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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NFL Preseason Week 2 Wrap-up

The Derek Anderson-led Cleveland Browns, and the defending champion New York Giants capped off the second week of NFL preseason football action last night. The Giants led the game, 30-17, at the half, and pretty much dominated the Browns offense. Anderson left the game early after going 4 for 10 for 20 passing yards, a 56-yard field goal kicked by veteran Phil Dawson being the only score in the first quarter. Anderson left shortly after fumbling an attempt at an exchange with running back Jamal Lewis. New York’s James Butler returned the fumble 95 yards for a 30-3 lead just 33 seconds into the second quarter of play. Eli Manning’s 2 TD passes led New York to the halftime lead. But, Brady Quinn and the Browns came out in the third quarter on fire. Quinn threw a TD pass to Syndric Steptoe early in the third quarter, and Cleveland scored 10 fourth quarter points. But, New York held on to the 37-34 win, picking up win #1 of the preseason.

Game Scores/Recaps:

Thursday August 14 th, 2008

Pittsburgh 21, Buffalo 24

Both starting quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, and Trent Edwards) made little mistakes, both going 9 for 11 with 100+ passing yards, while Byron Leftwich made his first appearance in Pittsburgh black and gold. Buffalo’s Edwards has made a strong campaign for the starting job so far, and Dick Jauron would be a fool to start Losman over Edwards come week 1.

Carolina 13, Philadelphia 24

Jake Delhomme made his anticipated return from Tommy John surgery, completing 9 of 14 passes in the process. But, Kevin Kolb, and Tony Hunt stole the show. Kolb jump-started a Philadelphia scoring-spurt late in the fourth quarter with 33-yard toss to Greg Lewis for their first score of the evening with 6:41 to play. Just 30 seconds later Philly added a 40-yard field goal to that, cutting their deficit to just three points. Four short minutes later, Hunt ran for a 51-yard TD to take the lead for good. Philly added injury to insult with a Justin Roland 74-yard interception returned for a TD after Carolina’s Matt Moore attempted a last-minute scoring drive.

Friday August 15 th, 2008

Oakland ran for 224 yards, 77 of those yards belonged to 27-year old Adimchinobi Echemandu, and rookie running back Darren McFadden ran for 44 yards on six carries in his second NFL game. But, Tennessee’s third-string QB, 26-year old Ingle Martin, lead a late scoring drive. The scoring drive was capped by a game-winning 33-yard field goal hit by John Vaughn as time expired. Tennessee came out on top, despite Vince Young’s early struggles, finishing 4 for 13, with 37 yards passing.

Saturday August 16 th, 2008

Washington 13, New York Jets 10

The much-anticipated Brett Favre debut finally happened on Saturday night in New York. Favre’s first TD pass as a Jet came with five minutes to play in quarter number one. Favre threw a short 4-yarder to rookie TE Dustin Keller, who finished with 2 catches for 26 yards, and 1 TD. But, Washington’s rookie QB Colt Brennan led a last-minute scoring drive which ended with a 33-yard TD toss to Jason Goode. Washington held off the eager Jets 13-10.

Indianapolis 16, Atlanta 9

The Colts, still Manning-less, held off the Falcons without any offensive TD’s. But, three field goals, and a Kelvin Hayden interception returned for a touchdown was enough to hold off the young Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta’s rookie QB, Matt Ryan, completed 8 of his 16 passes, and one interception (three total INT’s thrown by ATL). Jason Elam’s three field goals was the only way Atlanta was able to score. Although Atlanta’s biggest offseason acquisition, Michael Turner, ran for 113 yards on just 4 carries. That is an average of 28.5 YPC. Pretty impressive second game, huh?

Miami 19, Jacksonville 14

Chad Pennington’s debut was a solid one, going 5 for 6 for 55 yards. Rookie QB Chad Henne attempted 26 passes for 133 yards in the three quarters of play. Ricky Williams provided Miami’s only TD, running the ball in from 4 yards out in the first quarter. Dan Carpenter’s fourth field goal in the third quarter gave Miami a 19-0 lead. But, Jacksonville never gave up, and Todd Bouman led the Jags to two TD’s in the final 6 minutes. Though Bouman’s comeback failed, and Miami held on to the 19-14 win.

Minnesota 23, Baltimore 15

Tarvaris Jackson left the game early with a sprained MCL, but Gus Frerotte, and Brooks Bollinger picked up where he left off, throwing for 132 yards, and a TD. Baltimore’s rookie RB Ray Rice, and second-year QB Troy Smith tore up the turf, running for a combined 112 yards, and a TD (6-yard run by Rice in 1 st QTR). As a team, Baltimore ran for 7.9 yards per carry, but turned the ball over twice, with 6 penalties. Minnesota took the 8-point victory in the end, but suffered a huge blow when T-Jack went down.

Arizona QB Matt Leinart led the team with 62 passing yards, and one TD pass, leading Arizona to the 10-point victory. But, Kansas City saw some positive out of 24-year old QB Tyler Thigpen. Thigpen attempted a majority of the Chiefs’ passes for 174 yards, including a last-second TD pass to Sergiori Joachim from 14 yards out. Arizona came out on top with no turnovers and just 3 penalties all game.

