NFL Preseason: Week 1

Recapping Some Notable Performances

by Mike Valverde (@RFLRedZone)

Buccaneers vs Steelers

Jameis Winston drove the Buccaneers offense to a touchdown on the opening possession. Winston went 5-for-6 for 40 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin.

James Washington looks like he is making a case for the WR2 behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. Washington was able to haul in 84 yards on four catches, with a touchdown. He also almost had a second TD, as he laid out – but was out-of-bounds in the corner of the end zone. The touchdown came on an over the shoulder pass from his college teammate Mason Rudolph.

Vikings vs Saints

Kirk Cousins and rookie Alexander Mattison had solid games for Minnesota. Cousins connected on all four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a 1 yard score to third round draft choice Mattison. The rookie can handle a large load, as he did as a Bronco for Boise State. Mattison should be a nice hand-cuff to Dalvin Cook.

Bills vs Colts

Josh Allen completed just over half his passes (6-for-11, 66 yards). He did bomb it out four times, and completed one. Rookie Devin Singletary had a sweet double dip of 27 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards. Singletary faces competition in LeSean McCoyFrank Gore, and T.J. Yeldon, but he is a PPR stud in the making.

Jets vs Giants

Sam Darnold looks good. In his only drive of the day, Darnold was good on four of five passes for 68 yards, and a touchdown to Jamison Crowder. Darnold moved well in the pocket to buy time, while scanning for his second and third read. His first pass was almost an interception, so there’s still that.

Daniel Jones also looked good. Jones was calm and poised for his first NFL game. He only had one series, but was perfect on five passes resulting in 67 yards and a score. The rookie quarterback was able to get throws into tight windows.

Browns vs Redskins

Baker Mayfield seems to be one of those quarterbacks that can get the job done, no matter who is on the field with him. In his only drive, Mayfield completed five of six attempts for 77 yards, and a touchdown to Rashard Higgins – a 21 yard frozen rope down the middle to “Hollywood” for the score. Mayfield was comfortable riding the offense without either Beckham or Landry. The second year quarterback looks aggressive and masterful of the hurry-up offense, as the Browns scored in just 2 minutes and 13 seconds, going 89-yards.

Patriots vs Lions

N’Keal Harry caught two passes against the Lions by using his size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and physicality. However, he did limp off the field. Harry’s injury does not seem to be severe, and could only cost him practice time according to Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. Harry has been outplayed by Jakobi Myers in camp according to Michael Giardi of NFL Network.

Dolphins vs Falcons

Josh Rosen made up some ground on Ryan Fitzpatrick being the starter in week one. However, Rosen still needs some improvement in understanding the offense. Rosen finished the game completing 13 passes for 191 yards on 20 attempts. He also threw an interception. While Fitzpatrick got the start and finished with two completions on five attempts for 20 yards.

Titans vs Eagles

It might not be long before Ryan Tannehill becomes the starter for Tennessee. He was sharp in his first game as a Titan. Tannehill threw for 130 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 12 of 16 attempts. He connected for 19 yards with Kalif Raymond, who is having an excellent camp, and also found Anthony Firkser for his second score of the game. A third to Taywan Taylor almost occurred but, Taylor dropped the pass in the end zone.

Jaguars vs Ravens

Rookie running back Ryquell Armstead was productive. Armstead is the Jaguars fourth round selection and backup to Leonard Fournette. Armstead was able to show some elusiveness while being physical by breaking tackles. The bruising running back finished with a modest 22 yards on eight carries.

Lamar Jackson was excellent, as he showed poise and was able to be a dangerous quarterback, not with his legs but in the pocket. Something he struggled with last season. Jackson completed four of his six attempts for 59-yards and one score. Jackson did not run once. His best throw was to Chris Moore, on a pass he would have overthrown last year. The second year quarterback led the Ravens to two scores on his first three possessions.

Cardinals vs Chargers

Kyler Murray looked like a veteran. He was calm and relaxed when escaping pressure, which he will be under a lot of this year. He clearly resembles Russell Wilson, making pass plays on the run. Murray was sharp and efficient throwing for 44 yards on six completions, hitting receivers all over the field.

Chiefs vs Bengals

Patrick Mahomes did not look any different than he did in 2018. Mahomes hit Travis Kelce on the first pass of the game for a long gain, and then went on to march the Chiefs into the end zone. Mahomes was perfect on his four attempts for 66-yards, and a rush of 10. Mecole Hardman showed some electricity when he scored on a shuffle pass from Kyle Shurmur, and went 17 yards for the score. The second round pick finished with two catches for 31 yards.

Andy Dalton was also on fire to start his opening drive in first year head coach Zach Taylor’s offense. The “Red-Rifle” lead Cincinnati on a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Impressive was Dalton’s ability to convert on a couple of third downs, and be successful without A.J. GreenJoe Mixon, and Giovani Bernard. Dalton finished the game 7 of 9 attempts, for 80 yards.

Rams vs Raiders

Darrell Henderson was disappointing versus the Raiders. Henderson, a third rounder, was tackled for a pair of significant losses, and could only manage a meager 13 yards on six carries. The Rams want to lean on Henderson a lot, especially if Todd Gurley’s knee flares up. This was not the look they were hoping to get.

Cowboys vs 49ers

Rookie Tony Pollard had one drive for the Cowboys, and made the most of it by running four times for 16 yards.

Who did I miss? What were some of your takeaways from Week 1 of the Preseason? Drop them in the comments below!

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