What we learned: Preseason night No. 2


You guys liked our recap of the first night of preseason games so much, we’re going to make it a regular feature.

(Note: We don’t know whether you actually liked the first one. We made that part up.)

Dolphins 28, Falcons 23

1. Julio Jones showed why the Falcons gave up all those picks to get him, demonstrating great burst on three touches for 55 yards.

2. Miami won the game, but Atlanta’s starters absolutely trashed Miami’s first unit.  It was not a strong night for Chad Henne.

3. Falcons No. 3 quarterback John Parker Wilson and defensive tackle Trey Lewis both left with injuries.

Lions 34, Bengals 3

1. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s first start wasn’t a total debacle, but the kid just wouldn’t go vertical.

2. A terrific performance by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson won’t slow down the Lions hype train.

3. Surprise standouts in this one: Detroit’s offensive line.  Stafford wasn’t touched.

Redskins 16, Steelers 7

1. Rex Grossman took the lead for the starting quarterback job with a solid performance.  John Beck was out with a groin injury.

2. Tim Hightower looks locked into Washington’s starting gig at running back.

3.  Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor may miss a lot of training camp after suffering a broken thumb.

Bucs 25, Chiefs 0

1. Bucs quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson both looked very sharp behind a cohesive-looking offensive line.

2. The answer to the Tyler Palko vs. Ricky Stanzi backup quarterback battle in Kansas City could be “neither.”  [Editor’s note:  Or, perhaps, “Daunte Culpepper.”]

Saints 24, 49ers 3

1. The Saints defense was in regular season form, thanks to coordinator Gregg Williams.

2. The 49ers quarterbacks and offensive line didn’t know what hit them.  Both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick were abused.

3. It was a promising night for running backs.  Saints rookie Mark Ingram flashed his potential, while 49ers running back Frank Gore flashed his old burst.

59 responses to “What we learned: Preseason night No. 2

  1. Despite the league’s evolution towards pass-happiness, stout defense and running the ball should be slightly more prevalent this year due to lack of chemistry formed during the lockout.

  2. I’m hyped about the Lions, but cautiously…

    Need to see some ‘real’ tests against the O line.

    That said – the O looked very good early and late.

    Chomping at the bit to see Suh AND Fairley on D line.

  3. Btw, your capsule of the Dolphins/Falcons game is absurd.

    17-7 as a score isn’t a trashing.

    Also, no Brandon Marshall, no Reggie Bush, no JT. What starters were you refering to?

  4. Seriously, I saw the replay of Ben R. hitting his hand on a helmet on a throw and they said he was icing it after, but I’ve seen/heard no report since. It’s like a state secret or something.

  5. and big jen was able to create drama in the first presason game.. should’ve brought out the cart

  6. I dislike Steelers fans (usually I don’t mind em) but if they beat the Skins 28-3 they’d be on here running their mouth like crazy, but since the Skins First/Second/Third team offense/defense dominated them (Minus Shayne Graham {Sp?}) They’re all like, “It’s just the preseason, we don’t care…”

    The skins offense looked smooth, and it’s just what I wanted to see… I’m a happy fan today…

  7. As a Pats fan I am happy the Fins have Henne.
    I continue almost to feel bad for their defense though. Man they have a nice D with 2 up and coming CBs. I hate when the Pats play them.

  8. Gregg R., when did you become a player and an evaluator? Stick to the facts. Opinions like a-holes, anybody has one. Make sure you’re just as objective towards to the New York and New England media markets teams as you’re with the Miami Dolphins team. Objective and impartial reporting is the best type of reporting. Go figure.

  9. I don’t know why people keep coming to these conclusions during the preseason when we all know that the best teams and players in the preseason can be the worst in the regular season. Everyone just enjoy your teams during preseason (aka tryouts/practice) and try to guess what 4-0 preseason team will go 2-14.

  10. I was really impressed with Bucs backup Josh Johnson! Kid really looks to be auditioning for a starting role somewhere next season.

