All 32 teams were in action on Thursday as we finally wrap up the games that don’t count. While those bubble players are fighting for roster spots, head coaches are just hoping to get out without anyone getting hurt.
1. Giants get bit hard by the injury bug
Andre Brown doesn’t just add depth to Big Blue’s backfield, he was expected to play a role in the regular offense. But just after the two-minute warning in the first half, Brown broke his leg. On a meaningless play during a meaningless game. Why was he even in there?
“I wanted him to have a number of snaps because quite frankly he needed to play better than he did the week before,” head coach Tom Coughlin told the New York Daily News. “There’s two guys at that spot. David got basically the first quarter.
“Andre got few third downs there. And he was playing to get his number of snaps.”
Listen, there’s nobody to blame for this situation. This is football and things happen, but it still stings. But here is some good news:
Andre Brown said “It’s not that bad of a break. Just a tiny crack. … Not that serious. … No surgery.” # NYG
2. Terrelle Pryor won’t win the starting job … yet
Terrelle Pryor had a golden opportunity at his fingertips. With Matt Flynn out this week with elbow tendinitis, all Pryor had to do was play like a quarterback who oozes upside in the Raiders’ finale against the Seahawks and he’d likely win the job. That didn’t quite happen Thursday night.
Pryor played the entire first half and only completed 3 of 8 passes for 31 yards. Pryor also threw an interception and was sacked twice. Where he did catch the eyes of his coaching staff was his ability to extend plays outside the pocket and move the chains on the ground, finishing with 48 yards on three carries.
Although Pryor looks like he has the higher ceiling of Flynn, it’s likely that the Raiders give Flynn the job out of the gate and if/when he underwhelms the second-year quarterback will be the answer.
3. Hey, Matt Simms can play some football, but the Jets still don’t have a starting QB
Sure, he’s another in a long line of Simms quarterbacks (Father Phil and brother Chris) and he was thrown to the wolves against the Eagles on Thursday. But lo and behold, young Matt did some solid things.
He led four scoring drives, completing 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards. On a side note, it’s funny how the Jets chose the final preseason game to open up their passing attack. But I digress …
But the real question is, who will be under center when the Jets start the regular season? Mark Sanchez is currently laid up with a bruised shoulder and USA Today reported that rookie Geno Smith hasn’t been told that he’ll start the opener.
So … what’s the deal? It’s probably just Rex Ryan keeping his cards close to the vest, because with Sanchez injured, it’s highly likely Geno gets the start despite his dreadful performance in the third preseason game.
Geno Smith: “Whether or not I’m ready, we’ll find out on gameday and I think I’ll be ready for it.” #nyj
He’s been the butt-end of some jokes during his time in the NFL. He’s bounced around, too … the Panthers are his third team. But all those thinking he was done after being ditched by the 49ers this offseason better think again. He already returned one kick for a touchdown this preseason and on Thursday night, he exploded.
The 28-year-old Ginn pulled down 5 catches for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns as Carolina took down Pittsburgh for a 25-10 win.
Rock on, Teddy!
5. Quinton Patton might be the Niners’ No. 2 wide receiver
Ever since Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon in May, the 49ers have been searching for a wide receiver to complement Anquan Boldin. They might finally have their guy.
Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton has dazzled in preseason play and hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick against the Chargers.
Patton put a nice move on cornerback Marcus Cromartie for the score. The 49ers clearly got a steal in Patton, selecting him in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Let’s see if he can turn some heads once the regular season starts.
6. Lions put an absolute drubbing on the Bills
Some people don’t watch preseason games because they don’t affect the regular season standings. That’s ridiculous. If you want to get a good barometer of the team’s overall talent, watch their number twos and threes play. The level of intensity from the starters spills onto these players and clearly the Lions have some under-the-radar weapons.
Theo Riddick, a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame, really showed his value in the passing game hauling in two Kellen Moore touchdown passes.
Backup quarterback Shaun Hill also had an admirable showing completing 4 of 5 passes for 69 yards and dicing up the Bills’ secondary for 2 touchdowns. This was a far cry from his counterpart Matt Leinart, who started the game for Buffalo and stunk up the place.
Lions fans should be very encouraged by their team’s performance at Orchard Park.