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NFL Preseason Week 1: Scores, News, Analysis and Highlights

Albert Wilson at Minnesota training camp

Stidham Strikes First for Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders began their preseason opener with points on each of their first two drives, and now they’ve done the same in their second preseason contest. After making it to the red zone and settling for a field goal on their opening drive against the Vikings, Jarrett Stidham got things done himself to hit the end zone on the team’s second drive. The fourth-year quarterback scrambled in from four yards out for the Raiders’ touchdown, capping a nine-play drive that also included a successful fourth down carry by Kenyan Drake.

Lance McCutcheon Making a Statement for the Rams

The Los Angeles Rams have been searching for wide receiver depth behind Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson with the recent injury to Van Jefferson, and they might have found an answer in an undrafted free agent out of Montana State, Lance McCutcheon. McCutcheon has been standing out in camp, earning praise from Kupp himself, and has made big play after big play vs. the Chargers, including this touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Rams the lead.

Easton Stick Ties the Game for the Chargers

The “Battle for LA” between the Chargers and the Rams has been an intense back-and-forth game so far, and quarterback Easton Stick, who is fighting for the backup job behind Justin Herbert, just led the Chargers down the field on an 18-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Stick ran for the touchdown and then rifled a throw to Hunter Kampmoyer for the two-point conversion

Ben DiNucci Leads Cowboys to First Score of the Night

The battle for the backup quarterback job in Dallas has been wide open between Cooper Rush, Will Grier, and Ben DiNucci. So far, the offense only really began to move the ball with DiNucci under center, and he threw their first touchdown of the game to Simi Fehoko, who is also fighting for the Cowboys’ WR3 job.

Texans Wide Receiver Honors Metchie

Jalen Camp hit John Metchie’s signature celebration in his teammate’s honor. Metchie has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia and is unlikely to play this season. Metchie was a second-round selection of the Texans.

 

A Plethora of Penalties for the Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys, the most penalized team in the NFL last season, have so far continued that trend into 2022. Before the end of the third quarter, the Cowboys have committed 14 penalties for 114 yards. Certainly something that the coaching staff cannot be thrilled with after making it a point of emphasis in their offseason program.

Houston Texans Walk Off With the Victory Over the Saints

With 25 seconds left, the Houston Texans put together an excellent scoring drive off the arm of Jeff Driskel to lift themselves over the New Orleans Saints 17-13. Driskel fired an excellent throw to the sideline of the end zone to Johnny Johnson III for the go-ahead touchdown

Undrafted RB Puts the Rams on the Board

It took the Rams’ offense a few drives to put much together, but a good drive on the ground, capped off by a goal-line TD from AJ Rose, has tied the “Battle for LA” at 7 apiece

Kyle Trask Putting It Together for Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have drawn plenty of criticism over their selection of Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. So far, Trask responded and played well in the first action of his second season in Tampa Bay.

Miami Dolphins Corner Trill Williams Goes Down Late

Undrafted corner Trill Williams went down with an injury late in the 4th quarter in the Dolphins’ Week 1 game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not much is known at this point but hoping he has avoided major injury.

Los Angeles Chargers Score Lightning Quick

The Los Angeles Chargers wasted no time in scoring on their cross-town rival in their game versus the Los Angeles Rams. Veteran Chase Daniel launched a 41-yarder to former fifth-round pick Joe Reed.

Kenny Pickett Throws the Game Winner Against Seattle

The Steelers have to be thrilled with what they saw out of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett in his first NFL action. The first-rounder went 13 of 15 for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns, including this game-winner to Tyler Vaughns.

George Pickens With a Toe-Tap Touchdown

In what could become a regular sight for Steelers fans, George Pickens is quickly showing what he can do. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett found fellow rookie George Pickens in the back corner of the endzone for the touchdown. The toe-tap and body control by Pickens made it stand out immediately.

The Steelers have historically had a knack for hitting on Day 2 receiver picks in the Draft, they may have found another one.

Kicker Tyler Bass Nails Game Winner for Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills beat the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 thanks in part to their young kicker. Bass hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Bills a 1-0 start to the 2022 preseason. Both teams will be at home next week as the Bills take on the Broncos and the Colts play the Detroit Lions.

Ehlinger Finds Jacobson for the TD

Former University of Texas Quarterback Sam Ehlinger found Michael Jacobson— the TE out of Iowa St.— for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Matt Araiza Boots 82-Yard Punt

Bills rookie Matt Araiza showed off his abilities today when he unloaded an 82-yard bomb from deep in his own territory. Although the kick ended up as a touchback, it still flipped the field for the Bills in a meaningful way.