  11. first off henne didnt have a good game, but it wasnt awful. he had two interceptions, but if i could, i would blame one on the tight end who dropped the ball, the 2nd int was NO excuse and he had one throw that i saw that was off. the Redskins looked ok, Hightower was a good trade and so FAR so good for Grossman, but remember the key words are so far. i am still not big on Grossman or Beck as the starter, but maybe i will be surprised

  12. What we learned was the 49ers suck, whiner fans are crybabies and they should have drafted Aaron Rodgers instead of Alex Smith

  13. @bobbinski1229 …

    I try to see at least a portion of all the preseason games, but rarely notice the score. That’s not the purpose of preseason. I’m a Steelers fan, but won’t see our game until this afternoon. My concern when I watch will be issues like timing, coordination, getting a look at rookies and newly signed free agents. I get that you don’t like the Steelers, but it’s silly to put much stock in team performance at this point. Better to look at the parts than the sum. Our first game against the Ravens will set the tone for our season.

  14. Wow, no Bucs Fans comments. So here’s one.

    Tampa’s O-line looked impressive. Both Joshes looked awesome. The D-line which was trashed and humiliated at times last year looked like they hasd something to prove.

    As young as they are, the Bucs will be a team to be reckon with for YEARS! (Unlike these teams that load up on 30 something FA’s.)

    Good job Tampa, and I can’t wait for Sept 11th! Okay, let the Thumbs down start from all the Buc-haters.

  15. @wilddeuce03:
    Yeah, Johnson has impressed me for several years. I was really surprised when the Bucs drafted Freeman, because word was they were looking to make Johnson the starter. Now I know why: Freeman is awesome, especially for only being 23.

  16. I’m confused. Since when was Miami’s second team secondary considered “starters”? Sure, they gave up that touchdown on the first drive, but I don’t feel the “starters” should be help responsible for the points that the second team gave up.

    Also, I hope Jake Long gets better soon and Anthony Fasano decides to, you know, catch footballs. It’s annoying when you have a QB that is already prone to throwing ill-advised passes and receivers cause easily avoidable interceptions as was frequent even last year.

  17. @bucwild05:
    Rams fan here, but I have to say I’m firmly on the Bucs’ bandwagon. I was skeptical when they drafted Freeman and made Raheem the HC, but I admit I was very wrong. We’ll see how that young team handles a tougher schedule this year, but they are definitely headed in the right direction.

  18. Ok, so this is the second post where you mention Atlanta’s starters demolishing Miami’s. I wanted to correct your observation. You said that the entire first quarter was the period to watch, and at the end it was 17-0. Our starting defense was off the field by the time the second drive for Atlanta was done. Score? 7-0. First drive against our starting D? 3 and out.

    Our offense was missing Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush, so you really didn’t get to see what we are doing on offense. Well, maybe you did with Henne’s two picks. I digress.

    It’s irresponsible journalism to mislead people without providing the correct information. So stop saying that Atlanta’s starters slaughtered us.

  19. Remeber lions fans 4-0 in PRESEASON means nothing. Do believe that was last years record too. Plus it was the bengals.

  20. Deb,

    In the preseason I look for good technique, and was mainly looking at how our coaching staff did with 2 weeks of prep. The Steelers looked really sloppy, (like Mike Tomlin said they got outplayed in all aspects of the game) I know that preseason doesn’t matter, but as long as we can play fundamentally sound like we did in the preseason, I think well be ok… Were still a few years away from being where we want to be but at least well be competitive this year…

  21. Why are Miami geeks whining so badly? It was 17-0 in the blink of an eye. Both teams had starters not playing. Henne threw a TD in the 2nd quarter against ATL’s 2nd & 3rd teamers. Ryan’s last TD to make it 17-0 was caught by Harry Douglas who was being covered by MIA’s starting safety. Atlanta’s #2 QB played 1 series in the 2nd half… after Ryan came John Parker Wilson (the #3 QB). I guess y’all take some satisfaction in having better undrafted FAs and camp fodder.

  22. I really enjoy watching the back ups play in the preseason. We don’t really think about it but we could potentially be watching the future Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys. The QB positions is so exciting to watch and you always have an idea on who has the mental toughness and also who’s having fun. Usually those who are having fun are usually the ones who are more successful. I know a lot of people hate him because of the way he left the game (hopefully for good this time lol), but Bret Favre is the perfect example. In his late 30s he still looked like a kid playing in the park. I love seeing that in QBs. A rare attribute now a days unfortunately.

