You can never try and take away too much from preseason football, especially in just Week 1, but Thursday night did offer some excitement in the six games across the league. Without further ado, here’s the fantasy relevant news:
Saints 27 — Ravens 30
These two gave us the highest scoring game of the night.
Drew Brees didn’t play, but Joe Flacco started and played well. He went 5-for-6 for 33 yards and had a nice 17 yard scramble you can see above. Matt Schaub backed him up and had a solid game, going 11-for-18 for 134 yards, tossing a TD and a pick. Yes, that Matt Schaub.
Lorenzo Taliaferro put up a classic line of 12 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown, also adding a pair of catches for 18 yards. Justin Forsett is the starter in Baltimore, but Taliaferro is going to get plenty of carries along with the goal line work.
Josh Hill, who figures to replace Jimmy Graham, had an encouraging three grabs for 40 yards. We still need to see him work with Brees, though. Brandin Cooks took a 28-yard screen pass to the house — something we should see a lot of this season.
Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller figure to hog up the workload in the New Orleans backfield, but Thursday was Khiry Robinson’s night. The RB took two carries for 35 yards and also had three receptions for 37 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown.
Jets 3 — Lions 23
The Lions came out and looked fantastic. On their opening drive Stafford went 2-for-2 for 57 yards, both passes going to Golden Tate, and finishing the drive hooking up for a 35-yard touchdown. Expect to see a lot of the Stafford/Tate hookup this season.
Rookie RB Ameer Abdullah lived up to the hype, gaining 67 yards on just seven carries in his debut. This kid could steal the show in the Lions’ backfield. WR Greg Salas also looked good with the backups, hauling in five passes for 92 yards and a score.
The Jets were … the Jets. Your highlight was Ryan Fitzpatrick hitting Brandon Marshall for a 12-yard gain. Otherwise, they gained 54 more yards through the air and rushed for 67 yards. Your 2015 J-E-T-S ladies and gentlemen!
Packers 22 — Patriots 11
Tom Brady was on a football field! TOM BRADY WAS ON A FOOTBALL FIELD!
TB12 was also pretty unimpressive, going 1-for-4 for just 10 yards. He was also playing with primarily backups, so don’t read into this at all. Jimmy Garoppolo came in and was good, but not great. The potential Week 1 starter was 20-for-30, gaining 159 yards, but did toss an interception. Garoppolo heated up in the second half, but was also sacked seven times (part of the reason the Pats didn’t want to leave Brady behind that offensive line).
LeGarrette Blount didn’t play for New England, and even though he figures to be the feature back, the Pats will always work other guys into the mix. Jonas Gray took a 55-yard touchdown to the house, highlighting his seven carries for 74 yards. James White, who figures to fill the Shane Vreen role, took eight carries for just 12 yards, but was worked into the passing game, snagging four balls for 52 yards.
Aaron Rodgers probably got a lot more work than he was expecting. Rodgers played the first quarter and threw 19 passes, a career high for a first quarter. A-Rod went 11-for-19, hooking up twice with Jordy Nelson for 25 yards. Eddie Lacy also played well, gaining 36 yards on five touches.
Dolphins 10 — Bears 27
This one was pretty uneventful, but the Bears defense played pretty well.
The Dolphins’ starters were able to score on their opening drive, though. Ryan Tannehill went 6-for-7 for 56 yards and a TD to Jarvis Landry. Lamar Miller carried the ball three times for 32 yards.
Chicago’s QBs played well, but not much came from the passing game. Jay Cutler was 4-for-7 with 42 yards, while Jimmy Clausen took the rest of the snaps, finishing 17-of-27 with 151 yards. Crazy quick backup RB Senorise Perry has a great day on the ground, turning 10 carries into 89 yards and a score.
Washington 20 — Browns 17
RGIII started and went 4-for-8 for 36 yards, but Kirk Cousins came in and stole the show in this one. Cousins was a near perfect 12-for-14 with 154 yards and also ran in a four-yard TD. But there was much bigger, much worse news for Washington on this night. TE Niles Paul, who was expected to have a breakout season, fractured his ankle and will miss the entire season. Terrible news on all fronts.
Josh McCown gave us no reason to believe Johnny Football has any hope at the starting job. McCown went 5-for-5 with 33 yards and a touchdown to Travis Benjamin. Manziel came in and did complete 7-of-11 passes for 42 yards and a rushing touchdown, though.
Cowboys 7 — Chargers 17
The Cowboys literally gave us nothing, as they rested nearly all their starters.
Phillip Rivers did start, but just completed a pair of short passes. We did get a brief look at San Diego’s ground game — first-round pick Melvin Gordon received six carries, but gained just 11 yards. Branden Oliver was strong running the ball, he had 10 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown.
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