NFL preseason Week 1 winners and losers: Broncos see two QBs mild it up, tough begin for Trevor Lawrence

It is secure to say that followers are excited to have soccer once more, particularly the 43,235 that took in Justin Fields‘ preseason debut on Saturday afternoon. Or the capability crowd that cheered on the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium for the primary time. 

Followers that watched both on TV or in individual witnessed a number of glittering performances from some high-profile members of the 2021 rookie class. There have been different standout efforts from veteran gamers who’re hoping to both earn beginning jobs or just survive the following spherical of roster cuts, as NFL groups should whittle roster sizes from 90 to 85 on August 17. Rosters have to be all the way down to 53 gamers by August 31. 

Let’s check out a number of the winners and losers of the primary week of the preseason.

Winner: Broncos quarterbacks

There is a quarterback battle in Denver, and from the early look of issues, the Broncos are in a win-win scenario. Each Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater performed nicely of their preseason debuts. Lock recorded an ideal passer score whereas going 5 of seven passes with 151 yards and two landing passes. Bridgewater went 7 of 8 for 74 yards that included 4-yard landing cross to Trinity Benson because the Broncos crushed the Vikings 33-6.

“I believed they each performed very nicely,” Broncos coach Vic Vic Fangio mentioned, through The Denver Submit. “They form of validated what I have been saying all camp, that they are ‘Even Steven.’ … I do not assume any separation occurred on this recreation if anyone is on the lookout for it.”

Loser: Taysom Hill/Jameis Winston

Issues did not go practically so nicely in a special QB1 battle. Neither Saints quarterback did something to get a leg of their quest to exchange Drew Brees because the Saints‘ starter. Hill — who received the beginning towards the Ravens — went 8 of 12 passing for 81 yards with an interception. The Saints got here up empty on every of Hill’s three possessions, with Hill’s evening ending after a third-down sack by Patrick Queen

Winston’s evening ended with an interception, however he did handle to guide the Saints to 2 landing drives in his 5 possessions. In all, Winston went 7 of 12 passing for 96 yards that included an 8-yard landing cross to Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Saints coach Sean Payton was in no temper to interrupt down his quarterback scenario following his group’s sloppy 17-14 loss. 

“I am not making comparisons with the quarterbacks proper now,” Payton mentioned, through ESPN. “It does not matter who [played better], actually, with six turnovers, proper?”

Winner: Justin Fields

Fields not too long ago elevated the hype round him after scoring 4 touchdowns throughout a current scrimmage with Miami. The eleventh general decide pumped up the thrill much more on Saturday, as he went 14 of 20 passing for 142 yards that included a 30-yard landing cross to Jesse James. Fields additionally rushed for 33 yards and a rating on 5 carries that included a 21-yard run. 

Fields was something however overwhelmed in his first NFL recreation. 

“It was truly form of gradual to me, to be trustworthy,” Fields mentioned, through the Chicago Solar-Occasions

The No. 1 general decide’s evening began with a sack and a fumble. Lawrence responded nicely to his early adversity, as he hit Laviska Shenault Jr. for eight yards and Marvin Jones for 10 yards on the following two performs. On his second and closing drive, Lawrence was sacked once more earlier than hitting Jones on a 35-yard completion. Lawrence undoubtedly confirmed flashes of his potential, however he should do a greater job of defending himself transferring ahead. Lawrence held the ball too lengthy on his first sack, and his second sack got here on a blitz by Browns rookie linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

The numbers wren’t jaw-dropping, because the No. 3 general decide accomplished simply 5 of his 14 makes an attempt with 4 sacks. However three of these incompletions have been drops, whereas the excessive sack complete could possibly be not less than partly attributed to the 49ers enjoying with out beginning linemen Alex Mack and Trent Williams. And whereas Kyle Shanahan broke down a number of of issues his younger quarterback may have achieved higher (Shanahan particularly pointed to Lance’s resolution making on a number of performs in addition to having a few throws “sail on him”), the 49ers’ coach general known as it a “a very good first day.” The clear spotlight was Lance’s 80-yard landing cross to Trent Sherfield

“It was superior,” fellow quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo mentioned of Lance’s landing cross, through ESPN. “We form of noticed it coming. Figuring out the play and every little thing, I used to be watching Trent the entire time, and he broke the man off and Trey put an exquisite cross on the market. It was actually cool.”

Loser: Cowboys protection

Dallas was unable to get out of its second preseason recreation with out a vital damage. Second-year defensive deal with Neville Gallimore suffered an elbow damage throughout Friday evening’s loss to the Cardinals. Whereas his restoration timetable was initially slotted at 6-8 weeks, it seems that Gallimore’s damage could have him out nearer to a month, in keeping with the group’s web site. Gallimore’s damage ought to result in extra snaps for third-round decide Osa Odighizuwa, who noticed appreciable enjoying time towards the Cardinals. 

The Patriots‘ fourth-round decide had a memorable NFL debut. In opposition to Washington, the rookie working again rumbled for 127 yards and two touchdowns on simply 10 carries that included a 91-yard landing run. Stevenson is in the midst of a tricky place battle that additionally consists of Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, J.J. Taylor and Brandon Bolden

Lawrence wasn’t the one rookie who had a tricky debut. Trask accomplished simply 4 of his 15 makes an attempt for 35 yards Saturday evening towards the Bengals. The previous Florida Gator was additionally sacked 5 instances in Tampa Bay’s 19-14 loss to the Bengals. Trask, who did have two well-thrown deep passes dropped by receivers, mentioned that the Bengals’ protection was intent on giving him brief passes whereas making an attempt to remove the massive play. Buccaneers coach Brice Arians mentioned Trask was only a few caught passes away from probably having an enormous evening. 

