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What we learned on Friday night

Washington's Roy Helu prepares to be hit during a preseason NFL football game in Indianapolis Reuters

We know not everyone was home on Friday night, watching the six preseason games. So we’ll try to summarize what you missed below. You can also check out our review for Thursday night’s two games here.

Redskins 16, Colts 3

1. Mike Shanahan may not admit it publicly, but John Beck all but ended the Redskins quarterack competition with a solid performance.

2. The Redskins run game has been one of the stories of the preseason. They dominated for a second straight week, with Tim Hightower and Roy Helu ripping off 50+ yard gains.

3. Colts backup Curtis Painter and No. 3 quarterback Dan Orlovsky both looked awful again, creating some mild panic in Indy. Maybe it’s all a plot to let Peyton Manning know how valuable he truly is.

Ravens 31, Chiefs 13

1. Lee Evans showed what a big impact he could make on the Ravens, catching three passes for 68 yards in limited work.

2. Baltimore did a much better job protecting Joe Flacco than they in the first preaseason game.

3. Chiefs second year player Dexter McCluster looked pretty useful now that he’s primarily a running back. He had 51 yards on eight touches.

4. Chiefs coach Todd Haley doesn’t like running up the score, even in the preseason.

Lions 30, Browns 28

1. It appears that an injury to Lions running back Jahvid Best won’t be too serious.

2. The Lions had nine penalties and trailed 21-13 when their starters left the game.

3. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy continued t0 look sharp, with three first half touchdown passes.  He’s done a nice job creating when the play isn’t there.

4. Detroit’s running game has looked lackluster in successive weeks.

5. Cleveland running back Brandon Jackson left with a turf toe injury.

Dolphins 20, Panthers 10

1. Reggie Bush looked terrific in his Dolphins debut, even showing an ability to run between the tackles.

2. Cam Newton left the door open for Jimmy Clausen to take the starting job, but Clausen didn’t take advantage.

3. Chad Henne enjoyed a strong performance, leading Miami to 17 first half points.  That should quiet any talk about Matt Moore getting snaps with the starting unit.  Moore looked decent too.

4. Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess combined for 10 catches in one half to help Miami control the ball.

Packers 28, Cardinals 20

1. Cardinals rookie running back Ryan Williams will miss the season after rupturing his patella tendon.  Arizona will look for running back depth now.

2. Green Bay’s offensive line struggled again, especially rookie Derek Sherrod.

3. Packers backup QB Matt Flynn lived up to his training camp hype with another great preseason outing.

4. Kevin Kolb had an uneven performance for the Cardinals. They scored six points in his three drives.

5. Cardinals linebacker O’Brien Schofield flashed some pass-rushing skills, which Arizona can desperately use.

Jaguars 15, Falcons 13

1. Blaine Gabbert looked like a rookie. He’ll probably take over for David Garrard during the year, but it’s hard to make the case for Gabbert right now with his YPA under 5.

2. Jaguars rookie receiver Cecil Shorts looks like a keeper. They needed someone to step up in that receiver group and he has.

3. Julio Jones is a huge addition to the Falcons offense, but don’t overlook No. 3 receiver Harry Douglas.  A year further removed from knee surgery, Douglas looks like a big-time weapon. He flashed terrific speed on a 76-yard score.

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50 Responses to “What we learned on Friday night”
  1. trbowman says: Aug 20, 2011 3:36 PM

    Matt Moore is so much better than Chad Henne.

    Curtis Painter and Orlovsky were brutal.

    NATE DAVIS ftw

  2. 6stairwayto7 says: Aug 20, 2011 3:37 PM

    The only thing I learn was that the Steelers are, and always will be, the top dog. Buh-bye

  3. pspring63 says: Aug 20, 2011 3:46 PM

    I also learned that the Steelers had a 25 year stretch where they never made the playoffs, back in the day. For anyone over 40, the Steelers represented a swirling stool seeking the bottom of the bowl before entering the sewage system. History is a bitch.

