Yesterday was Thursday, 12 August, 2016 and actual NFL football was played last night. No. I’m not talking NFL Network reruns (we love you but ….. ). I’m talking NFL Preseason Football. Ok, I get the argument that preseason football isn’t “really” football. But after a full offseason of Underwear Olympics, OTA’s and grainy video of players trying to practice tackling against yoga balls or rolling doughnuts actual hitting happened on a gridiron. I’ll take it.
There were six games as the canceled Hall of Fame SNAFU became a recent hangover. The Atalanta Falcons topped the Washington Redskins 27-17. The Philadelphia Eagles outscored the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-9. The Carolina Panthers were topped by the Baltimore Ravens 22-19. The New England Patriots scored 34 versus the New Orleans Saints 22. New York Jets posted 17 and Jacksonville Jaguars 13 with the final offering being the Denver Broncos offense putting up 22 while the defense held the Chicago Bears to zip allowing for the only loss of the evening.
Six NFL games on Thursday night to open the 2016 NFL Season. Talk about your NFL six pack.
You may have noticed I mentioned no team “winning” and only one club as “losing.” It’s the first week of the NFL Preseason. Your team doesn’t “win” at this juncture. It can lose however as the Chicago Bears offense found out. It’s no secret defenses come together quicker. However when you’re playing against the other teams UDFA roster in the fourth quarter any NFL offense should be able to put some points on the board. The Bears didn’t and that’s a tik in the loss column. However unlike the normal NFL season now is about individual performances.
Opening Day Winners
Eagles QB Carson Wentz showed some skills. He also showed he’s a rookie QB but there was no doubting the talent or the excitement he brought to the field.
The Denver Defense is for real people. 2015 wasn’t smoke and mirrors.
Jimmy Garoppolo played the first half of the game and the Patriots and the player are winners as the Pats first four games starter looked like a New England QB. Calm and proficient. You expected something else? Belichick. Love him or hate him. Just respect him.
Opening Day Losers
We already mentioned the Chicago Bears defense.
Patriots rookie Malcom Mitchell had an elbow “subluxation” and will miss about four weeks. Getting your elbow dislocated is not the way you want to start your career. Hang in their kid.
The Buccaneers drafted a kicker in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The erstwhile “most accurate kicker in the draft” subsequently missed his first NFL kick in the league …. and it was an EXTRA POINT!!! – Insert drafting your fantasy kicker in the second round joke here. “Rookie jitters” is the most likely cause but #ComeOnMan. You were drafted to do one thing and you gopher ball a gimmie?
Philadelphia Eagles received devastating news for their seasons outlook. OL Lane Johnson will (reportedly) start the season with a 10 game PED suspension. With no first round pick in 2017 the team isn’t helping itself with consecutive losing seasons. If I’m the Cleveland Browns I’m loving it. Conversely if I’m Carson Wentz I’m officially not looking to start a game until week 11 behind already suspect protection.
The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason free agency acquisition of note TE Ladarius Green is currently undergoing severe headaches that are keeping him from participating in camp. Green was recovering from an offseason ankle injury and now is still looking for a chance to start building chemistry with QB Ben Roethlisberger. The headaches are reportedly the result of multiple concussions from the previous season in San Diego. As anyone who’s seen migraine victims under attack this isn’t anything nice. Wish him the best.
I did leave out one last “winner.” You. The NFL fan. The long drought is over my friend. NFL football is back! Hand me that remote!
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over