St. Louis’ RB Travis Minor scored the game’s only TD, when he ran for a three-yard score late in the third quarter. Nate Kaeding’s two first quarter field goals proved not enough. Marc Bulger threw for 2 interceptions, and completed just 7 of his 14 pass attempts, but the Rams’ offense dominated anyway. They outgained San Diego 309-203, and accumulated nearly twice as many first downs (21-11).

Both teams went interceptions-less, and thrived through the air. Steve Slaton ran for his first career NFL TD early in the fourth quarter. The TD put Houston on top for good. Both starting quarterbacks had great games stat-wise. Matt Schaub completed 14 of 16, and Drew Brees 12 of 17. Both teams defenses struggled to stop the opposing offense from scoring.

Dallas 13, Denver 23

Jay Cutler had a fantastic game for the second consecutive week. This time, Cutler completed 16 of his 20 passes for 178 yards, and a TD pass to his favorite receiver, Brandon Marshall, in the second quarter. Denver controlled the ball for 33 of the 60 minutes of play, and had no turnovers with just 6 penalties. On the other side of the ball, Denver’s defense allowed just 70 yards on the ground to the Cowboys as rookie RB Felix Jones saw just 3 carries for 17 yards. Third-string Dallas QB Richard Bartel threw the game’s only interception to Denver’s rookie CB Jack Williams from Kent State. Kicker Matt Prater, taking over for Jason Elam, was the difference, kicking three field goals through the uprights in the third and fourth quarter of play.

Aaron Rodgers’ second game as the new Green Bay QB didn’t go as well as expected. Rodgers completed 9 of 16 for 58 yards, and failed to conduct a drive resulting in a TD in his quarter of play. San Fran’s QB J.T. O’Sullivan gained some ground in the Niners’ QB race by going 8 for 17 for 154 yards, a TD, and an INT in San Francisco’s big 34-6 victory on Saturday. The 49er defense sacked Green Bay’s quarterbacks six times, and recovered three of their fumbles…Things aren’t looking too good in Green Bay right now. Rodgers better step up his game when September rolls around.

Chicago 26, Seattle 29 (OT)

The final game on Saturday was decided in overtime as Seattle’s young kicker, Brandon Coutu booted a 36-yarder through the uprights for an instant win. The field goal was his fifth of the game, an impressive night for Coutu, as he outkicked Chicago’s Pro Bowl kicker, Robbie Gould. Former Cleveland Brown QB, Charlie Frye, was the only Seattle QB to take snaps in the entire game, and he ended up throwing 3 interceptions. Luckily, rookie RB Justin Forsett had a big game (15 carries for 136 yards, 1 TD, 9.1 YPC), and Coutu’s leg helped save Frye in the end.
Sunday August 17 th, 2008

Not only did the Detroit Lions humiliate Cincinnati on their home turf in just the second preseason game of the year ’08, but they also lost All-Pro wideout Chad Johnson for the remainder of the preseason. Johnson landed awkwardly on his shoulder after going for a Carson Palmer throw in the first quarter. Johnson may not be 100 percent come opening weekend, which is a big blow to this high-powered offense. They were already playing without Pro-Bowl WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Cincinnati’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Jeff Rowe attempted to make up for the early Palmer mistakes, but failed as Jon Kitna, and Drew Stanton each threw for a TD pass in Detroit’s win.

New England was without Tom Brady, who was back in Massachusetts nursing his latest injury, and it showed. New England turned the ball over 3 times throughout the 60 minute game, and the Bucs were even able to score a TD on defense. New England QB’s—Kevin O’Connell and Matt Cassel—combined to go 12 for 25 for 118 yards passing, and 1 INT. Tampa outgained the Pats 295-174, and won the game by 17 points.

Monday August 18 th, 2008

Brady Quinn, and Ken Dorsey both had solid games for Cleveland after Derek Anderson went down with what was later identified as a mild concussion. But, Eli Manning threw for 2 early TD’s, and helped New York build an early 30-3 lead. Quinn, and Dorsey led the Browns with an impossible comeback, scoring two consecutive TD’s just before halftime, and outscoring New York 17-7 in the second half. But, the Browns dug themselves too big a hole early on, and weren’t able to complete the comeback. But, Cleveland should be happy with their QB production from Quinn, and Dorsey, who combined to go 16 for 23, 267 passing yards, 2 TD, 0 INT.

In the News:

Chad Johnson suffered a sprained shoulder in Cincy’s 27-10 loss to Detroit on Sunday. Johnson will sit out the remainder of the preseason.
Troy Polamalu is expected to practice with Pittsburgh this week.
Indy’s Dwight Freeney, and Bob Sanders are expected to be cleared to practice later this week.

Tom Brady says foot injury is on same leg as his earlier ankle injury, but the two are not related. Brady is unsure whether he’ll play Friday v.s. the Eagles or not.
Tarvaris Jackson left Minnesota’s game early with a strained MCL. He is not expected to miss the season opener, though.

Shortly after Chicago’s game against the Seahawks, Kyle Orton was named the starter for Chicago’s opener against Indianapolis.
With Johnson hurt, the Bengals brought back troubled wide receiver Chris Henry. The Bengals cut Henry earlier this offseason due to his off-the-field troubles.
Peyton Manning attended his first practice with Indianapolis today, Tuesday the 19 th of August.

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