  4. Matt Revel says: Aug 20, 2011 3:47 PM

    It’s hard to root against Colt McCoy. Hope he can be the QB Cleveland has been waiting for since not only 1999, but since Bernie Kosar.

  5. giantspunk213 says: Aug 20, 2011 3:50 PM

    I watched most of that Ravens/Chiefs game and I agree McCluster looked really good out there as a RB

  6. herlies says: Aug 20, 2011 3:53 PM

    “The only thing I learn was that the Steelers are, and always will be, the top dog. Buh-bye”

    Last time I watched a Steelers game, they got thumped in Cowboys Stadium.

  7. charmcitysittinpretty says: Aug 20, 2011 3:55 PM

    Stairway, you are so gay, could you go get hit by a train, I know your a fat ^*&@ living in your moms basement in monroeville eating taters and pot pies just abusing your self imaging polomalus hair all over you fat, disgusting, unbathed body, you football team is a joke, until you have a different qb, stop talking, the state of pennsylvania had the two most dispickable human at qb, and it’s a disgrace that ben even get to touch a ball, sept 11th you will see the black and yellow get beat black and blue by the black a purple, go die retard

  8. 3octaveFart says: Aug 20, 2011 3:55 PM

    6stairwayto7 says: Aug 20, 2011 3:37 PM

    “Buh-bye”

    If only that were true.

  9. yelix says: Aug 20, 2011 3:58 PM

    Flacco didn’t get sacked much, but he was hurried and pressured on nearly every play, which led to some bad throws. Still, I liked what I saw of his mobility, and I’m a Chiefs fan.

    Also, surprisingly good play from Tyson Jackson and Justin Houston. If Tyrod hadn’t gotten that TD run against Houston, people would be talking about Houston more.

  10. iamgoodkid says: Aug 20, 2011 4:00 PM

    ok i learned that atlanta will make the superbowl with miami this year thats what i learned

  11. Deb says: Aug 20, 2011 4:03 PM

    Watching Chiefs/Ravens now, but we learned Todd Haley doesn’t understand the purpose of preseason. I don’t begrudge Kafka’s success at the end of the Steelers game. From an evaluation perspective, it’s a new game as each squad steps on the field. How can you evaluate your third team if you tell them to hold back?

  12. charmcitysittinpretty says: Aug 20, 2011 4:05 PM

    Iamgoodkid, you’ve gotta be kidding right? Miami has 0 chance, sorry, Atlanta though…,pretty solid

  13. gbfanforever says: Aug 20, 2011 4:06 PM

    I thought Kolb just looked brutal. The only things sparing him from a media spanking today were the packers dropping easy interceptions on three of his throws and Fitzgeralds great catch of a terribly inaccurate 3rd down throw when he was wide open. The mystery PI on Tramon also led to the only scoring drive. Take those huge breaks away and he’s 5-13 for roughly 60 yards, 3 picks and no points. Granted he’s in a new offense and all that, but it just doesn’t seem like he got any coaching in Philly. He seems to have bad footwork and if pressure gets through, he doesn’t have the instincts to make many plays. He’ll have a great receiver to bail him out time to time, but if he doesn’t get better, this will be a tough year for that offense.

  14. dirtysouthniner says: Aug 20, 2011 4:15 PM

    Top dog wins the Superbowl. You guys were the first losers last year buh-bye. But seriously steelers are a well run team

  15. hooknosemike says: Aug 20, 2011 4:18 PM

    Colts should have paid 190mil for Peyton, that team sucks.

  16. stavreafavre says: Aug 20, 2011 4:19 PM

    Matt Revell, I for one find it very easy and really almost mandatory to root against anyone named “Colt McCoy.” I know it’s not his fault, but there it is.

  17. revolution22 says: Aug 20, 2011 4:26 PM

    Sherrod better show us something…and quick. I don’t want another 50+ sacks this year as we had a couple seasons ago.

    Cards losing their rookie H-back = Death. Good luck, Zona. I see them at the bottom of the West this year.

