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Five reasons to watch the fourth preseason week

Christian Ponder AP

The fourth week of the preseason may not mean much to fans, but it can mean everything to players fighting to make an NFL team.

It’s also going to mean a lot to some rookie quarterbacks looking to improve and to veterans wanting to show they are healthy before the season starts.  A few reasons to watch the last preseason week:

1. The Vikings will start Christian Ponder over Joe Webb at quarterback.  Ponder, the team’s first round pick, may need a big performance to be the team’s regular season backup.  Ponder has struggled for the most part in August.

2. Jahvid Best will return to the field after suffering a concussion in the second exhibition game. It looks like he’ll be ready for Week One.

3. Maurice Jones-Drew makes his preseason debut coming off knee surgery.

4. Titans receiver Kenny Britt, ostensibly the team’s top option, will play for the first time in the preseason.

5. Rookie quarterbacks like Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker get their last chance to show they developed over the last month.  A strong outing from Gabbert would help to put pressure on David Garrard, but Gabbert just hasn’t looked ready yet.

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44 Responses to “Five reasons to watch the fourth preseason week”
  1. beckzhere says: Aug 31, 2011 10:09 AM

    None of these seem like viable reasons to watch. How about the fact that its still football and i need to do some last minute recon before my fantasy draft.

  2. waitingguilty says: Aug 31, 2011 10:10 AM

    All this and John Beck too!

  3. thephantomstranger says: Aug 31, 2011 10:14 AM

    Ponder has struggled for the most part in August.
    ________

    What you call “struggling,” astute NFL observers call “normal rookie growing pains.” I’m perfectly happy with how Ponder has looked so far. He’s never been on the field with the #1 offensive line. He’s shown a lot of mobility, keeps his eyes looking downfield for a receiver while he’s on the run, and has shown good accuracy on short to medium throws.

  4. doe22us says: Aug 31, 2011 10:15 AM

    How about five reasons not to watch a bunch of no-names trying to make a team, thanks i will pass.

  5. medtxpack says: Aug 31, 2011 10:20 AM

    i dont need reasons beyond that its football and that lockout was such BS to have to deal with. no cant do dishes, no i cant cut the grass, no i cant walk the dog. Me and the Dog….are watching football.

  6. bigd4defense says: Aug 31, 2011 10:20 AM

    good call beckz

  7. jbpanthers says: Aug 31, 2011 10:20 AM

    Meh, College football kicks off Thursday. :D

  8. hardate says: Aug 31, 2011 10:23 AM

    Put Jabbert In!11!!!

  9. bmmayhew says: Aug 31, 2011 10:26 AM

    Any football is better than double-play highlights and dorks playing poker.

  10. KIR says: Aug 31, 2011 10:27 AM

    I love the fourth game. It exposes you hippocrates (they’re overpaid) and clowns (I’d play for free). The fact of the matter is that the backups, most of whom will be cut, were some of the best college players and America still refuses to watch. The current players value therefore is self evident. :-)

  11. dickroy says: Aug 31, 2011 10:29 AM

    Those are five pitiful reasons to watch.

  12. comeonnowguys says: Aug 31, 2011 10:32 AM

    jbpanthers says: Aug 31, 2011 10:20 AM

    Meh, College football kicks off Thursday. :D

    I view the college regular season as I view the first Matrix movie. Sure by itself it’s solid, but you know what’s coming afterwards, and it just makes the whole thing sad.

  13. cardsmac says: Aug 31, 2011 10:32 AM

    You forgot to mention basing your fantasy football draft’s order on betting against the spread

  14. realitypolice says: Aug 31, 2011 10:37 AM

    6. It’s NFL football, what the hell else am I going to watch?

  15. philtration says: Aug 31, 2011 10:37 AM

    comeonnowguys says: Aug 31, 2011 10:32 AM

    jbpanthers says: Aug 31, 2011 10:20 AM

    Meh, College football kicks off Thursday. :D

    I view the college regular season as I view the first Matrix movie. Sure by itself it’s solid, but you know what’s coming afterwards, and it just makes the whole thing sad.
    ====================================

    Yep.
    The BCS killed the college game for me.

  16. kolb2fitz says: Aug 31, 2011 10:40 AM

    6. More of Kolb to Fitz…!

  17. wamj2008 says: Aug 31, 2011 10:54 AM

    Hippocrates is way dead.

  18. scudbot says: Aug 31, 2011 10:59 AM

    6. Eagles-Jets Also Ran Bowl: Rex Ryan vs. Vince Young, halftime equipment throwing contest.

  19. watchthisjack says: Aug 31, 2011 11:00 AM

    6. Terrell Pryor should play most of the game per Hue Jackson

  20. klunge says: Aug 31, 2011 11:02 AM

    KIR says:
    Aug 31, 2011 10:27 AM
    I love the fourth game. It exposes you hippocrates (they’re overpaid) and clowns (I’d play for free).
    ———————————————–

    If you played for free, you’d still be overpaid too.
    Also:
    Hippocrates = ancient Greek physician, father of Western medicine, author of the Hippocratic oath
    Hypocrites = people who believe or act contrary to the things they say

    You probably meant the second one, but I don’t see how either term is relevant to the point you are making. Although at second glance of your post, there doesn’t seem to be a point at all so it doesn’t matter anyways.

  21. sterilizecromartie says: Aug 31, 2011 11:07 AM

    @ comeonnowguys

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t think I will ever understand why anyone would ever be interested in college football, except for observing players for NFL Draft purposes. Between the wierd conferences (Big 12 having 10 teams and Big 10 having 12 teams?, why doesn’t every conference have a conference championship?, etc.), the constant scandals, and the god-awful postseason system (putting the championship in the hands of voters?, who really cares if their team makes the Citrus Bowl?, etc.)… it’s just all real, real bad.

  22. justadude71 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:07 AM

    What about Tebow? Did he eat his peas?

  23. tatum064 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:18 AM

    Ponder is going to eventually start, with McNabb being the veteran bridge.

    Jahvid Best will get injured again during season. Concussion and running back doesnt jell

    M.Jones Drew is likely done. A lot of his yards come from cutting back, and his style of running is violent. an elusive back is almost never the same

    Britt has likely played his way out of Tennessee. Its a shame, because he is a talent…

    Hasselbeck is a bridge to Locker eventually. Its interesting to note they get a QB with the same skill set as Young to replace Young – just take care of CJ2k, and Titans should be back on course.

    Gabbert is a pretender, very likely a good QB, who implodes once bullets start flying…lets give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

  24. blackbug99 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:18 AM

    thephantomstranger says:
    Me and the Dog….are watching football
    ——————————————–

    Now THAT’s a football fan!!

  25. randolph32 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:19 AM

    I’ll be watching to see how many DROPS Roy Williams has for the Bears — over/under at 4.5.

  26. manntier says: Aug 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    I couldn’t disagree more with the comment about Ponder “struggling.” He took us about 70 yards in less than a minute with no timeouts last week, completing a 4th and 5 pass and working the sidelines the whole way despite everyone on defense knowing we needed to get out of bounds. On the last play, he gave Reisner enough space to get out of bounds, but he came up a few feet short and we couldn’t stop the clock with 7 seconds left at the 15 yard line. I thought he showed a lot for a rookie. I can’t remember Culpepper ever running the two minute offense that well – preseason or regular season – in his early years. Ponder also hasn’t turned the ball over yet and if what’s-his-name wouldn’t have dropped the ball on 4th down in the first game, he’d probably have a touchdown pass to his credit and his rating would be in the 90s. Count me among the Vikings fans who are very happy with Ponder.

  27. theytukrjobs says: Aug 31, 2011 11:22 AM

    I wouldn’t exactly say Ponder has struggled. Struggled about as much as most rookie QB’s struggle. He hasn’t made an explosive downfield pass which is concerning. But I’ve watched every one of his throws and he really hasn’t had much time in the pocket and unlike many top shelf rookies he hasn’t had any time with the #1’s.

    Plus I’d give you the #1 reason to watch the Vikes preseason game and it is that Joe Webb is just flat out entertaining to watch. Guy may never be a good player but damned if it isn’t fun just to watch him out there.

  28. KIR says: Aug 31, 2011 11:27 AM

    @klunge

    I saw that, unfortunately when you’re on a mobile the incorrect word sometimes pops up. You get an apple insecure little man.
    ____________________________________________

    glance of your post, there doesn’t seem to be a point at all

    How many of you all want to bet of can find multiple comments by this hypocritical clown stating……
    A.The owners shouldn’t share their revenue
    B. These players are overpaid

    My point stands little man. If the players aren’t worth it, why is America paying to watch it? It’s call supply and demand. Do you not believe in capitalism? You are such an intellectual Coward. ;-)

  29. svcfilmguy says: Aug 31, 2011 11:31 AM

    None of these reasons are compelling. The best reasons is watching the scrubs play their hearts out trying to make it. The starters often loaf it. These guys are going 100% on every play. It’s good stuff. I love football, and I don’t need a bunch of big names to hold my attention. Others apparently do. Fine by me.

  30. hobartbaker says: Aug 31, 2011 11:36 AM

    None of the rookie QBs look very good so far. I guess they really did need those lost months of practice.

  31. 303bengalguy says: Aug 31, 2011 11:38 AM

    Maybe you PFT dudes should heed your own hype and actually watch a few games the eh? I have to agree that Ponder isn’t struggling any more than your avg rook, nor should he be scrutinized beyond such expectations you’d have for any other rookie QB. It’s like you either watch games with tainted glasses toward certain players and/or teams, or don’t watch them at all. Which is it?

  32. johnnyjagfan says: Aug 31, 2011 11:39 AM

    Does ANYONE want my 2 Falcons Ravens tickets for tomorrow?

  33. fatguystrangler says: Aug 31, 2011 11:44 AM

    Newsflash: Most rookie QB’s struggle, especially given the circumstances of the lockout this year.

  34. starfan79 says: Aug 31, 2011 11:58 AM

    Fantasy football is the only reason I might watch some of these. Who is the next Arian Foster?

  35. willyalistentothis says: Aug 31, 2011 12:03 PM

    Five other reasons to watch the fourth pre-season week:

    1. Maybe your last chance to see Tim Tebow play QB in an NFL uniform. Maybe he will cry.
    2. Cedric Benson will be watching as well…..if they let him.
    3. Rex Ryan coaching with a hot dog in his hand should make for good TV.
    4. It’s not the like it will be the first time Terrelle Pryor will be playing for money, but it still should be worth a watch.
    5. We will get to see Tom Brady’s $300 haircut unspoiled by helmet-head.

  36. gregm5s7 says: Aug 31, 2011 12:03 PM

    tatum064 says:Aug 31, 2011 11:18 AM

    M.Jones Drew is likely done. A lot of his yards come from cutting back, and his style of running is violent. an elusive back is almost never the same

    ==================================

    MJD is 26, played the majority of last season with an injury and had 1,600 combined yards. lol.

    He is an intelligent athlete, and was a track guy before bulking up more for football. He does most of his running inside, maintains great speed, doesn’t change a lot of direction.

    If we bet money, how much money would you put up to say he was done after this year?

  37. jamezz23 says: Aug 31, 2011 12:24 PM

    These QB’s of 2011 look really bad. Possibly the worst I’ve every seen. They are going to need a long time before they are even semi effective in the NFL. Quite the difference coming from bradford, sanchez, freeman, and stafford who had the skill set to make a difference on day one.

  38. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 31, 2011 12:24 PM

    beckzhere says:
    Aug 31, 2011 10:09 AM
    None of these seem like viable reasons to watch. How about the fact that its still football and i need to do some last minute recon before my fantasy draft.

    _______

    Really? You’re drafting some of these guys? I’d like to extend an invitation for you to join our ff league.

  39. dikshuttle says: Aug 31, 2011 12:33 PM

    @Jamezz23 – right? No wonder ShanAllen didn’t go QB in the draft.

    Which brings me to my “reason to watch”. To see the starting QB battle resolved for the ‘Skins.

    Hail to ‘em!

  40. FinFan68 says: Aug 31, 2011 12:37 PM

    Just curious,

    why is a rookie QB that is 17/33 for 207 yards, 0TD, 0INT. average QB rating 70.17 with 6.27 yards per attempt considered struggling (Ponder)

    and

    a rookie QB that is 21/52 for 275 yards, 0TD, 0INT. average QB rating 52.27 with 5.28 yards per attempt considered “raw and intriguing” (Newton)

  41. blancodiablo says: Aug 31, 2011 1:51 PM

    If you only watch football for some fantasy league goofiness, you should be forced to attend training on how to be a man.

    I know that will offend some and their delicate feminine sensitivities, but if it does, refer to the above mandatory training. Get in line, girls.

  42. mayfieldroadboy says: Aug 31, 2011 2:51 PM

    I enjoy the last game of pre-season. Some of the players this weekend will be starters next year while others will just evaporate out of memory.

    People who scoff at the last pre-season game are strict band-wagon jumpers…they wanta to ride winners no matter who or for whom.

    Those who watch for fantasy league purposes really live in fantasy land, where gambling and winning is strictly a ferry-tale.

  43. klunge says: Aug 31, 2011 3:21 PM

    KIR says:
    Aug 31, 2011 11:27 AM
    @klunge

    I saw that, unfortunately when you’re on a mobile the incorrect word sometimes pops up. You get an apple insecure little man.

    How many of you all want to bet of can find multiple comments by this hypocritical clown stating……
    A.The owners shouldn’t share their revenue
    B. These players are overpaid

    My point stands little man. If the players aren’t worth it, why is America paying to watch it? It’s call supply and demand. Do you not believe in capitalism? You are such an intellectual Coward.
    ————————————————–

    Maybe you’re a socially inept genius…so many good ideas but just can’t quite articulate them in a way regular people can understand. So I will just appreciate that you have convictions & put in the effort. Kudos to you for that.

    Unsure whether the author of this article or me is being called a hypocrite? No need to search my posts though, I readily admit saying that athletes are overpaid and I’ve never contradicted myself on that stance. Again you make no point with your accusation of hypocrisy. You could call me a passive-aggressive, sarcastic troll trouncing people for grammatical errors and malapropisms. That’s more accurate than hypocrite.

    Ranting about supply & demand, Capitalism and such…you don’t still think the lockout is going on, do you? Why again does this have anything to do with the 4th preseason game?

    Anyway…a little man is a step up from an invisible one. An intellectual coward is better than a coward w/o intellect (you see what I did there?) Coming from you I take those epithets as accolades.

  44. phantomthebusybody says: Aug 31, 2011 9:52 PM

    thephantomstranger says:
    Me and the Dog….are watching football
    ——————————————–

    Now THAT’s a football fan!!

    ==========

    That’s interesting, I would have pegged as more of a cat person.

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