Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:56pm
So far, to this point in the preseason, Giants QB Eli Manning hasn't shown us much. The Giants have trotted him out to make some calls at the line of scrimmage and mostly hand or throw it to his running backs.
With left tackle Will Beatty back protecting Manning's blindside on Saturday night, there are no more excuses. The Giants have their projected starting offensive line protecting their starting quarterback. They can now open it up (a little bit) and show some of their new passing attack.
They don't need to display everything. Some of the innovative stuff can be saved for the regular season, but some of the basics (deep sideline and vertical routes) can be practiced in a live game setting against the Colts.
Of course, we'll be watching and breaking it all down, because that's what you do with a quarterback working in a new system. You look for hints of what is to come in the regular season.
Two specific areas pointed out in this article to watch for are Manning's downfield throws and communication with WR Rueben Randle. So far in two games Manning hasn't thrown more than 10 yards. Last year communication with Randle wasn't great and as recently as Thursday in practice it lead to another INT so it's still a work in progress.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:47pm
Washington's third-down pass-catching role obviously entails a lot of protection work as well. That gives Roy Helu an edge, despite his rough showing Thursday. Chris Thompson has been sidelined with a sprained ankle, which hasn't helped him.
The story began talking about Helu under-performing in a pass-protection drill. It's something the WAS backs are all struggling with. We've had many a story about the Skins third down job and not much has changed. Helu looks to be primed for the role because Thompson can't get on the field. Helu may have some value in deeper PPR leagues but his potential seems a lot less exciting than it was before camp began.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:37pm
The nameplate on the back of his practice jersey was replaced by “JAG.”
After a week of great catches in practice, he grabbed two touchdowns in New Orleans, pulled in four catches for 111 yards and showed off the leaping ability that can make him practically impossible to defend.
“I think you’re seeing just a glimpse of what he can be, but because of what he did last night, let’s not make the mistake and think he’s, by any stretch, close to what he can be,” Whisenhunt said at his Saturday news conference. “There are a lot of things, from route depth to discipline on his releases, where even though he made some big plays last night, those have got to become more consistent.
Hunter is starting to make a name for himself and we even have him trending up our WR chart, sitting at number-40. Keep in mind he played on just 36% of the snaps last year so that will need to improve, which means he'll have to steal some time away from veteran Nate Washington.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:33pm
Just how much he'll play remains to be seen.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera expects Newton to play at least a quarter, but said it's possible the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback could see additional action. He said that will depend on how well the offensive line protects and if Newton can control his competitive urges to take off and run when pressured in the pocket.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:30pm
Saints WR Joe Morgan is in a dogfight, though for the fourth and fifth roster spots with Nick Toon and veteran Robert Meachem (also known for his combination of excellent blocking and deep speed). It’s hard to imagine the Saints will keep all three of them, since they typically keep only four receivers active on game days. But it’s also hard to imagine any of the three getting cut just yet.
Morgan has been catching up and making this more of a battle. From a fantasy perspective, there isn't really any consistent value here as the top-three of Marques Colston, Kenny Still and Brandin Cooks should see a bulk of the snaps at WR.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:55am
Of all the bubble players on the Eagles’ 90-man roster, none may have boosted his chance of making the team more than WR Arrelious Benn.
With Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin sidelined Friday, Benn saw significant snaps and came up with two of the Eagles’ most dynamic plays against the Patriots in their 42-35 preseason loss at Gillette Stadium (see Instant Replay).
In the second quarter he blocked a punt that the Eagles' offense converted into its first touchdown. On the next drive, Benn caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez that tied the game at 21-21.
The 25-year-old former second-round pick of the Buccaneers is battling with Ifeanyi Momah, Jeff Maehl, Brad Smith, Damaris Johnson and several other fringe receivers for either one or two spots after the top four.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:50am
“You’ve got to make 47-yarders in this league,” said Chip Kelly afterwards.
Henery made seven of 10 kicks between 40 and 49 yards last season. He had only one miss from that range over the previous two seasons.
Is Kelly confident that Henery is the answer at the kicker position?
"Yeah, I'm confident in Alex," he replied. "But again, we've got to convert in games, too. I've been real excited with him in practice and I think he's worked on some things with Coach [Dave] Fipp in terms of placing the ball on kickoffs better and hitting things as we've gone through training camp, but we also have to do it in the game."
Henery should be an attractive kicker for your fantasy team, but he's really not. He struggled at times last season, but the Birds didn't really address that area in the offseason and right now it looks like they'll continue to go with him. He's a shaky option in an offense that's going to move the ball and put up points.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles is progressing rapidly, and very much passing the eye test early in his first preseason. He looked good in a controlled scrimmage two weeks ago at EverBank Field, looked good again the preseason opener against Tampa Bay and looked good again Thursday in Chicago. That’s a lot of looking good. The Jaguars like how Bortles approaches preparation and game-planning, and he has progressed quicker than many around the organization expected. All good signs.
