Here are some quick observations from Saturday’s preseason NFL action:
• Pittsburgh Steelers QB Byron Leftwich might have staved off Dennis Dixon for the No. 2 job for the time being after his 68-yard TD strike to second-year WR Mike Wallace. Several league sources believe Dixon has looked better than Leftwich in training camp as well as in the first preseason game. Wallace was very efficient in the second game as well.
• Donovan McNabb did not look very comfortable at quarterback for the Washington Redskins against the Baltimore Ravens defense. McNabb’s footwork was not great, and his mechanics looked to be a little off at first glance.
• Baltimore Ravens CB Fabian Washington looked good during his limited time against the Redskins. Getting him back into game shape before the season starts is going to be important.
• Another fine performance by Cleveland Browns QB Jake Delhomme, this time against the St. Louis Rams. Delhomme is now 18-23 in two games. The thing I like is he’s been very decisive with the ball, no hesitation.
• St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson saw his first preseason action, rushing four times for 20 yards, including an 11-yard scamper. Just getting him in the game to test his surgically repaired back is huge.
• Once again, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford looked very comfortable behind center against the Denver Broncos. Stafford seems to have full command of the playbook. He now has a vertical threat at tight end in Tony Scheffler.
Box Score Heroes
Here are some of the players around the NFL that put up some impressive numbers during Saturday’s preseason games:
• Oakland Raiders SLB Kamerion Wimbley had an eye-popping four sacks against the Chicago Bears. Wimbley isn’t being asked to drop in coverage as much as he was with the Cleveland Browns.
• While preseason statistics really can’t be deemed a true indicator of future success, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers looked so in control of everything around him against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s spreading the ball around to multiple passing options, and no team can get to him because he’s getting rid of the ball so quickly. His numbers after two games: 20-24, 3 TDs, no sacks.
• Baltimore Ravens fourth-year OLB Prescott Burgess had six total tackles and two sacks against the Washington Redskins. The backup strong-side linebacker suffered through injury issues for the first two years of his career, but put together a fine training camp this summer.
• St. Louis Rams fifth-round pick DE Hall Davis had two sacks against the Cleveland Browns. Davis has a legit chance to make the team based on the lack of quality pass rushers on their 80-man roster.
• Carolina Panthers second-year DE Everette Brown had two sacks against the New York Jets. Brown, who is slated to handle a situational pass-rushing role this season, will team up with rookie Greg Hardy to form a nice off-the-bench duo. Journeyman DE Eric Moore also had two sacks in this game for the Panthers.
• Miami Dolphins QB Chad Henne bounced back from last week’s game by going 11-for-14 for 151 yards with two TD passes to veteran TE Anthony Fasano. Miami still needs to find a solid second receiving option. Fasano is not that guy, but he’s serviceable.
• San Diego Chargers first-round pick RB Ryan Mathews looked good against the Dallas Cowboys in his one half of work. His work came out of 66 yards on 13 touches.