Saturday Night NFL Preseason Recap: Heeeeere’s Johnny!
Saturday night brought another four NFL games to the schedule to help complete the first full week of NFL preseason action. All eyes were understandably on Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, however, as cameras and commentators gawked over his every move. Heck, even his kneel down to end the first half was highly documented.
In the end, it was an encouraging debut by Manziel, as he scampered for a nice 16-yard run and threw several nice passes. He made few glaring mistakes and also led the Browns on a scoring drive. Overall, he was adequate for a normal player, but borderline impressive for a rookie playing with a scrub B team.
If Manziel gets a shot with the first team next week on Monday Night Football, we could see a massive upgrade in production. Regardless, last night’s findings were at the very least encouraging.
Saturday wasn’t all about Johnny Football, though. There were several other things worth noting. Here’s four of them:
The Texans Might Be in Trouble
Jadeveon Clowney made his debut and showed us two things: he’s going to be a force past the line of scrimmage, but he might be a true liability in coverage. He was a mixed bag, but was also exciting to watch.
That’s where the good news ends. All of Houston’s quarterbacks looked bad, but veteran passer Ryan Fitzpatrick was especially dreadful, as he tossed two picks to no touchdowns in an entire first half of play. It’s just one preseason game, but if last night was any indication, Fitzpatrick is in for as long season.
That Dri Archer Kid is Fast
Archer is one of the smallest players in the league in both height and stature, but it’s quite clear he’s also one of the fastest. The Steelers made sure to put his explosiveness on full display right away on Saturday night, as they set him up on a screen and let him dance 46 yards across the field. Archer exhibited elite quickness, top level speed and excellent change of direction ability on the play. It’s unclear what his exact role will be, but his mere presence is going to have defenses worried in 2014. He’s a potential game-changer.
Rashad Jennings is Better Than We Thought
Jennings came on strong in the second half of last season, but with most of his production coming against bad defenses at the time, projecting glory for him in 2014 was difficult to do. It’s time to reevaluate. Jennings had his second solid showing in a row, and included a 73-yard touchdown run to his preseason highlight reel. Despite losing David Wilson (neck) this off-season, it looks like the New York Giants will be just fine at running back this year.
Two rookies had brutal showings in their first ever preseason contests, as Packers wide receiver Davante Adams and Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant both had nights to forget. Adams did have the excuse of playing in the rain, but still lost two fumbles, while Bryant had a trifecta, as he dropped a pass, muffed a punt and also lost a fumble. It will be hard for both rookies to play worse next week.
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