“Little question, a few these deep balls, particularly,” Arians mentioned, through the Tampa Bay Occasions. “The one factor I actually like about him is he is proven it in apply on daily basis: when the push will get up in his face, there is not any panic. He is actually correct. I imply, he threw that ball about 60 yards downfield with guys proper up in his face. I like the place he is rising on daily basis. The sport isn’t too massive for him, and he’ll be advantageous.”

Haskins known as Pittsburgh’s second preseason win his most enjoyable expertise since getting into the NFL in 2019. The previous first-round decide strengthened his case to supplant Mason Rudolph because the Steelers‘ No. 2 quarterback. With Pittsburgh trailing the Eagles 13-0, Haskins directed 4 consecutive scoring drives that included a 22-yard landing cross to Anthony Johnson. Haskins completed the evening with 161 yards on 16 of twenty-two passing. 

With an opportunity to strengthen his case as Matt Ryan‘s main backup, McCarron went simply 5 of 12 passing for 36 yards with an interception in Atlanta’s 23-3 loss to the Titans. And whereas Feleipe Franks had even much less success by the air (he was simply 2 of 9 passing for 16 yards), his 52-yard run — and 76 yards on 4 carries in all — improved his odds at transferring up the depth chart. 

“With AJ, the operation was just a little cleaner, however there have been no outcomes behind that due to all the image of the offense the primary half,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith mentioned, through the group’s web site. “The second half, with Feleipe, we need to be just a little higher operationally. What Feleipe clearly confirmed was that he can prolong performs. In order that was good to see.”

After catching simply 30 passes as a rookie, Hamler seems primed to have a breakout season in 2021. On Saturday, the previous Penn State star caught each of his two targets for 105 yards that included an 80-yard landing. 

“He had good practices right here towards Minnesota, he had good practices previous to that,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio mentioned of Hamler, through The Denver Submit. “And there is the consequence. I confirmed all the group a play or two from apply the place he ran some nice routes that may be onerous to cowl for anyone. 

“That is been validated right here right this moment with the landing. He is a quick, fast man who’s onerous to cowl, and hopefully we will maintain him wholesome. He could be a massive a part of our offense.”

Loser: Packers offensive line

With Aaron Jones watching from the sideline, Inexperienced Bay’s speeding assault was nearly nonexistent Saturday towards the Texans. Whereas Houston rumbled for 170 yards on 37 carries, the Packers rushed for simply 49 yards on 21 carries. Inexperienced Bay rushed for -1 yards on six carries with quarterback Jordan Love within the recreation. 

“They received the battle within the trenches,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur mentioned of the Texans’ protection. “Mainly Houston performed two coverages all evening; they performed Tampa 2 they usually performed Cowl 2. Clearly, if they’ll play a variety of man, we might wish to throw the ball, and we have been fairly efficient on that [scoring] drive. If they’ll play Cowl 2, you’ve got received to have the ability to run it. We tried working the ball just a little bit … and we simply weren’t very efficient. … They flat received the battle up entrance.” 

The second cornerback taken within the 2021 draft, Surtain seemed like a savvy veteran on Saturday. Surtain’s preseason debut included a 30-yard interception return for a rating. The previous Alabama standout additionally broke up two passes in Denver’s 33-6 blowout win in Minnesota. 

Loser: Rams working recreation 

Los Angeles wants somebody to step up with Cam Akers out with a torn Achilles. The Rams’ working backs did little to instill confidence on Saturday towards the Chargers after speeding for simply 73 yards on 24 carries, a 3 yards-per-carry common. Bryce Perkins led the Rams with 23 yards on 4 carries however over half of his yards got here on a single carry. 

Whereas Moore did not rating a landing towards the Cowboys, the Cardinals‘ new No. 85 put forth an effort Rod Tidwell could be happy with. A second-round decide, Moore was delivered to the desert to assist complement fellow receivers A.J. Inexperienced, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Moore turned in a powerful debut towards the Cowboys, as the previous Purdue Boilermaker caught three of 4 targets for 23 yards. He additionally had two carries for 16 yards within the Cardinals’ 19-16 win. 

The Seahawks put forth an uninspiring effort with Russell Wilson and several other different outstanding gamers in avenue garments. Quarterbacks Alex McGough, Geno Smith and Sean Mannion mixed to throw for simply 126 yards whereas directing one scoring drive. Seattle’s protection surrendered 26 factors, 26 first downs, 385 complete yards and 158 speeding yards. In addition they allowed the Nate Peterman-led Raiders offense to transform on 11 of their 17 third down conditions. 

The weekend’s closing recreation had a notable efficiency from Marshall, the 59th participant taken within the 2021 draft. The previous LSU standout caught three passes for 88 yards that included a 60-yard catch-and-carry on a reception from P.J. Walker. Sadly for the Panthers, no different receiver had greater than 26 receiving yards within the group’s 21-18 loss in Indianapolis. 

Coach Mike Zimmer just about nailed his evaluation of his group midway by Saturday’s 33-6 house loss to the Broncos. Whereas he did obtain a 100-yard speeding yard speeding effort from A.J. Rose Jr., Zimmer’s group allowed 33 factors and practically 400 yards, accomplished simply 11 of their 26 cross makes an attempt, and have been 0 of three within the crimson zone. 

“It was a really poor efficiency,” Zimmer mentioned together with his group trailing 26-6 at intermission. “We did not deal with nicely. We made the improper checks on protection with the safeties. We threw an interception for a landing. Go three-and-out on the primary two sequence. Horrible punts. So, aside from that, it has been nice.” 


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