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NFL Preseason Week 3: Scores, News, Analysis and Highlights

T.J. Watt

Sunday, Aug. 28

Mitch Trubisky leads Steelers to Touchdown Drive before Half

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky led the Pittsburgh Steelers starting offense to a touchdown just before half to cement a 16-0 lead over the Detroit Lions. Trubisky threw a couple of strikes to help get the team down the field and into the end zone.

T.J. Watt Out with Knee Injury

Pittsburgh Steelers superstar pass rusher T.J. Watt left their preseason game versus the Detroit Lions with a injury to his left knee and was quickly ruled out. Mike Tomlin said there is no long-term concerns about T.J. Watt’s health.

Diontae Johnson Out with Shoulder Injury

Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Diontae Johnson left their preseason game versus the Detroit Lions with a shoulder injury and will not return to the game. Head coach Mike Tomlin said there is no long-term concerns about Diontae Johnson’s health.

Chris Streveler Leads Jets to Game-Winning Drive

New York Jets backup quarterback Chris Streveler led the Jets to a game-winning drive over the Giants in the final seconds, going 6-for-10 for 69 yards and capped it off with this touchdown throw to Calvin Jackson in the corner of the endzone

Denzel Mims Closing Preseason Strong

Wide Receiver Denzel Mims, the Jets’ second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, requested a trade from the Jets last week. Mims is making a strong case for himself in the Jets preseason game against the Giants, catching six of his six targets for 91 yards and this touchdown to tie the game at 24 apiece.

Giants Take the Lead to Start 4th Quarter

The Giants-Jets preseason matchup has gone back and forth through the whole game. After the Jets went up 17-10 just before halftime, the Giants have stormed back to take the lead 24-17 to begin the 4th quarter. Backup quarterback Davis Webb threw an 18-yard strike to tight end Austin Allen for the go-ahead score.

Jets Offense Scores Just Before Halftime

Mike White marched the Jets offense down the field on a five-play, 65 yard drive in less than a minute to take the lead against the Giants. White delivered some great throws to keep the offense moving, and looked to be in command of the offense, having led the Jets to two scoring drives after the team’s initial struggles with Flacco under center

 

Jets LB Kwon Alexander Blows up A Run with Huge Hitstick Tackle

Jets recently-acquired linebacker Kwon Alexander brought the heat against the New York Jets, flying in like a missile and laying the boom on Giants running back Antonio Williams to force a fumble.

Giants Rookie Tight End Daniel Bellinger Evaluated for Concussion

The Giants have had a brutal string of injuries across their roster this offseason. The Giants took rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger into the medical tent to evaluate the rookie for a potential concussion.

Tyrod Taylor Being Taken to Locker Room for Injury

New York Giants backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor took a huge hit against the Jets and was immediately taken out of the game. After initially being examined in the medical tent on the sideline, Taylor was carted off to the locker room for further assessment. Taylor is officially being declared questionable with a back injury.

Giants Defense Responds with Pick-Six

The Jets starting offense hasn’t found much room to work against the Giants backup defense so far, and those struggles were further exasperated by a pick-six from Giants LB Austin Calitro off of a puzzling pass from Joe Flacco.

Vikings Wide Receiver Bisi Johnson Potentially out for Season

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson is believed to have torn his ACL in the Vikings preseason finale against the Denver Broncos. If so, Johnson would be out for the rest of the season. Johnson was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jets Defense Starts Strong With Sack vs Giants

The New York Jets invested plenty of assets into building up their defense, and they got off to a hot start vs the New York Giants by forcing a three-and-out, capped off by this swarming sack of Tyrod Taylor. Second year defensive back Michael Carter II was in on this sack and then followed that up with an interception off of Taylor on the next drive.

Browns lose former USFL Star to Season-Ending Injury

The Browns signed defensive end Chris Odom earlier this month, but his season has come to an early end. The former USFL Defensive Player of the Year tore his ACL in last night’s game against the Chicago Bears. Odom had 12.5 sacks in the USFL this past season.

Saturday, Aug. 27

Colts’ Safety Armani Watts out for Season

Indianapolis Colts safety Armani Watts, a free agent pickup from the Kansas City Chiefs, is out for the season with an ankle injury, per head coach Frank Reich. Watts was supposed to be a special teams contributor for the team this season.

