Its been often said that week 3 of the NFL preseason is the dress rehearsal for the season. As I mentioned in my NFC West injury report, Rams head coach Sean McVay has turned that theory on its head but sitting his starters, and a few other teams are following suit. This gives some unknowns extra time to shine, and increase their chances of making the team.
In the AFC West, we all know the major superstars that are starters, but who are the new guys? Who is making a strong case for themselves?
“Just don’t let anyone get hurt”. That is the motto of most fans during the preseason. Unfortunately, injuries do happen, and they can make a huge impact on a season. This year, many teams have tried to minimize season impacting injuries by having their starters sit, but that doesn’t always work. Now that preseason is halfway over, let’s take a look at where the NFC West stands with injuries.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have completely changed the structure of preseason football. They have sat all offensive starters for every game and have no intention of playing them in the preseason. The formula has worked well for Los Angeles, but it isn’t perfect.
With game 3 of the 2019 preseason already in the books, are the Miami Dolphins fans any closer to knowing which quarterback starts game 1 of the regular season? The answer seems to be no.
According to Coach Brian Flores, both QBs played well against the Jaguars, with Ryan Fitzpatrick getting the start. Fitzpatrick didn’t seem to have an awful night, but he didn’t have a spectacular night either. He finished just after the start of the 3rd quarter.
Enter Josh Rosen, who lead the Dolphins on a 99-yard scoring drive. Play of the drive, Rosen under pressure, rolled away from the pressure and found WR Isaiah Ford for 39 yards down the field. Topped off by two scrambles of 11 and 14-yards to keep the drive alive.
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.
Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers started their second day of joint practices under dark and ominous skies. After several runs back and forth, indoor then out, fans and media were eventually sent indoor permanently due to lightning in the area. As both squads moved into their routine drills, several things stood out.
The Dolphins quarterback battle continued. Josh Rosen took the majority of the snaps with the first team, while Ryan Fitzpatrick worked the day with the second team. Both seemed to have their struggles as the Dolphins continue to try to fill in some serious holes on that offensive line.
While we all look forward to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game as the official start to the preseason, in the back of our minds, we all know that it is those first preseason games the week after that really kick things off. Let’s take a peek at the NFC West and what we should be looking for during week one.
The 2018 season for the NFC West had some fantastic matchups, a Super Bowl contender, and a team in turmoil. The Los Angeles Rams won the division at 13-3, with the Seattle Seahawks (10-6), San Francisco 49’ers (4-2), and the Arizona Cardinals (3-13) rounding it out. The Rams ran through the playoffs but were defeated in the Super Bowl by the New England Patriots.
This season is expected to be more competitive between the teams in the division. Seattle has signed their two most important players, quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner, to long term contracts, stabilizing the team. San Francisco is hoping to avoid the dreaded injury bug that plagued their team last year so they can finally be able to see what they have in their QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
It is no secret how some people feel about preseason games. Some would prefer that they disappear all together. Others believe they should be shortened to just two games to assess the players on the field.
Either way, the Chicago Bears came to play at Soldier Field Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns – sort of. The Bears have been pretty successful in defeating the Browns during preseason, almost treating it as a gimmie. But not last night.
The loss turned football fans and sports writers into fiery dragons. But was head coach John Fox really to blame for the loss and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s garbage time sack? Or did the offensive line fall asleep at the wheel? Well, let’s check all the evidence to be sure.
Those in the football world know that the last preseason game of the year is basically to weed out the not-ready-for-NFL-Primetime-players. The premise is to keep the ones that stand out, came to play and give the backup and third string quarterbacks an opportunity for more reps.