Kaiir Elam Being Evaluated for Head Injury (UPDATE)

The Buffalo Bills’ first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kaiir Elam, was injured in the second quarter of the team’s matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The cornerback joined the Bills this offseason after starring last year for the University of Florida.

Update: Elam has been cleared to return.

 

Rodney McLeod Interception

The Indianapolis Colts kicked off their preseason with a bang as free agent addition Rodney McLeod picked off Bills backup QB Case Keenum. McLeod joined the Colts on a one-year deal and is entering his eleventh season in the NFL.

Panthers Take Down Commanders 23-21

With time running down late in the fourth quarter, Carolina Panthers Kicker Zane Gonzalez made a 45-yard field goal to give his team a two-point lead. It was a lead the Panthers would not surrender as they kicked off their preseason with a win. Next week the Panthers will take on the Patriots and the Commanders will play the Chiefs.

Bears beat Chiefs 19-14

The Chicago Bears and new head coach Matt Eberflus took down the Chiefs in Chicago this afternoon. The Bears will travel to Seattle next week to take on the Seahawks in a Thursday night matchup. The Chiefs, meanwhile, will return home to prepare for their matchup with the Commanders next Saturday.

Howell and Commanders Take the Lead Late

This offseason the Washington Commanders added a franchise-changing quarterback when they traded for Carson Wentz. The team also added QB Sam Howell, taking a fifth-round flyer on the former North Carolina star. Howell showed impressive athleticism, rushing in for the score late in the game for the Commanders. 

On the subsequent drive Howell led his team downfield for another score, his second rushing touchdown. The Commanders went for two and converted to take the lead late in the fourth.

Matt Corral Enters for Carolina 

The Panthers drafted former Ole Miss QB Matt Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL and now Carolina fans will get the chance to see him under center. Corral entered early in the fourth quarter with his team up by two scores.

Dazz Newsome Comes to Life for Chicago

Entering his second season with the Bears, wideout Dazz Newsome is flashing in Chicago’s first preseason game in 2022. His production was highlighted by a touchdown catch on a pretty ball from QB Trevor Siemian. But he added more positive gains for Chicago on the subsequent drive. Newsome was a sixth-round pick for the Bears in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Touchdown Spencer Brown 

Carolina rookie RB Spencer Brown rumbled in for the physical touchdown to put the Panthers up by 10 in the third quarter. Brown played collegiately for UAB and joined the Panthers as an undrafted free agent this offseason.

Rookie Jack Sanborn With the Interception 

Jack Sanborn—who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears this offseason— picked off Quarterback Shane Buechele early in the third quarter. Sanborn played his college ball at Wisconsin where he was First-team All-Big 10 in 2021. Sanborn also recorded a fumble recovery late in the third.

Safety Justin Reid Nails Extra Point for KC

Having a little fun in the preseason, Head Coach Andy Reid let his safety Eric Reid take an extra point. Reid did not disappoint, nailing the kick with room to spare. 

Rookie RB Brian Robinson Gets Commanders on the Board

With the first rushing TD of his professional career, Robinson got the Commanders their first score of the 2022 preseason. Robinson was a third-round pick out of Alabama and is performing well thus far with 26 yards rushing and 15 yards receiving to go along with his TD.

Tajae Sharpe Makes INSANE Catch

Receiver Tajae Sharpe made his QB look good on this incredible catch early in his first preseason game as a Bear. Chicago will be Sharpe’s fourth team after spending seasons with the Titans, Vikings, and— most recently— the Atlanta Falcons.

Sam Darnold Finds Rashard Higgins for Early TD

Baker Mayfield got the start today for the Panthers, but it’s Sam Darnold who throws Carolina’s first TD pass of the season. Darnold found Higgins after the new receiver cut through traffic and then extended for the catch. Higgins signed as a free agent with the Panthers in March after spending his first six seasons in Cleveland.

Darnell Mooney and Justin Fields Flashing Early

The Bears will be hoping Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney can connect like this all season. Fields found the speedy receiver out of the slot and Mooney went up to make a nice contested catch.  Fields is 4/6 for 48 yards passing, and another 10 on the ground, as the game enters the second quarter.

Patrick Mahomes Finds TE Blake Bell for Chiefs’ First TD

Superstar QB Patrick Mahomes found former Oklahoma Sooner Blake Bell in the red zone for the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the new season. Bell converted from QB to TE in his Senior season at OU and he started five games for Kansas City last season. 