  18. Deb says: Aug 20, 2011 4:29 PM

    @stavreafavre …

    Really? I like “Colt McCoy” … but I love Westerns. My favorite, though, is still “Peerless Price.” :)

  19. docredskin says: Aug 20, 2011 4:39 PM

    And, after 14-17 with no picks, it seems as if this is as good a place as any to end the John-Beck-as-a-national-punchline dialogue.

    Also, as it is not a natural rivalry, I don’t have any preconceived notions about Steeler fans, but the sampling we get on this site simply can’t be reflective of the body Steeler. They’re lucky they share a state with the trophy-less Eagle fans or they’d be even more demonstrably annoying.

  20. nevermore52 says: Aug 20, 2011 5:10 PM

    Todd Haley needs one of his assistant coaches to remove that rather large stick for him. Dude is uber-douche 9000. It’s preseason man. Let it go.

  21. johnnycash19 says: Aug 20, 2011 5:11 PM

    Stafford and the offense left the game at the end of the 1st or early second when the score was 10-7. At least for the offense.

  22. stavreafavre says: Aug 20, 2011 5:14 PM

    @Deb – yeah, peerless Price, Sterling Sharpe, et al are good, but nothing can compare to the greatest (though non-football), “Dash Riprock.” I guess I wouldn’t be so down on McCoy if I hadn’t seen him interviewed after Texas games with cheerleaders in the background who were about to melt into puddles if he just gave them a nod. And Colt meanwhile was all business with “yes sirs” and “no ma’ams.” Sorry, can’t help myself, just gotta hate the guy.

  23. commonsenseescapesyou says: Aug 20, 2011 5:23 PM

    “2. The Lions had nine penalties and trailed 21-13 when their starters left the game.”

    Who writes this nonsense? You couldn’t have possibly actually watched the game.

    Go back and watch McCoy’s 2nd TD toss to Moore. Look at the DLine: not a starter on the unit. Look at who’s covering Moore: Coleman, who’s our BACKUP safety. Bobby Carpenter, a reserve player, was in at linebacker. Come on now.

    The majority of the starting defensive unit left the field with 27 seconds left in the 1st quarter, after forcing a Cleveland punt. The key offensive pieces (Stafford, Burleson, Pettigrew, some of the OLine) left the field with 14:17 left in the second quarter.

    When the majority of the Lions’ starters left the field, it was 10-7 Cleveland. Cleveland kept the majority of their starters in until late into the 2nd quarter. I suggest you go back, watch what happened and adjust your incorrect information.

  24. commonsenseescapesyou says: Aug 20, 2011 5:24 PM

    *10-7 Detroit.

  25. imjinbrdgr says: Aug 20, 2011 5:34 PM

    The No. 1 QB name Bart Starr

  26. houndog50 says: Aug 20, 2011 5:44 PM

    Deb says: Aug 20, 2011 4:29 PM

    @stavreafavre …

    Really? I like “Colt McCoy” … but I love Westerns. My favorite, though, is still “Peerless Price.” :)
    ———————————————————–
    Can the two of you remember “Golden Richards”? And how about Guy Whimper?

  27. houndog50 says: Aug 20, 2011 5:49 PM

    What I learned is that the Packers are leading the league in Dreadlocks, that 6stairwayto7 is a total moron that sucks eggs, the Steelers have a rapist and a drunken whiner (Whines Hard) on their offense, and they still suck! Just like the Bears!

  28. tfbuckfutter says: Aug 20, 2011 5:59 PM

    “Maybe it’s all a plot to let Peyton Manning know how valuable he truly is.”

    I think we can all agree that, if there is one thing Peyton Manning lacks, it is self-worth.

  29. nationalmediacansuckit says: Aug 20, 2011 6:21 PM

    “Jaguars rookie receiver Cecil Shorts looks like a keeper. They needed someone to step up in that receiver group and he has.”
    ————————————————-

    Shorts is the truth. This guy looked like a seasoned veteran. Great hands, great routes, and 4.3 speed. I know it’s early, but I believe Cecil Shorts (funny name when you first hear it) will show there ain’t nothing funny about his game. Great pick Gene Smith.