  23. @bobbinski1229 … sorry, PFT is semi-blocking me. Glad you’re happy. You’ve had it rough recently.

  24. all these conclusions about how good or bad teams are based on 1 preseason game is just plain crazy at best.i’d like to remind everyone about the bills of the eary 90’s i’m not sure they won any preseason games from 90 to 93 but they sure went to the superbowl every year. i wonder what kind of evaluation pft would have gave them had they been around at that time

  25. yeah the chiefs need a backup qb. i really liked the stanzi pick in the fifth round but he is not ready to play, not even close, i don’t have much faith in Palko ever developing. i don’t know who is out there but they should get somebody else. maybe charlie batch if the steelers release him.

  26. chc4 says: Aug 13, 2011 3:15 PM

    Why are Miami geeks whining so badly? It was 17-0 in the blink of an eye. Both teams had starters not playing. Henne threw a TD in the 2nd quarter against ATL’s 2nd & 3rd teamers. Ryan’s last TD to make it 17-0 was caught by Harry Douglas who was being covered by MIA’s starting safety. Atlanta’s #2 QB played 1 series in the 2nd half… after Ryan came John Parker Wilson (the #3 QB). I guess y’all take some satisfaction in having better undrafted FAs and camp fodder.


    Tyrone Culver is NOT Miami’s starting safety this year. Clemons will start as he did last year.

    Ryan’s (only) touchdown was a great throw to Douglas was against what was mostly Miami’s reserves (see: Odrick, Fields, Spitler, Edds, Jones, Carroll, Alama-Francis, etc). Ryan versus what was mostly starters: 1/5 for 21 yards (first two drives, which netted 7 points together)

    I am not familiar with the Falcons roster though, they were probably reserves on the field during Henne’s touchdown though.

    No satisfaction should come from the scoring outcome of a preseason game.

  27. Ok! One win down,I know it was just a preseason game but a win is a win. The Bucs did look pretty strong in the shutout,but I heard that the Chiefs have been trying to avoid injuries by doing little pad workouts and no scrimmages. Next week should be a good test against the Patriots to see if Coach Morris and staff have been doing their jobs. GO BUCS!

  28. wow dude, if you think the falcons “thrashed” the dolphins starters you probably shouldnt be a profootball journalist. when the dolphins starting unit was in the falcons went 3 and out. from then on the starting unit wasnt in. nonetheless, the fins looked awful.

  29. The Falcons are obviously a better team than the Dolphins. In a regular season game it would of been an easy win.

  30. stevemo — watch the replay… Chris Clemons was the guy beaten by Harry Douglas on the TD pass. Miami’s #30 was in coverage. Unless the NFL.com roster is wrong, that’s Clemons.

  31. chc4 says: Aug 13, 2011 9:38 PM

    stevemo — watch the replay… Chris Clemons was the guy beaten by Harry Douglas on the TD pass. Miami’s #30 was in coverage. Unless the NFL.com roster is wrong, that’s Clemons.


    I’d have to disagree, it looks like a clear #29 to me: http://i51.tinypic.com/316qgs2.jpg

    Clemons was indeed playing free safety on that particular play (something I did not notice previously). I’m curious as to why he was still in the game.

    Clemons appears to be covering #80 Kerry Meier in that particular play.

  32. @red.

    I agree, I was the same with you, I did not feel Raheem was going to be a good coach, specially after his 1st year and how his play calling was.

    I thought the stretched with Freeman. I will happily admit, I was wrong, big time.

    I have always liked Josh Johnson, and he will be a good starter for someone next year. Freeman is just on a whole new level as QB’s go. He didn’t look like a QB in just his 2nd year last year. He’ll be lighting it up this year especially now that he has had time to work with what were rookies last year.

  33. As a bucs fan that game was great. The player who impressed me the most was my boy foster, looked good as a rookie middle linebacker. Maybe the glazers were on to something not gettin free agents

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