Update: Bell left the game with a hip injury in the fourth quarter.

Baker Mayfield to Get Panthers Start

Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield has only been with his new team since mid-July, but he has apparently shown the coaching staff enough to earn the Week 1 Preseason start over Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral.

Upon his acquisition by the Panthers, Former NFL Executive and Founder of The 33rd Team Mike Tannenbaum laid out what it would take for Mayfield to succeed:

“When a player shifts teams, their adjustment is multi-faceted. Players must relocate to their new team’s area, learn a new system, and assimilate into a new culture with new teammates and coaching staff. For a quarterback, developing chemistry with the receivers, the coach, the offensive line, and the other important members of the team takes considerable time. It tends to be the case that newly acquired quarterbacks ramp up toward the end of the season…”

Former All-Pro QB Rich Gannon also discussed the need for Mayfield to get as many reps as possible—something getting a preseason start should help.

Jordan Love Shows Struggles

Starting for Aaron Rodgers on Friday night, Jordan Love led a touchdown drive, connecting with Romeo Doubs on a long touchdown pass on fourth down. After that drive, Love showed his inexperience and struggles in throwing two interceptions. The first one was a jump ball that was stolen by Samuel Womack III. The second one was a tough one, as Love stared down his target, giving Womack III an easy second interception. After that, Love threw another touchdown and interception, giving him a performance with high peaks and valleys.

Drake London Appears to Have Avoided Serious Injury

After leaving the game against the Lions in the first quarter with a knee injury, Drake London did not return to the game. After the game, Arthur Smith said that they would know more on Saturday. One source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that they were encouraged as it “doesn’t appear” to be a serious injury. Once more testing is conducted, we will have a concrete answer.

Trey Lance Generates Explosive Play

There have been a lot of questions about Trey Lance and if he will be successful as the 49ers starting quarterback. After playing only 11 plays against the Green Bay Packers, he has calmed worries significantly. After leading a drive for a field goal, Lance hit Danny Gray in-stride for a beautiful 76-yard touchdown.

Romeo Doubs Scores on Deep Ball

With Aaron Rodgers sitting out the first preseason game, Jordan Love got the start and had a successful first series. On a fourth down in 49ers territory, the defense sent a blitz with five wide receivers. Rookie Romeo Doubs caught a perfect slot fade from Love after a perfect release off the line of scrimmage. Doubs has gotten rave reviews in camp and showed it almost immediately.

Zach Wilson Leaves Game With Injury

The Jets are looking for a big season from Zach Wilson. During the first quarter against the Eagles, Wilson scrambled to his right and ran up the sideline. He tried making a cut and his right leg appeared to give out on him. A non-contact injury is a scary thing and hopefully, it isn’t a worst-case scenario. Backup quarterback Mike White replaced Wilson.

Our own Dr. Flynn believes that the non-contact aspect is a bad sign.

“I only saw one angle of the injury, but the fact that it was non-contact and occurred as he was cutting back makes it concerning for an ACL tear. The good news is that the Jets listed him as questionable to return, which indicates to me that their onfield tests didn’t show an obvious ACL tear. Expect that he’ll have an MRI in the morning and the team will know more then.”

The one saving grace: Wilson was listed as questionable to return.

Desmond Ridder Records First Touchdown

After starting quarterback Marcus Mariota scored his first touchdown in a Falcons uniform, rookie third-round pick Desmond Ridder decided to do just the same. On a nice play-action fake, he found TE Parker Hesse for a one-yard touchdown pass.

Nick Harris Carted Off Field

During the Browns’ preseason game against the Jaguars, Browns starting center Nick Harris injured his knee. The injury forced him to be carted off of the field. Harris was set to replace former Pro Bowl center JC Tretter this season.

Marcus Mariota Finds End Zone

In the first quarter, Mariota led the Falcons on their first touchdown drive of the preseason. Taking the snap from under center, Mariota ran play-action and got pressured up the middle from second-overall pick Aidan Hutchinson. In what looked like a play from his days at Oregon, Mariota scrambled and beat multiple defenders to the corner for a touchdown.

Drake London Leaves Game

Unfortunately for the Falcons, their first-round pick has already left the game due to injury. The USC product London suffered a knee injury and will not return to tonight’s game. Time will tell whether the injury is severe, but things are already off to a bad start.