Baron Browning Making Splash Play at New Position

Baron Browning moved from inside linebacker to pass-rusher this offseason to help bolster the Broncos’ pass rush after a good season at inside linebacker as a rookie. Now at a new position, Browning has been making play after play in the preseason, and that didn’t stop against the Vikings in their Week 3 preseason matchup.

Scramblin’ Sam Ehlinger Scores on the Move

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger is fighting for a roster spot ahead of roster cuts. The top two spots are secure with Matt Ryan and Nick Foles, so Ehlinger needed to prove he could provide something unique to the roster that should keep him on board. Making plays like this with his legs certainly counts.

Malik Willis Flashing the Tools for Titans

Malik Willis got the starting nod for the Titans in their Week 3 preseason matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. So far, Willis has been showcasing the tools that made him such an enticing prospect in the draft.

Justin Fields Marches Down Field vs Browns

The Bears’ offense has come under scrutiny recently, but the second-year quarterback led the Bears right down the field on the Cleveland Browns in their Week 3 preseason matchup. Fields has led the Bears to two scoring drives so far.

Tua to Tyreek to Start Dolphins’ Week 3 vs Eagles

The connection between Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill has been strong this preseason, and that continued in the Dolphins Week 3 game vs the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cincinnati Bengals Recover Fumble

The Los Angeles Rams’ drive went for over 60 yards before ending with a fumble inside the Bengals 10-yard line. Zac Taylor’s squad got out to a 3-0 lead and will now look to extend that advantage in this Super Bowl rematch.

Atlanta Falcons Beat Miami Dolphins 28-12

Atlanta wrapped up a dominating victory against the Dolphins on Saturday, highlighted by the stellar play of the Falcons’ rushing attack. Three of Atlanta’s four scores came on the ground and the fourth was a receiving touchdown hauled in by running Tyler Allgeier. Atlanta will look to carry their momentum into a Week 1 matchup with their divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints.

Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill Available for Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins will take on the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday in Miami. Reports indicate that starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and new receiver Tyreek Hill will both be available for Miami. The Dolphins will take on the New England Patriots at home in Week 1 as new coach Mike McDaniel looks to build a winner in south Florida. 

Corey Ballantine Interception 

The Atlanta Falcons continued a successful third preseason showing with a fourth-quarter interception from defensive back Corey Ballantine. Atlanta was comfortably ahead when the former sixth-round pick wrangled in a tipped pass from Jacksonville QB EJ Perry.

Tyler Allgeier with Another Touchdown

Tyler Allgeier scored again for the Atlanta Falcons, this time on the ground. The 2022 fifth-round draft pick scored early in the fourth quarter to help give the Falcons a commanding 28-12 lead. Allgeier, the running back out of BYU, scored earlier in the game on a pass from fellow rookie Desmond Ridder.

Caleb Huntley Rushes in for the Touchdown

The Atlanta Falcons took a 21-12 lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars following a Caleb Huntley touchdown run. Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder led Atlanta down the field on a drive punctuated by the punch in from Huntley on 1st-and-goal with just over 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Woods Making Preseason Debut; Willis to Start

In Tennessee, Robert Woods will take the field for the Titans. Woods was one of Tennessee’s marquee offseason additions, brought in via a trade with the L.A. Rams. Rookie quarterback Malik Willis will start that contest, against Arizona.

Tim Jones Stands Out

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Tim Jones was the star of half one in Saturday’s first preseason game. With three catches on three targets for 103 yards receiving, Jones made several impressive plays. With time winding down in the first half, Jones caught a deep ball down the right sideline to set up a Jags score. The touchdown made it a 14-12 game heading into the half, with the Falcons leading the Jags narrowly.

Quinton Bell Blocks Punt

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Quinton Bell stepped up in the Falcons’ final preseason game with a second quarter blocked punt. The block—inside the Jags’ 10-yard line—set the Falcons up for an easy score on the ensuing drive. The Las Vegas Raiders selected Bell in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The rushing touchdown, scored by Qadree Ollison, gave the Falcons a 14-6 lead with just under three minutes remaining until halftime.

