sam Hubbard), and spent midround selections on intriguing prospects (Joseph Ossai, Cam Sample). After a 19-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s obvious that the Bengals should be thrilled about what their pass rush might look like this season.
Early in the game, Hendrickson and Ossai teamed to sack Tom Brady. Ossai was a thorn in the side until he was forced to leave the game due to a right wrist injury. But who was the night’s breakthrough star? Undrafted free agent Darius Hodge. Hodge had 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits. He just made a solid argument to be one of the 53-man roster’s final cuts. It’s only appropriate that Sample’s night finished with a sack. Cincinnati’s pass rush had one of those nights. – Ben Little
The next game will be held in Washington (8 p.m. ET, Friday)
The Buccaneers’ defense has four interceptions. Fumbles were recovered by inside linebackers Lavonte David and K.J. Britt, as well as safety Javonte Hagan. Then, in the fourth quarter, inside linebacker Joe Jones picked off Kyle Shurmur, setting up a successful two-point conversion from rookie quarterback Kyle Trask to tight end Codey McElroy in the end zone. While it was the highlight of Trask’s debut, first-round outside linebacker Joe Tryon’s debut was highlighted by a sack that was penalized for unnecessary roughness. The call itself was dubious, but Tryon’s disturbance throughout the night was not. However, the defense missed far too many tackles, while the offense had far too many drops. Jenna Laine is a writer who lives in New York City.
versus. Titans is the next game (7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Chiefs QB Shane Buechele (8-of-11 passing, 73 yards, 1 run TD) was a standout performance.
Despite the fact that the starting offensive line only saw a few possessions against the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs had cause to be optimistic. The offensive line, which had five new starters from last season, including three rookies, performed well, despite facing a defensive opponent that was missing several of its best players. Last season, the Chiefs struggled to run the ball in short-yardage and goal-line situations, but they did it twice early in the season, once on third-and-2 and once on third-and-1. In addition to rookie center Creed Humphrey, right guard Trey Smith, and right tackle Lucas Niang, the Chiefs have a left tackle in Orlando Brown Jr. who is attempting to establish himself at his new position. Adam Teicher’s remark
The Cardinals will play the next game at home (8 p.m. ET, Friday)
Trey Lance’s preseason debut included much of the positive and negative aspects of his first NFL training camp, as well as a glimpse into why the Niners have been hesitant to label it a full-fledged battle between Lance and starter Jimmy Garoppolo. On his second throw attempt, he threw a powerful, accurate long ball to wideout Trent Sherfield, who scored an 80-yard touchdown. Lance demonstrated the ability to go through his progressions fast and get the ball to the correct spot. He did, however, miss a few attempts, take four sacks, and throw two passes that were almost intercepted. Overall, that was about what you’d expect from an enticing prospect who hadn’t played in 315 days and has never played in the NFL. Next week, the 49ers will go to Los Angeles for joint practices with the Chargers, which will be another important test for Lance. Nick Wagoner is a writer.
Next game: Chargers at Chargers (7:30 p.m. ET, Sunday)
QB Nathan Peterman of the Raiders, who completed 29 of 39 passes for 246 yards, was a standout performance.
Derek Carr would not be playing in the preseason opener, as we already know. Marcus Mariota and recently signed Case Cookus were also questioned after he missed practice this week due to a leg issue. But Nathan Peterman, the third-string quarterback, for the whole game, except for one snap? He only completed 29 of 39 passes for 246 yards and an interception, but he may have shown enough grit to make the Raiders comfortable with him as Carr’s backup if the appropriate trade offer for Mariota comes up. Alternatively, Peterman might have placed himself up for sale. After all, he has experience as a starter in the NFL, even if he did struggle with Buffalo in 2017. The player who faced Seattle in Las Vegas’ 20-7 win seemed considerably more assured, calm, and polished. Gutierrez, Paul
The next game will be played at the Rams (10 p.m. ET, Saturday)
The Seahawks’ general manager, John Schneider, said before the game that he doesn’t want to offer left tackle Duane Brown a new deal this year. What transpired in the following hours did little to discourage Brown from believing he deserved one.
