By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
One of the nice things about covering both the AFC and NFC West teams is in the preseason is they usually play each other. It makes it easy to do a weekly preseason round up, but it also makes for a very long article. Stick with me, people.
Week 2 of the preseason gave most fans a good look at their backups. And yes there were lots of mistakes, but…its preseason. Let’s take a look at the games played so far.
Oakland Raiders 33 – Arizona Cardinals 26
Thursday night we saw the Oakland Raiders head to Arizona to play the Cardinals. Many were curious if the Raiders could continue to look as good as they had in week one, even though they are still without their superstar wide receiver, Antonio Brown. Others were excited to see Cardinals QB Kyler Murray get more reps and longer gameplay.
The first group got their wish as the Raiders looked good. The defense brought a lot of pressure and managed to completely fluster the Cardinals at first. The offense also looked solid, with starting QB Derek Carr going 2 for 2 getting 40 yards and a touchdown. But it was back up QB candidate Mike Glennon who did himself the biggest favor this week. He looked very sharp, throwing 2 touchdowns, going 11 of 14 for 175 yards. He was much more poised and seemed to have a better grasp of the offense.
As for the Cardinals, I’m afraid to say they didn’t see what they were hoping for. Starting rookie QB Kyler Murray did not have a good performance. He didn’t play long, but in the time he was on the field he only threw 3 for 8, for 12 yards. 12 yards. I have argued that he needs more time in these preseason games in order to get ready, but most disagree. They don’t want him hurt. Something needs to be done to get Murry ready for week 1.
Pittsburgh Steelers 17 – Kansas City Chiefs 7
Kansas City headed to Pittsburgh on Saturday, with the rumor that the starters would play a significant amount of time. While they didn’t play as long as fans would like, we got a good glimpse into what the team will be.
Let’s just start here – no one is worried about QB Patrick Mahomes. Yes, he missed a few throws. Yes, the offense seemed to be out of sync. None of that matters. They will be JUST FINE.
The additions the Chiefs made in the offseason to their defense have made a huge difference. Defensive ends Frank Clark and Alex Okafor played for the first time this preseason, and the entire defense looked solid. I say solid, not great simply because there were a few mistakes, one play where the entire defense seemed to miss their assignments, but overall you can see how this year should be greatly improved. Fans should be excited about what they are seeing.
Dallas Cowboys 14 – Los Angeles Rams 10
Aloha! NFL preseason football returned to Hawaii for the first time in 43 years. And even though the Rams lost to the Cowboys, most fans were happy with what they saw on the field. Most of the Rams big names didn’t even make the trip over, so this game was really about the backups. The team’s depth looks relatively solid, but I think we’ll know more about the Rams after week 3.
One player that a lot of people have been talking about is linebacker Dakota Allen. Most know him from Last Chance U, and he is making a good case for making this team. He had 8 total tackles and made a fantastic hit while his coach was watching very closely.
ps…loved having head coach Sean McVey mic’d up.
Listen to @RamsNFL head coach Sean McVay break down his defense from the sidelines!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 18, 2019
New Orleans Saints 19 – Los Angeles Chargers 17
The Chargers are now 0-2 in the preseason, but that doesn’t reflect how the team is playing. Like most teams, the starters were watching from the sidelines which gave the new guys a chance to shine. Back up QB Tyrod Taylor went 7 of 10 for 57 yards, including a touchdown, but it was really ended up being QB Cardale Jones‘s day. 10 of 14, 111 yards and a touchdown. Fighting for the 3rd QB slot, he did a lot to increase his stock.
Penalties are still plaguing the Chargers, 10 last week, 11 this week. While preseason is often chock full of penalties, it will become a focus so those numbers don’t continue to go up.
Running back Troymaine Pope struggled in practice this week, but he completely redeemed himself in this game. An 81-yard punt return will do that for you.
TROYMAINE POPE 81 YARDS TO THE HOUSE.@boom_tpope
— NFL (@NFL) August 18, 2019
Minnesota Vikings 25 – Seattle Seahawks 19
For the first time this season, we saw Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, as well as most of the other offensive starters. Seattle’s offense seems to be ready to roll into the regular season. Their defense held back a few of their starters, and while the defense looked fine, you could feel the starter’s absence.
One player to keep an eye on is defensive tackle Poona Ford. With DT Jarran Reed suspended for the first 6 games of the season, Ford will step up to fill that spot. Toward the end of last year, he was ranked very high among DTs and he is just getting better with every snap.
Offensive line problems have been something the Seahawks have had to deal with over the last few years, but the current starting line looks to be greatly improved. In the game against the Vikings however, it was proved there is very little depth on the line as the second unit seemed to be a disaster.
San Francisco 49’ers vs Denver Broncos
We get an NFC West vs AFC West showdown for our first Monday Night Football game of the year. My wrap up of that game will be included in an article later in the week. I’m not sure how much we will see from the starters from either team, but 49’ers fans should get a small glimpse of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, which I know they have been waiting a long time for.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG