Friday Night NFL Preseason Preview: 5 Things to Watch For
The NFL returned last night with its first full week of 2014 preseason action getting underway, and it’s back again on Friday night in its second day of a three-day onslaught. Six more games grace the schedule on Friday night, as it all gets started when the Dolphins and Falcons face off in Atlanta at 7:00 pm, Eastern.
Some consider the preseason a waste of time, but judging off of last night’s games, we’ve been reminded that there are several reasons to tune into the action. One is the development of rookies, while heated position battles comes in at a close second. The third, and possibly the best, however, is that sometimes we actually get a pretty darn good game of football.
For all of that and the sheer possibility of seeing some greatness, let’s check out the key reasons to tune into Friday’s NFL preseason games:
Michael Sam Makes His Pro Debut
The NFL’s first openly gay athlete will take the field on Friday night, as Michael Sam vies to win a roster spot in the Rams’ deep defensive line rotation. Reports suggest he actually has a fighting chance to lock down the final spot, but he still faces quite a battle. Whether he makes the final cuts or not, he’s already making history be appearing in this game, alone.
Rookie Passers Are Unleashed
We could easily break these guys all down into their own sections, but that’s lazy. If for nothing else, NFL fans (especially fans of the Jaguars, Raiders and Vikings) will want to tune into tonight’s NFL preseason action to see their young franchise passers go to work. Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr aren’t locked into starting roles just yet, but depending on how they fare tonight and through the rest of the preseason, that could change pretty quickly.
Cordarrelle Patterson Will Show His Stuff
It’s doubtful the Vikings completely unveil all the ways they plan on using the explosive second-year wide receiver, but C-Patt is a huge weapon and he’ll surely be involved early in this preseason game. He also can make an impact as a rusher and return man, so keep an eye out to see just how the Vikes plan on using him. He’s surely good for at least one big play.
Jordan Matthews Vies For a Big Role
Matthews is a hot name that’s going to be on watch tonight, as the Eagles’ second round wide receiver is fighting for a starting gig. Riley Cooper (foot) will miss Philly’s first preseason game, which will likely give Matthews the start tonight. If he fares well as a blocker and can make some plays, he could slowly inch closer to leapfrogging Cooper for the #2 wide receiver gig. On a sidenote, Jeremy Maclin makes his first appearance in a game in over a year, as he completes his recovery from a torn ACL.
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