Stone Forsythe played three quarters and had the sort of shaky night that a rookie sixth-round selection making his NFL debut would anticipate. Geno Smith, who started as quarterback in place of Russell Wilson and the rest of the No. 1 offense, suffered a concussion in the first quarter after taking a heavy hit. If Cedric Ogbuehi or Jamarco Jones were healthy right now, they’d be at left tackle, so Forsythe isn’t necessarily the Seahawks’ backup if Brown is so adamant about getting a contract that he’ll miss regular-season games if he doesn’t get one. However, from a Pro Bowler like Brown to any backup, there would be a significant drop-off. In any case, the Seahawks must hope that it does not come to that. Brady Henderson’s quote
vs. Broncos is the next game (10 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Chargers OT is a standout performer. Slater, Rashawn 0 QB pressures allowed in 21 plays
Last season, the Los Angeles Chargers’ special teams were a catastrophe, and now that Derius Swinton has been hired as the new special teams coach, it’s obvious they still have some issues to sort out. The Chargers were penalized for 12 men on the field on one punt return. They only had 10 players on another team, but they got away with it when KJ Sails arrived just in time. However, they seem to have their kicker issue under control, at least for the time being. In the first half, former 49er Tristan Vizcaino made two field goals of 21 and 38 yards, but last season’s starter Michael Badgley kicked the extra point on Darius Bradwell’s 1-yard touchdown run. Shelley Smith says:
The 49ers are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Sunday)
For the fourth straight preseason, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay has decided not to play starters, and this year even several important rotational players and backups have been kept on the bench. Tutu Atwell, a rookie wide receiver, had plenty of chances to show his worth in a 13-6 defeat to the Chargers on Saturday night. Atwell, a second-round selection from Louisville who spent much of training camp on the reserve/COVID-19 list, caught two receptions for 21 yards, but his quickness in the return game was even more remarkable. Although Atwell blasted through the coverage for a lengthy punt return, it was called back due to a penalty. Raymond Calais, a second-year pro running back, also made a case for himself as a returner by showing his speed on a 46-yard punt return. Next Saturday, the young Rams competing for special teams assignments and roster slots will have another opportunity to show their worth. Thirty —Lindsey
versus. Raiders is the next game (10 p.m. ET, Saturday)
The games on Friday
Devin Singletary of the Bills was a standout performer with 48 total yards and a touchdown.
This season, the Bills will experiment with their defensive line personnel. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, two veteran defensive ends, did not participate, allowing youngsters Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham to receive plenty of playing time. Buffalo’s most intriguing lineup had Rousseau and 2020 second-round selection AJ Epenesa on the edge, with Basham and Efe Obada at defensive tackle, causing havoc in Detroit’s backfield right away. The defensive line was the Bills’ main focus this summer, and the early results are promising. — Louis-Jacques Marcel
The next game will be against the Bears (1 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Despite a tough opening drive for new quarterback Jared Goff, he was able to finish the first quarter strong. In limited action, Goff completed 7 of 9 passes for 56 yards with Tyrell Williams and rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown emerging as his primary targets, both catching two passes in the opening quarter. Goff helped engineer an 18-play drive to five different receivers, which is something he’s never done in his regular-season or playoff career with the Los Angeles Rams, per ESPN Stats & Information. He completed 7 of 8 passes on that particular drive to five different receivers, capped by a Lions field goal. — Eric Woodyard
The Steelers are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Matt Prater of the Cardinals was the standout performance, making 4-of-4 field goals, including the game-winning field goal from 47 yards.
Connor Williams did not help himself against the Cardinals if the Cowboys are having a center battle and aren’t telling anybody. He started at center over Tyler Biadasz and had two bad shotgun snaps in the first two drives, which may have led to a delay of game penalty. Williams had some problems with his snaps early in camp, but with more experience, he was able to overcome them. The Cowboys may go with their “best five” up front, with Williams or Biadasz at center, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. At left guard, it might be a battle between Williams and Connor McGovern right now. Todd Archer is a writer.
The Texans are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Despite the fact that it was a preseason game against a mediocre defense, Cardinals second-round selection Rondale Moore played up to his hype. Throughout his 21 plays, he demonstrated his speed, quickness, and ability to catch and run. Moore was used in a variety of situations, including jet sweeps, short passes, and deep balls. He was able to create under any circumstance. If this is any indication of what to expect from him this season, he might be one of the Cardinals’ most explosive offensive players. Josh Weinfuss (@JoshWeinfuss)
The Chiefs are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Friday)
Titans linebacker Rashad Weaver was a standout performance with 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits, and 1 PD.