Jacksonville Picks It Off on Saturday’s First Play

The first offensive snap of the preseason slate Saturday provided the first big play of the day, too. Jacksonville third-year safety Daniel Thomas picked off rookie Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder on the Falcons’ first snap of the game after receiving the opening kickoff. The Jaguars’ drive went three-and-out, but Jacksonville still got a lead thanks to a 54-yard field goal from James McCourt. Jacksonville claimed McCourt earlier in the week off waivers from the L.A. Chargers. The team previously did not have a kicker on its roster.

Friday, Aug. 26

Peyton Hendershot’s a Tough Dude

Just five plays after absorbing a big hit, Peyton Hendershot fought through the Seattle defense to give his Cowboys a late lead. On a short pass from Ben DiNucci, Hendershot shook off one tackle, dodged another, and dove for the end zone as two Seahawks got to him to give Dallas a lead with just over four minutes left. The Dallas tight end had re-entered the game after being hit helmet-to-helmet earlier on the Cowboys’ drive, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty on Seattle.

Zuber Can Play Some D, Too

A low-scoring night for New England quarterbacks continued through to the end of Friday’s preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders. Rookie Bailey Zappe completed a pass to a receiver in the fourth quarter, but it was to Raiders receiver Isaiah Zuber, who came in to the game as a safety and picked off the fourth-rounder. Zuber looked like a receiver on the return, getting 25 yards and good field position for his offense. Vegas scored after a seven-play drive to extend its lead. It was Zuber’s first catch of the game from a New England QB, but not overall. He caught one pass for seven yards from Chase Garbers on the prior Raiders’ series.

Brandon Smith Shooting His Shot

The Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver depth chart has a couple of openings, with Michael Gallup and James Washington both starting the season recovering from injuries. Brandon Smith is doing his best to show the Dallas coaches he should pick up some of those available snaps (and a roster spot). The second-year player out of Iowa showed off the body control by just barely getting his toes down for a touchdown Friday night in the team’s preseason finale against Seattle.

Saints’ Safeties Team up for a Turnover

A pair of safeties got together to create a highlight that will help both fight for a roster spot in New Orleans. Justin Evans punched the ball out for the Saints on a pass to the Chargers’ Hunter Kampmoyer, and Daniel Sorensen was right there to pick it up and take it 17 yards on the return. The turnover led to points, with Ian Book throwing a touchdown pass to Kirk Merritt.

Panthers Lose Starting DT Derrick Brown, K Zane Gonzalez

Carolina suffered a key loss to its defense Friday night, hoping an injury will not bleed deep into the regular season. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown, entering his third season, left during the third quarter of the Panthers’ game against Buffalo with an oblique injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. Brown, the seventh overall pick of the 2020 Draft, is the expected interior anchor of the Carolina D-Line this season.

Moments later, Carolina dealt with another injury to a key player, one that didn’t even involve an on-field incident. Kicker Zane Gonzalez was carted off after suffering an injury while using the kicking net on the sideline. Gonzalez was the only kicker on Carolina’s roster entering the preseason finale against Buffalo. When Sam Darnold scored a touchdown on Carolina’s drive, punter Johnny Hekker came on to hit the extra point.

No Touchdown, but a Very Fun Catch

Marquez Callaway didn’t get the touchdown because the play was blown dead. But his very aware catch did stand, for a gain of 24 yards. A New Orleans pass to Tremon Smith was tipped into the air by a diving Smith, went over one Charger and off the hand of L.A. defensive back JT Woods, and Callaway was there to finish the tip drill with a grab. New Orleans drove to the edge of field goal range but punted it away rather than attempt a 59-yard kick.

Lock(ed) In

Geno Smith and Drew Lock have both received their opportunities this preseason to earn the Seattle starting quarterback job. Friday in the team’s preseason finale, Lock delivered a big throw to Penny Hart to help his argument. Lock connected on the 35-yarder to Hart falling into the end zone to put Seattle up 10-0 over Dallas. Smith played the first Seattle drive, leading the Seahawks to a field goal before giving way to Lock.

Masterson Capitalizes on a Mistake By Mac

New England quarterback Mac Jones failed to notice Las Vegas rookie linebacker Luke Masterson, and Masterson not only made an interception but took the return 30 yards to set up an eventual Vegas touchdown. The Raiders needed only five plays to reach the end zone after Masterson set them up at the New England 32, with another rookie (Zamir White) running in for the score.

