Pre-Season Week 3 Part 3
This will be the final Pre-Season review as Week 4 isn’t worth much of a look at and I’d rather focus on the coming season. So let’s get into it.
Philadelphia Eagles 31 Jacksonville Jaguars 24
I think this season it won’t be if Vick gets hurt, but when. The new Chip Kelly Offence looks like it will really take its toll on the QB. In this game however Vick looked pretty good, he got sacked a few times, but more often than not escaped trouble, both through the air and with his legs. McCoy had a quiet game, but I expect him to be an integral part of this Offence, come the start of the season. Celek looked great at tight end and Jackson made some decent plays. I worry about the Defence. They’re probably going to be on the field a lot and to me it doesn’t look like they can handle it. I think this year it is really work in progress for this team. Expect big things…Just not this year.
I don’t think the Jags are the worst team in the league. I think they’re loaded at Running-Back, with a resurgent MJD and backed up by Robinson and have some serious talent at Receiver in Blackmon and Shorts. Gabbert was out in this game and says he’ll play through the pain of his broken thumb for the start of the season. When Brady says he’ll play through the pain that is good, when Manning says it…brilliant, but when Gabbert says it. Well expect a load of interceptions, surely they would be better playing Henne, who played pretty well in this game. I really like this Jags Defence, well by like I mean they’re not as bad as I thought they’d be. They seem to have no problem getting pressure on the QB and racking in interceptions. A good Defence will be important if they are to end the season out of the bottom 5. Playoffs? Wow no. Improved season? Definitely.
Atlanta Falcons 16 Tennessee Titans 27
There really is very few surprises with this team. Jackson looked good. Matty ‘Ice’, looked good and Julio looked good. Surprise surprise Atlanta have a great Offence. On Defence its beginning to look a little wobbly. If they are to make it through the playoffs, the Defence needs to improve. There really isn’t that much to say.
This week in bizarro world Jake Locker had a pretty good game. A couple of complaints. Every throw was on the move, he needs to sure up his pocket passing. If he insists on running, then he needs to learn to slide. That fumble was 100% him. That being said it’s really hard to complain about a QB who completed 11/13 passes. Chris Johnson is really looking back to his best, which is great news for this team. On Defence this team continue to impress me. In a D-back light Division, it seems that the Titans have their unfair share, they are so good. The D-line stepped up in this game too creating a lot of pressure on Matt Ryan. This team could be a serious sleeper if Locker plays as well as he did in this game, but that’s a pretty big if.
St Louis Rams 26 Denver Broncos 27
The first drive for the Rams has to be encouraging. The return by Austin, then the pass by Bradford to Cook with the incredibly acrobatic pick up. Then the rest of the game was pretty pedestrian. Cook had a great game and Pead continued to impress, which might make me rethink where I have them in my power rankings, but all in a pretty average game from this Offence. I do think they might be saving the many skills of Tayvon Austin, until the regular season, which there is a very good chance he pushes for the Rookie of the Year. On Defence it was fairly hard to tell how good they are. They never seemed to get any pressure, but they were up against probably the best O-line in the league. Manning zipped passes in with ease against them, but…its Peyton Manning. I dunno, it seems that they will dominate the bad teams, then get dominated by the good ones. I can’t see this team doing much this season, maybe pushing for 8-8.
The Broncos Offence looked outstanding. Manning looked as if he was 6 years younger. The O-line allowed so little pressure. The Receivers all looked 9 ft tall and always open and the committee situation they have at Running Back is a nice problem to have. The Defence however is struggling. It felt very easy for the Rams to move downfield and very rarely did they put the Rams O-line under pressure. This doesn’t change my thoughts on this team, I think they are very good and are definitely Superbowl contenders.
Cincinnati Bengals 18 Dallas Cowboys 24
Here we have 2 teams that I feel like I’ve said all that needs to be said about but lets see if we can’t sneak out some new info. For the Bengals, I’m still not sold on Dalton, but having AJ Green, Sanu and Gresham has to help. The Running Backs, Bernard and Green-Ellis both look great with Bernard maybe edging out ‘the Lawfirm’. On Defence this team looks pretty good. The D-backs look great, love Kirkpatrick and Burfict looked great. I do worry however about how easy it was for the Cowboys to move downfield, this may come back and bite them later on this year. This is a good team, but I just can’t see it as a great team. but who knows. It is a pretty weak Division they are in.
