By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.
Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!
Washington Redskins 19 – Atlanta Falcons 7
Running back Ito Smith was the lone bright spot in the offense again this week. He’s not putting up a ton of yards, but in the red zone, he’s just quick and slippery enough to get the score. The open QB competition in Washington seemed to cause the Falcon defense some trouble. Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum are very different styled QB’s and I think that gave them some trouble, even with the fumble recovery that led to their only touchdown.
#Falcons pass rush finally get to Keenum.
McKinley picks off what looked like a fumble, but it will count as an INT. Very encouraging signs from ATL pass rush in first half tonight.
— Dave Holcomb (@dmholcomb) August 23, 2019
New England Patriots 10 – Carolina Panthers 3
Well, I guess fans should be happy that the Panthers defense held them to only 10 points. QB Cam Newton saw his first action of the preseason, couldn’t get much protection from his offensive line and left the game in a walking boot. Others getting their first starts were RB Christian McCaffrey, tight end Greg Olsen and linebacker Luke Kuechly. Luckily, they all managed to stay healthy. McCaffrey definitely looks ready for the season and should be in top form pretty quick.
In other news…. the folks at Madden don’t actually know what players look like…
I don’t wear a hand warmer over my belt cmon Madden 🤦🏼♂️ https://t.co/iG4PeacRnX
— Christian McCaffrey (@run__cmc) August 24, 2019
New Orleans Saints 28 – New York Jets 13
The high flying Saints offense was in full force this week – well at least the kicking portion of the game. QB Drew Brees played one series, got a touchdown, took the rest of the game off. And why not? Teddy Bridgewater came in and did pretty well; 15/26 for 143 yards. Taysom Hill also got some playing time; 8/13 for 127 yards. Rookie wide receiver Deonte Harris took a punt return to the house for their only other touchdown. The rest of their points came off the foot of Will Lutz – 4 FG.
— NFL (@NFL) August 25, 2019
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 – Cleveland Browns 12
There was a whole lotta kicking going on by the Bay this week. Cleveland got off to a 9-0 half-time lead but head coach Bruce Arians must have come up with some kind of great speech because the second half was all Bucs. Third-string QB Ryan Griffith lead the only touchdown drive of the day and, along with a field goal, the Bucs took the lead going into the 4th quarter 10-9. A couple more FGs were exchanged bringing us to the final score, but it was just a slow, plodding game, with neither team really seeming to be “in their groove.”
QB Jameis Winston was disappointing, frankly, but they got the win. I feel like this is something that will be said or written a lot this season. But really, it’s looking more and more like his offensive line is the big problem here.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) August 23, 2019
Talk NFC South with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8