  30. Deb says: Aug 20, 2011 6:21 PM

    stavreafavre & houndog50 …

    Remember Dash Riprock from TV reruns, but had to Wiki Richards & Whimper–and he’s still playing! As for swooning cheeleaders, stavre, I’m in Fla. Nothing compares to Tebowmania. My own mom nearly tore off my head for laughing at Timmy’s tears after the SEC Championship … and she’s a Bama diehard! :)

  31. Deb says: Aug 20, 2011 6:29 PM

    pspring63 says:

    I also learned that the Steelers had a 25 year stretch where they never made the playoffs, back in the day. … History is a bitch.
    ————————————————-
    Actually, the Steelers went four decades without winning a single playoff game. Karma is a bitch. History makes us who and what we are. Obviously the Steelers learned they don’t like to lose :)

  32. baldeaglejohnie says: Aug 20, 2011 6:41 PM

    Practice! were talking about practice ! come on man, practice. really. were talking about practice! man I sure hope our O look’s better in our next practice game :-) !

  33. elmoron says: Aug 20, 2011 7:05 PM

    Gotta admit, I did a double take when the Skins drafted Helu, but the kid looks pretty good. There was some pretty nice scouting done there.

  34. ductguy says: Aug 20, 2011 7:41 PM

    Reg-gie!! Reg-gie!! great game phins up to a great performance hopefully gets better from here!! “puke on jets”

  35. sclazo says: Aug 20, 2011 8:02 PM

    We learned that Reggie deserved the hype and Newton didn’t. The media needs to get it’s head out of it’s @$$.

  36. beedubyatoo says: Aug 20, 2011 8:30 PM

    commonsense

    The Lions had 14 penalties. That’s a team that’s going nowhere. You’ll be fighting the queens for the bottom of the NFL north.

  37. ljl2 says: Aug 20, 2011 8:32 PM

    commonsense –
    you realize that the browns had 2 and 3 string guys playing from kickoff to cover injuries right? the fact try played longer than your starters isn’t something to brag about.

  38. commonsenseescapesyou says: Aug 20, 2011 10:03 PM

    ljl2-
    The Lions were without their starting CB, starting RB, starting LT and CALVIN JOHNSON. Yeah, both teams had injuries. The Browns played their starting unit up until near the half, while the Lions pulled theres at the start of the 2nd quarter.

    beedubyatoo-
    OH NO! The Lions’ backups and 3rd stringers got a bunch of penalties in a preseason game!? Must be doomed.

    Absolutely awful logic.

  39. ljl2 says: Aug 21, 2011 1:08 AM

    LG Eric Steinbach, RB Peyton Hillis, RB Montario Hardesty, LB Scott Fujita, S T.J. Ward, S Usama Young, and LB Chris Gocong.

    all starters except hardesty. you were saying?

  40. ljl2 says: Aug 21, 2011 1:10 AM

    PS – undrafted DBs saw some time against detroit’s 1s…

  41. commonsenseescapesyou says: Aug 21, 2011 1:31 AM

    Comparing lists, and comparing impact, they look pretty even: LT Jeff Backus, RB Mikel Leshoure, RB Maurice Morris, RB Jahvid Best (hurt early), WR Calvin Johnson, TE Tony Scheffler, DT Nick Fairley, CB Chris Houston and CB Alphonso Smith. Yeah, I was saying: CLE’s starting unit remained on the field far longer than DET’s did.

    (Thank goodness, considering how Burleson made Haden look.)

  42. commonsenseescapesyou says: Aug 21, 2011 4:01 AM

    “2. The Lions had nine penalties and trailed 21-13 when their starters left the game.”

    The worst part about this flawed statement is that the source linked in your own article DOESN’T say this in any way.

    The linked article states:

    “While the Lions were outplayed in the first half — they trailed 21-13 at intermission — Detroit won the battle of the backups.”

