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Breaking Down Five Important Things We Learned Week 1 Of The NFL Preseason

Posted by on 8/17/2015 9:16:04 PM

The NFL returned with a bang with 16 preseason games spread over four days and while the games don’t actually count in the standings they still do mean something as teams prepare for the regular season. Here is a look at five things we learned from Week 1 of the NFL preseason.

Rookie Quarterbacks Need Time

Maybe we already knew that rookie quarterbacks need time to adjust to the NFL game including the speed of it in particular but we got another reminder this week with this year’s top two NFL Draft picks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota both struggling out of the gate in their preseason debuts. Winston was intercepted and hit several times early on in his debut but he finished strong with five straight completions and he finished 9-for-19 with 131. Meanwhile, Mariota was picked off on his first drive and then had a fumble returned for a touchdown on his second drive but he bounced back to lead a touchdown drive and finished 7-for-8 for 94 yards. One interesting storyline to keep an eye on is the position both players are in as Winston appears to be the unquestioned No. 1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Mariota will have to hold off Zach Mettenberger for the starting job with the Tennessee Titans. Mettenberger completed 8-of-11 passes for 129 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Week 1 of the NFL preseason and a lot will be made of the competition between he and Mariota this preseason to determine who will start Week 1 of the regular season.

Ravens Offense Is On The Rise

The Baltimore Ravens have spent the last seven seasons looking for more consistency from their passing game under head coach John Harbaugh and they seem to have finally found the offensive coordinator that can get them where they need to be in former Chicago Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman. The Ravens still ran the football against the New Orleans Saints but they also efficiently moved the ball through the air as Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub and Bryn Renner combined for 255 passing yards and a game-winning drive that ended with two seconds left in the fourth quarter. Trestman will be expected to find the optimal balance between the run and pass and a 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints was a strong indication that group is headed in the right direction.

Giants Offense Still In Trouble

A lot has been made about Eli Manning and where he stands among the top quarterbacks in the NFL over the last two seasons and anybody that watched the New York Giants preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals wouldn’t have been inspired by it. Manning completed 4-of-8 passes for 22 yards and led the offense to only a single first down and while nobody will put too much stock in to it the reality is this unit has really struggled despite some considerable talent over the past couple of seasons. Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen make up a quality cast of weapons around Manning but the offensive line play needs to be better and so does the quarterback. The Giants are reportedly very far from reaching a new deal with the two-time Super Bowl champion and while they have time to turn things around Manning and company still have a lot of work to do to get the offense on track for Week 1 of the regular season.

The Bengals Can Run The Football

The Cincinnati Bengals increased the emphasis on rushing the football last season and as a result they ranked sixth in the NFL with an average of 134.2 yards per game on the ground. It’s no secret that Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard represent one of the most dynamic running back duos in the NFL but they weren’t the only two players that did damage in last week’s preseason game against the Giants. Cincinnati registered 225 rushing yards in that game and the biggest surprise was the depth play at the position as James Wilder Jr. and Terrell Watson combined for 105 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Both players will have a tough time even cracking the team’s roster and it’s more proof and that is more proof that the Bengals know how to find underrated running backs that can move the football on the ground.

Seahawks Have A Secret Weapon

The Seattle Seahawks reloaded this past offseason with the addition of Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in particular standing out but we learned this week that they have a secret weapon that hasn’t been talked about enough. Rookie third-round pick Tyler Lockett was an absolute beast returning kicks and punts against the Denver Broncos including a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Seattle is high on Lockett both as a return man and a receiver and our first look at the former Kansas State burner provided proof that he could be the Seahawks secret weapon.


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