Saturday Night NFL Recap: 5 Things We Learned
Another night of solid NFL action is in the books, as we inch closer to the conclusion of the third week of the 2014 preseason. Naturally, that gets us one step closer to that decisive third week, when teams start revealing finalized starting lineups and rotations.
The next step comes just two weeks later, when the real thing hits our TV screens. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. There was a lot to take out of Saturday night’s NFL games. Let’s break down the top six things we learned:
Teddy Bridgewater Closes the Gap
Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles have been getting the love recently, but now it’s Bridgewater’s turn. Following a shaky week one debut, Bridgewater was on top of his game on Saturday night, as he connected on 16 of 20 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. It was a fantastic showing, but Bridgewater is still neck and neck with Matt Cassel, who held serve with a good outing of his own. This battle should continue through next week, at the very least.
Michael Sam Might Belong in the NFL
Sam was okay in week one last week, but turned it on a bit on Saturday night, as he tallied two tackles and his first sack as a pro. You could probably put a lot of the blame on Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn for not throwing the ball away, but to Sam’s credit he showed good power and pursuit on the play. If he can finish the preseason in strong fashion, he just might have a shot at sticking with the Rams as the first ever gay active NFL player.
Falcons’ Pass Protection Takes a Hit
Atlanta made some major strides during the offseason with their pass protection, as they added some bodies and got some back thanks to good health. That took a nasty turn last night, however, as left tackle Sam Baker suffered a torn patellar tendon in his knee. Baker is going to miss the entire 2014 regular season, which should thrust tookie stud tackle Jake Matthews to Matt Ryan’s blind side.
Giants Passing Attack Looking Weak
The New York Giants made moves across the board to liven up a lethargic passing game during the offseason. So far, it hasn’t worked. Eli Manning was pathetic with the starters, going just one for seven with the first team, while Curtis Painter also started one for seven before finishing six of 15. Ryan Nassib was easily the best Giants passer on the night, which is about all we need to know about just how bad is it in New York right now.
Ray Rice, Isaiah Pead, Jeremy Hill and Sammy Watkins were some other names besides Baker that got shook up last night, although Pead is the only one of significance. Watkins, Hill and Rice are all reportedly “fine”, while Pead is feared to have a torn ACL.
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