Bortles is starting to get a lot of attention. After two preseason games it’s obvious Bortles is very good throwing on the run. Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has created situations to allow him to get outside the pocket, and Bortles has shown big-time accuracy outside the pocket. Looks like now the big question is how long does Chad Henne hold down the starting job. He's likely going to have to put up wins or there's a good chance we'll see Bortles sooner than later. From a fantasy perspective, Bortles could be worth owning as part of a committee or a QB2 in certain matchups. But keep in mind, there are a lot of live situations Bortles hasn't seen yet in games that he'll have to adjust to, however it's going to be hard to keep him out of the lineup it looks like.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:39am
Former Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has agreed to terms with the Bears, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Bears visit the Jets in Week 3 – a Monday night game on Sept. 22. Both teams will be interested to see how much Holmes has left.
Holmes does not figure to be a major contributor initially for the Bears. Their top receivers are Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, whom the Jets passed on in the 2012 draft, to select Stephen Hill. (To this point, Jeffery has been far more productive than Hill).
The Bears' second-string receivers are Marquess Wilson and Eric Weems, with Josh Bellamy and Josh Morgan occupying the third line on the depth chart. Wilson, the leading candidate to be the team's No. 3 receiver, sustained a broken collarbone earlier this month in a training camp practice. It remains unclear how long Wilson will be out, but the Bears don't expect to begin the season with him.
That's when Browns coach Mike Pettine aims to announce his starter for Cleveland's Sept. 7 opener at Pittsburgh. His choice could be influenced by how the quarterbacks play in Monday night's nationally televised exhibition at Washington.
"Something unforeseen could come up, but we're hopeful because I do want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by about 90 percent after next week," said Pettine, a first-year coach.
The team plays Monday night, in a matchup that's likely to draw a lot of viewers for a preseason game. When it comes down to it, neither Hoyer nor Manziel have really stood out so the pressure could be on Monday night against Washington. We'll, of course, break down how the Brown's call affects your fantasy team right after it happens.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:30am
Garoppolo took over for Tom Brady after two series in the first quarter of last night’s preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium and continued his sizzling summer run. He completed 6-of-12 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, a week after going 9-for-13 for 157 yards and a touchdown in the opener against the Redskins.
Garoppolo got the early snaps for two reasons. First, he earned them by backing up his game performance with a sterling week in practice. Second, Ryan Mallett has dealt with a bothersome left knee injury that required a lot of maintenance just to get him into the joint workouts.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:28am
Coons nailed a 50-yard field goal in the first half against the Saints on Friday after his 45-yarder was negated because of a penalty.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt was impressed.
"Not only was it a 50-yard, but he had already made a 45-yarder," Whisenhunt said. "To have to come back and re-kick it and make it speaks a whole lot about what you are looking for in that position."
Bonani and Coons are dueling to replace Rob Bironas, who was released in March. Bonani was with the Titans in training camp last year and is considered to have the stronger leg, but Coons has been more accurate throughout training camp.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:24am
"He was better this game," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Carr, the team's second-round draft pick in May. "He made some improvement. ... Overall, he took a step forward."
Health-wise, Carr took a step backward when he suffered a concussion and a rib injury in the fourth quarter of his second NFL game. Lions defensive end Larry Webster landed on Carr with all his weight, and Carr pointed to his midsection when he picked himself up off the ground.
Allen said the concussion was the reason Carr got removed from the game. There was no immediate word on the severity of Carr's concussion or whether he broke any ribs.
Schaub was improved as well. His four drives yielded one touchdown. That came after a Lions penalty on a field-goal attempt kept alive a stalled drive. He looked sharp on his first drive, which ended when his pass into tight coverage got tipped into the air and intercepted. Carr completed 9 of 16 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. On the scoring drive, he completed all six of his passes for 76 yards. This still looks like it's Schaub's job at this point, though. Matt McGloin would step into the QB2 role if Carr misses significant time. Carr will have to pass concussion protocol but it looks like he avoided a serious rib injury according to updates.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:19am
Foles, coming off his two-interception preseason debut last Friday against the Bears, bounced back from his spotty performance and returned to Folesian form Friday night in New England.
“Yeah, I thought he bounced back,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “Unfortunately the first play of the game, we fumbled and couldn’t get them (the Pats' offense) off the field, so it took a while to get back into rhythm. I thought when he got back out there, I was pleased with how he performed and how he moved those guys down the field a little bit.”
Despite having his two top receivers sidelined, Foles completed 8 of 10 passes for 81 yards and tossed a touchdown in his four total series (see 10 observations). He compiled a passer rating of 133.8.
Foles looked great all week in team drills against New England and in limited time thanks to turnovers, turned in another good performance. We've seen him bounce back before, like last year in a brutal game against the Cowboys, he was fantastic the rest of the season. He continues to be a middle round target for those who wait at QB.
Seahawks RB Robert Turbin took a turbo-charged step forward. Playing with the first-team offense in the first half, Turbin exploded for 81 yards on 12 carries, highlighted by a 47-yard scamper that might have caused seismic activity, had it been in the regular season.
Christine Michael, on the other hand, fumbled on his first carry, which is the quickest way off the field in Pete Carroll’s offense. Michael recovered the ball, as he did last week against the Broncos, but two fumbles in two games will not sit well. With Turbin doing the bulk of the rushing, the Seattle offense hummed beautifully in the first half, the story said. The RB2 handcuff to Marshawn Lynch may be a spot to think about covering. With a lot of early hype about Michael, things appear to be trending toward Turbin.