The hall of fame game last week signified the start of the NFL season. However last night was the first week of preseason football. We got to see all of the fresh-faced, wet behind the ears, eager rookies play their first preseason snaps in the NFL. Here are some of the impressions I had on the games as well as who starred for each team.
New York Jets
The Jets ultimately lost to the Giants 31-22, but it’s a game that will give Jets fans something to smile about. Their quarterback of future Sam Darnold looked impressive on his only drive of the game, taking the team 75 yards in 7 plays for the opening score. Darnold threw for 68 yards to 3 different receivers whilst virtually having to deal with no pressure. His confidence at the line of scrimmage and movement in the pocket will have Jets fans wanting more. Especially considering this was all done without Le’Veon Bell. Although kicker Chandler Cantenzero missed two extra points so he needs to get his act together.
New England Patriots
In a blowout 31-3 win over the Detroit Lions, the standout groups for the Patriots were the defensive line and the wide receivers. The defensive line looked like a tornado blowing through Michigan, racking up nine sacks and helping the team allow just 98 total yards. Second-round pick Chase Winovich looked great on a sack in the third quarter. The wide receivers looked like the lighting to the defensive line’s thunder. First-round pick N’Keal Harry had two outstanding catches before going off injured. However, it was undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers who stole the spotlight with 6 receptions for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Before the game, all the talk was about Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick competing for the starting quarterback position. However, it was wide receiver Preston Williams who made the biggest impression last night. He looked like a man amongst boys, hauling in 4 catches for 97 yards on the day. Standing at 6ft 5inch, the Dolphins might have found their red-zone target of the future in this rookie from Colorado State. Both Rosen and Fitzpatrick had their ups and downs so their battle will continue for another week of the preseason at least.
Second-year quarterback Josh Allen looked rusty on his two drives last night. He made some good throws to Cole Beasley, reminded us of his underrated scrambling ability but missed on a few throws and took a bad sack. However, it Buffalo’s running backs who had the best plays of the night. Former FAU star Devin Singletary had a strong game for the Bills with 27 receiving yards and 21 rushing yards. It was the former rugby star from England, Christian Wade who had the biggest play of the game. He took his first handoff in the NFL 65 yards for a touchdown, causing the entire Bills bench to clear in celebration. It was a great moment for Wade and for NFLUK who look to have a new star in the making.
Image from www.nbcsports.com
Alex Riley is a 49ers fan who’s followed the game since 2010, He’s currently at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Twitter at @NFLRiley and his blog at www.rileynfl.wordpress.com