    - Nowhere does it state that the starters left down 21-13, but that was the halftime score.

    And this:

    “The Lions led 10-7 when Stafford (who had a passer rating of 120.8) left the game early in the second quarter.”

    I’m guessing you didn’t actually read the article you referenced, and that’s a dangerous mistake to make.

  43. gguffey says: Aug 21, 2011 8:56 AM

    The Colts defense always brings out the best in the other teams offense.

  44. justentertainingthestupid says: Aug 21, 2011 9:33 AM

    I think Chad Henne is going to have a really good year.

  45. ljl2 says: Aug 21, 2011 11:35 AM

    Haden wasn’t matched up against burleson the hole game. the browns play CBs play right an left, not matched up vs a WR. watch the game. the time where Haden was actually on burleson he broke up the play and stood over him jawing. but why let facts get in the way? and you do realize that just because the #1 qb is off the field doesn’t mean all starters are off? or even thy the defensive starters are off? my pout here is not to argue which team is better, just that the claims you are making applied to both sides and doesn’t show some magical way the lions were the better team.

  46. ljl2 says: Aug 21, 2011 1:06 PM

    just throwing out there I am using a phone and autocorrect decided to have with those typos up there

  47. egetto says: Aug 21, 2011 1:33 PM

    So funny watching Browns and Lions fans argue over whose starters play longer. We will give you both a half win credit toward the regular season, which will get you closer to your 5 win average each year

  48. whatswiththehate says: Aug 21, 2011 4:43 PM

    sclazo says:Aug 20, 2011 8:02 PM

    We learned that Reggie deserved the hype and Newton didn’t. The media needs to get it’s head out of it’s @$$.
    ——————-
    Yep, how ignorant….Comparing a pro vet RB to a rookie QB.

    We also learnt that Cam played just as good as Sam Bradford did in his rookie preseason games last year but I guess preception beats reality when it comes to Cam Newton.

    Also, ironically that Blaine Gabbert, is playing worst than Cam but is being pushed by the media to take over Garrard’s, position in Jacksonville; while Cam, is treated by the media, as a failure if isn’t getting TDs every time his hands touches the ball. Nope, no discrimination there.

  49. mrfrostyj says: Aug 21, 2011 6:49 PM

    Things I learned

    - Lions fans get really upity about columnists saying negative things about their pre-season wins. Seriously I’m pretty sure by “starters” Gregg was referring to the actual definition in “those who actually started the game” thus making his comment completely accurate. Last I checked the Browns starting running back was not some guy named Jackson and their starting tight end wasn’t named “Moore” either. lighten up.

    - Speaking of lightening up. Todd Haley called and doesn’t appreciate Steelers fans running up the number of pro steelers posts on the message boards. It’s preventing Chiefs fans from participating.

    - Do we really need the pre-season to tell us the Colts suck without Manning. Have we forgotten how teams plan or cancel playoff parties based on what week the Colts sit their starters?

    - I’ve also learned that their must be some type of magic spell that allows the names Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore to continue to be relevant despite the ability to be worse in their best game then Jake Delhomme ever was in his worst year back in Carolina.

  50. spartyfi says: Aug 24, 2011 1:10 PM

    Mr. Frosty: Lions fans don’t like inaccurate statements that make them look bad because, well we’re so used to it.

    However, when talking about starters, it is meant starters for that game. The lions were gone at end of Q1 and the Browns, right before halftime….and I mean right before.

    With that, what a lame thing to be arguing about. SMH

    Can we get this stupid preseason over with and start meaningful games. You people taking something out of preseason are ignorant. No plays are run because they’re the most successful in that situation, they’re run because coaches wanna see what the players can do. For instance, in the Lions game, I noticed they ran the same 4 or 5 plays for most of the first half. It’s just a good way to compare and contrast your players by having them run the same plays to see who performs better, gets to their spot, holds their blocks…all those games within the game, that’s all that’s being worked on, not the game itself.

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