The Titans needed to increase their sack total after finishing with just 19 last season. Rashad Weaver, a rookie outside linebacker, was one of the guys brought in to assist in that area. Coach Mike Vrabel said Weaver was one of the guys he was most looking forward to watching, and the Titans’ first preseason game saw Weaver finish with a tackle for a loss and a half-sack in limited action. The Titans’ pass rush dominated the Falcons’ backfield, resulting in four sacks. Next week, a much improved unit will put the pass rush to the test during joint practices with the Buccaneers, followed by the second preseason game on Saturday. Turron Davenport (Turron Davenport)
Buccaneers’ next game is on the road (7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Since before training camp, the Falcons’ greatest question mark has been at left guard. Josh Andrews, who joined the club from the Jets in the summer, seemed to have the upper hand throughout the duration of camp. The Falcons must now find a solution at the position. Andrews had a difficult game, and as one of the few possible starters to see action, Atlanta must keep up the pressure. Perhaps Drew Dalman, who started at center against Tennessee after working at guard, will re-enter the battle, or the club may turn to Jalen Mayfield, who has spent camp at right tackle. Next to left tackle Jake Matthews and center Matt Hennessy, whomever plays left guard will always look superior (neither played Friday). Michael Rothstein is a writer and producer.
The Dolphins are the team’s next opponent (7 p.m. ET, Saturday)
The games on Thursday
Dwayne Haskins of the Steelers was a standout performance, completing 16 of 22 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown.
In the Steelers’ victory against the Eagles, Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph won this round of the preseason backup quarterback battle. Haskins threw for 161 yards and a score on 16 of 22 passing attempts. Two additional touchdown drives and a field goal drive were organized by him. Haskins had times when he looked like the Washington Football Team’s first-round quarterback, such as when he threaded the needle to Cody White for an 18-yard gain just before the two-minute warning, but he also threw shaky passes, flew shots, and seemed sluggish in his decision-making. Rudolph completed 8 of 9 passes for 77 yards, but two holding penalties against Pat Freiermuth and Trai Turner, as well as a 10-yard sack, stymied potential drives. The backup quarterback competition is far from finished, but Haskins accomplished something Rudolph hasn’t: he got the ball into the end zone on Thursday. — Brooke Pryor is an actress who plays Brooke Pryor.
The Lions are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday)
Jalen Hurts completed 3-of-7 passes for 54 yards (7.7 yards per attempt) and a 69.9 quarterback rating in two series. The most important thing for coach Nick Sirianni to see was an improvement in Hurts’ rhythm throws, which he did, mostly getting the ball out on time and with precision, especially on the opening series. Hurts had a couple of drops and missed a long pass to Quez Watkins that might have been a touchdown, but it was a solid preseason start for him, and he’ll try to improve on it when the Eagles face the Patriots next Thursday. Watkins, meanwhile, continues to press for a bigger position in the offense. On a throw from Joe Flacco late in the first quarter, he showed off his jets with a 79-yard catch-and-run. Watkins has been the Eagles’ offensive star this summer, and if he keeps it up, he may wind up in the starting lineup. — McManus, Tim
The Patriots are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Thursday)
Patriots K is a standout performer. Quinn Nordin was 3-for-3 from the field with a 50-footer.
Cam Newton began the first two series and led one field goal drive before being replaced by Mac Jones, who played the next five series (two FG drives). Newton went 4-of-7 for 49 yards and didn’t have any assistance on the first drive when LT got injured. On third down, Isaiah Wynn fumbled against DE Chase Young, putting Newton in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Jones’ finest pass was an incompletion, a lovely long ball to WR Kristian Wilkerson in the end zone that slipped through Wilkerson’s fingertips. Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards while generally commanding the line of scrimmage. Newton remains the starter, according to Bill Belichick, but Jones has a chance to fight for the position if he proves he’s ready. It’s possible that the distance between them is shrinking quicker than Belichick expected. — Reiss, Mike
The Eagles are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Thursday)
End of the defense Chase Young had a great year in 2020, and he’s off to a great start this year. When he rounded the corner and pressed Cam Newton in what seemed to be a sack, he forced an incompletion. Young also earned a holding penalty on a run and was in a fantastic position to defend a screen due to his fast diagnosis. Young also used his speed to make a great stop on a second-and-20 run; he was stopped inside by the tight end on the play, but Young swiftly got past him when the play moved to the outside. Young dropped the back for a 3-yard gain when he cut up. He demonstrated a wide range of abilities, including the ability to win on the edge, awareness on the screen, and hustle to limit the gain to a minimum. He creates flash plays as well as a slew of little ones that add up to a huge difference. ‘John Keim’
The Bengals are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Friday)
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