By: LaShawn Encarnacion (aka The Dark Knight of Sports)
Yeah yeah we know its preseason of the NFL. All the more reason because picking apart the early mistakes is what the teams are doing as well, to weed out those players who will not make the 53-man roster that goes into the regular season.
So lets breakdown some week one good, bad and ugly shall we.
Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor:
The fifth-year quarterback continues to impress the coaches as he went 5-for-8 for for 49 yards an additional 47 yards rushing on six carries. On a team that is coached by Rex Ryan, a quarterback who can limit mistakes and know when to run is essential. While starting quarterback E.J. Manuel found the end-zone in the first preseason game, all the talk is about Tyrod Taylor, so much so that Ryan has already said Taylor is starting Week 2 at Cleveland.
Cincinnati Bengals offense:
Head coach Marvin Lewis mentioned in an interview with NFL.com how he loved having the inter-squad practices with the Giants. He mentioned that his quarterback Andy Dalton could get some pointers from a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback in Eli Manning. Well the preseason game proved that Dalton’s tutoring paid off as he bested the former champion. 3-for-3 for 31 yards and a touchdown to Eli Manning’s 4-for-8 for just 22 yards. Both the first team AND second team offenses of the Bengals had their way with the Giants defense, scoring 17 points by halftime and moving the ball at will. Just shows the value of bringing in new Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson truly is.
Chicago Bears Defense:
If you ask ANY Bears fan, “What would help the Bears get to the playoffs?” Most will say one answer, “Get turnovers and capitalize.” Well if their game against the Miami Dolphins is ANY indication, then the Bears are growling loud and proud once more. Bears defense created three interceptions against second and third string quarterbacks. Sam Acho had one of those and also had himself a sack to go with it. Malcolm Bronson and J. Timu are the other two players who recorded an interception.
The other good for the Bears is their back up running back Senorise Perry who rumbled for 89 yards on just 10 carries and a touchdown. This six-foot 189 lb kid is low to the ground and difficult to bring down on the first hit. Looks to be a solid compliment to Matt Forte.
Ok so much for the sugar, now lets get to the sour that is the BAD.
The New York Giants offense:
When you get a 70-yard return and the ball is on the oppositions side of the field, in the GOLD ZONE, you should be able to get at least three points IF NOT six. Well the Giants went back to their inefficient ways as they just could not find the end zone with their starting offense. New system, new offensive coordinator, SAME exact results. All the hype this year was the Giants were going to breakout, that because Eli Manning would have BOTH Victor Cruz AND Odell Beckham Jr. the Giants fans were going to see the resurrection of the GOOD Eli Manning, the one who people were talking as elite. Yes it is STILL early but this problem has been a problem for several seasons now.
The New York Jets franchise:
If wide receiver Brandon Marshall would have known how the Jets were going to be BEFORE being traded to them, would he have accepted another deal? Without question the Jets this year is the most dysfunctional franchise. Started with the arrest and suspension of defensive end Sheldon Richardson, then the hamstring injury to fellow defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, to the broken face of Geno Smith and now just three points by their offense against the Lions. Jets have a journeyman at quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick and a rookie in Bryce Petty and reports from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com are saying that journeyman quarterback Matt Flynn will be brought in for a physical. Truly a dysfunctional team by every sense of the word … and its just week one.
Enough of the sour, lets get to the parody that is the UGLY.
Cannot start the ugly portion with addressing INJURIES.
Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul. Was primed for a breakout season. Coaches were raving and RGIII was loving the face he had his favorite target back. Then comes week one of the preseason and against the Browns, Paul blew out his knee and that ended his season before it even began.
In Jacksonville, tight end Julius Thomas suffered an injury that will keep him out the rest of the preseason. In Philly, the Eagles will be without tight end Zack Ertz as he recovers from a hand injury. BOTH players scheduled to return for regular season openers.
Now I am not saying to cancel preseason games. What I will say is that the body needs to get use to the contact and that there is not enough practice time to do so. Under the new CBA, less contact time is leading to more injuries during the preseason, which leads to the final bad, more contact = more durability for players. Its a proven fact.
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