Deshaun Watson Expected to Play

A decision is not expected to be reached today regarding Deshaun Watson’s case. This means he will likely play tonight in the Browns’ preseason opener against the Jaguars.

Ravens’ Win Makes It 21 Straight

You’ve got to go back quite a while to find the last preseason game the Ravens lost. Their win against the Tenessee Titans makes 21 straight preseason victories for Baltimore and Head Coach John Harbaugh. Still, Titans fans can find solace in the excitement Malik Willis brought to the field in this contest

Giants Win Preseason Opener

The New York Giants were victorious in their first preseason game of the 2022 season. It was Brian Daboll’s first game as an NFL head coach and the debut for heralded Giants rookies Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal. The New England Patriots chose not to play a majority of the starting unit and ended up falling in this one 24-21

Tyler Huntley Throwing With Touch

Ravens’ backup quarterback Tyler Huntley has been in command of the offense all game long and just made a nice throw on a fade route to undrafted free agent Shemar Bridges to take the lead back from the Titans.

Malik Willis Showing off the Tools

Rookie QB Malik Willis showed off the excellent mobility and athleticism that made him such a coveted prospect, scoring a touchdown on the run against the Ravens.

He then followed it up with a huge bomb through the air on the next drive.

Baltimore Rookies Making Plays

The Ravens have been one of the best drafting teams over the last decade, and so far their rookie class has been showing out and making plays against the Titans in their first preseason game.

First-round safety Kyle Hamilton recovered a fumble and fourth-round tight end Isaiah Likely made some nifty plays after the catch to convert a first down.

Rookie WR Tyquan Thornton With the First TD of NYG-NE

Patriots’ second-round pick WR Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor made some fantastic plays on their second drive of the game, capping it off with a touchdown catch after a Brian Hoyer scramble.

Malik Willis Starting First Preseason Game for Titans vs. Ravens

Rookie third-round pick QB Malik Willis will start at QB in the Titans’ Week 1 game vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

Matt Patricia Calling Plays for New England in First Preseason Game

The subject of who will be calling plays for the New England Patriots after the departure of Josh McDaniels has been under some scrutiny this offseason. Against the New York Giants in their first preseason game, it appears that Matt Patricia is the play-caller for New England. Whether that lasts into the season is to be determined.

No Mac Jones Tonight for Patriots vs. Giants

Mac Jones traveled with the Patriots, but is not going to play vs. the Giants in Week 1. Backups Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe will take the field vs. New York.

Chiefs Planning on Playing Starters vs. Bears in Week 1

Patrick Mahomes and Co. will take the field for the first time this season in preseason work, playing the first quarter in their preseason game vs. the Bears.

Bears Starters Playing 15-20 Snaps in Week 1

Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who is in his first year as a head coach and hasn’t had to make that decision in the preseason before, said today that his plan is for the starters to play 15 to 20 snaps for Saturday’s home game against the Chiefs.

Josh Allen Won’t Play Saturday Opener

All-Pro quarterback Josh Allen will not play in the Buffalo Bills’ preseason opener, head coach Sean McDermott said. Buffalo is taking on the Indianapolis Colts at home on Saturday afternoon. Last season, Allen threw for more than 4,400 yards and 36 touchdowns. He added 763 yards rushing and ran in an additional six TDs.

Giants’ Starters Will Play, Patriots’ Starters to Sit

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and Mike Reiss reported the New York Giants would likely play their starters for nearly a full quarter in Thursday’s preseason opener against New England. The Patriots, meanwhile, are not likely to play their starters at all—including second-year quarterback Mac Jones. Giants fans will be eager to see what new head coach Brian Daboll has put together so far in camp. At the same time, Daboll and the coaching staff should be interested to see what Daniel Jones can accomplish in the new offense.

Deshaun Watson to Start Preseason Opener

Despite all the controversy surrounding him, Deshaun Watson will start the Browns’ preseason opener against the Jaguars on Friday. It will be interesting to see how much playing time he receives and how that affects back-up—and potential short-term starter—Jacoby Brissett as he prepares for the upcoming season. 

Trevor Lawrence Will Play Friday Night 

After sitting out the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first preseason game, quarterback Trevor Lawrence will start this Friday against the Cleveland Browns. New head coach Doug Pederson decided to hold Lawrence out of the Hall of Fame Game this past Thursda,y but has decided he wants his young QB to get “working in game situations.” Lawrence, the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, is looking to bounce back from a tumultuous rookie season in which he threw 17 interceptions and only 12 touchdown passes.

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