The Cowboys still look great. Romo completed pass after pass to both Austin and Bryant. Whilst talking about Bryant it is worth pointing out that he could very well be the no. 1 Receiver in the league. At Running Back they look solid with Murray at no. 1, Randle and Tanner just behind. The O-line look solid and held off a very aggressive D-line. The Defence look hungry. They take every chance to create a turnover and manage to create ample pressure on the opposing QB. NFC East, this in my opinion is easily your best team. Maybe a Superbowl contender.
San Diego Chargers 24 Arizona Cardinals 7
I am massively down on the Chargers. They could be one of the worst teams in the League. But in this game they showed some flashes of brilliance. If this team is going to be in with any chance of doing anything, it will be through the resurgence of Ryan Matthews, who is looking fantastic. Rivers continues to look done. It really wouldn’t surprise me if he is out of a job next season. Every play Gates makes looks painful, like we’re just waiting for him to get injured again. This Defence played well, despite looking beyond pedestrian throughout the rest of the season, mainly due to some talented play by the D-backs. Despite this score I am still convinced this team will finish in the bottom 5.
Poor result for the Cardinals, but as in most cases this pre-season, they actually played pretty well. Mendenhall looks like he might surprise a few people and showed flashes of pace and agility. The Receiving trio of Roberts, Floyd and Fitzgerald look like they might benefit greatly from having a gunslinger at QB. I just feel this Offence will have games where they are truly unstoppable and games where they can barely get it together. Either way I can’t see Fitzgerald not making the Pro-bowl. The Defence looked good. Particularly the secondary and more specifically Patrick Peterson. This team will struggle against teams like the Niners and the Seahawks, but expect the odd inter-divisional upset.
New Orleans Saints 31 Houston Texans 23
Good move by the Saints, resting Drew Brees and interestingly they still got the win. Ingram had a single flash of greatness, but you still can’t trust him as the no. 1 back. Thomas was more reliable, but not remotely dynamic. But does this matter when Drew Brees is your QB? The answer is no. he has endless Receivers, who are knocking on the door of becoming superstars (thanks in a big part to Drew Brees’ ability to throw the ball) and Darren Sproles who can line up anywhere. Lets not forget the best Tight-End in the game, who will no doubt be Brees’ safety valve. This is a great passing attack. The Defence. Not so much, I think they’ll struggle this year. I genuinely don’t know how Rob Ryan gets jobs. There are hundreds of Defensive Coordinators out there who could do a better job, without forcing a scheme change. Anyway, I like the Saints this year for a playoff spot…but probably not at the expense of the Falcons.
No Arian Foster…No problem. For starters, he’ll be back. Everyone knows that right? Secondly Tate, is looking awesome, almost like they won’t miss a beat till Foster returns. Finally The Receiving Corps looks great. I love Andre Johnson this year to take another step forward, he looked great in this game. I’ve really liked LeStar Jean in most of these pre-season games and hope he plays well for this team. Schaub is looking solid and but not dynamic. But he has plenty of great weapons around him by an exceptional O-line. The Defence looks as good as ever, better still when Deangelo Smith is lining up with JJ Watt, although Crick looks like a decent replacement. This team could be challengers. But we’ve said that a lot so maybe this year, lets keep it under our hat and see what happens.
Minnesota Vikings 14 San Fransisco 49ers 34
It felt like there was an obvious difference in talent in this game. Whilst Ponders stats looked good, I think he looked pretty awful. The long pass to Jennings to start the game was woeful. When he was completing passes, they tended to be short passes for little gain. Whilst I am worried that Jennings will get starved for attention this year, he did play a pretty good game. The Defence did manage to get some decent penetration, but this didn’t really stop the Niners moving downfield.
The Niners did what a lot of teams are doing. Tried using him as a pocket passer and on the whole it seemed to go well. This kid is awesome. He has an arm, he has some wheels and he has an O-line that gives him plenty of time. The Receiving corp might lack a big name but they play really well. I loved Quinton Patton, he looks like he will do very well in this Niners Offence. Finally on the Offence, McCoy played a blinder and hopefully cemented a position in this team. The Running Back Corp all look great, I would imagine the no. 2 back is James over Hunter, but I would have thought they’ll both get some decent time behind Gore. The Niners Defence are awesome. Every bit as violent and relentless as last year. As a fan of Asomugha, its good that it looks like he might have a space on this team. This team are genuine Superbowl contenders.
So that’s it. Next stop ACTUAL SEASON PREDICTIONS. See you then.
Main Image: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Featured Image: AP Photo/John Russell