Saints Lose First-Rounder, Cowboys Lose Corner

Both the Saints and Cowboys had players leave the field with injuries during the first quarter of their respective preseason finales Friday night. New Orleans first-round pick Trevor Penning was carted off the field with a left foot injury after being rolled up on.

In Dallas, cornerback Kelvin Joseph also left the field early, dealing with a head injury. Both players were quickly ruled out for the remainder of their games.

Jameis Slinging It in Preseason Debut

Jameis Winston made his return to the field after suffering a torn ACL last season, and there was no rust to speak of for the Saints’ starting QB. Winston was a perfect 4/4 on the team’s opening drive, accounting for 59 of the team’s 75 yards. Two of those passes, for 35 yards, went to late free agency signing and Louisiana native Jarvis Landry. New Orleans scored on that opening drive on a run from Mark Ingram.

Mayfield’s Looks Ready for Week 1

Carolina gave newly-appointed starter Baker Mayfield some extended run in the team’s final preseason game Friday. And if his performance is any indication, Mayfield is ready to get to the regular season and face his former Cleveland teammates in Week 1. Mayfield began Friday’s game against the Buffalo Bills by going 7/11 for 59 yards, and found running back D’Onta Foreman for a touchdown on 4th & Goal to put Carolina up 6-0.

Patriots, Saints Sending Out the Starters

New England and New Orleans suited up some key players for their Friday preseason finales. The Patriots dressed second-year quarterback (and Rookie of the Year runner-up) Mac Jones for their final preseason tune-up against the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Saints did the same with a pair of veteran starters, running back Mark Ingram and Jarvis Landry. Teams across the league are expected to send out many starters as the finale preseason games continue through Sunday evening.

Panthers/Bills Delayed by Storms

The first of four preseason games Friday night was delayed because of weather. The Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers game scheduled for 7 p.m. missed that kickoff time due to storms in the vicinity of Bank of America Stadium.

Christian McCaffrey Among Panthers Sitting vs. Bills

While Baker Mayfield started at quarterback, a number of Panthers did not suit up for Friday’s game versus the Buffalo Bills. Christian McCaffrey, Robbie Anderson, Bradley Bozeman, and Ian Thomas are a few of the players who sat out Carolina’s final preseason game.

Ronnie Stanley Comes Off the PUP List

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has passed his physical and was activated off the PUP list. Stanley injured his ankle in October of last season. The injury required surgery and after a long rehab process, he returned before the season.

Jameis Winston Made Preseason Debut

After suffering a torn ACL last season and not playing in the first two preseason games, Winston was in uniform against the Chargers. Head coach Dennis Allen told the media he was okay with not playing Winston at all this preseason, but the quarterback was suited up for Friday’s contest.

Najee Harris Set to Play in Final Preseason Game

Steelers running back Najee Harris will play in the team’s final preseason game in Detroit against the Lions Sunday. This comes a day after Mike Tomlin also confirmed that Mitchell Trubisky will be the starter in the final preseason game as well. The game will serve as the first preseason snaps of the season for Najee Harris.

Shane Lemieux not Expected Back “Anytime Soon”

New York Giants starting left guard Shane Lemieux is not expected back “anytime soon” according to head coach Brian Daboll. When speaking with the media on Friday, he hinted that a return for Lemieux is further away than some had previously hoped after injuring his foot in the team’s first preseason game.

Jordan Love “Becoming Master of the Offense” According to Aaron Rodgers

After last night’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, it appears Jordan Love is catching the attention of his MVP teammate. When speaking to the media last night Aaron Rodgers said he can tell Love is “becoming master of the offense.” He talked up the third-year quarterback’s footwork and preseason performance as the reasoning behind the praise.

Panthers Call About Denzel Mims

Current coach for the Carolina Panthers Matt Rhule is familiar with Denzel Mims. Rhule coached Mims at Baylor from 2017 to 2019, and because of that, it seems the Panthers may be interested in trading for the third-year receiver. General Manager Scott Fitterer has shown to be active when it comes to trades.

Thursday, Aug. 25

Mitch Trubisky Starting for Steelers 

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be the starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they take on the Detroit Lions in their preseason finale on Sunday. The Steelers used a first-round draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to select QB Kenny Pickett out of the University of Pittsburgh. Pickett has been a standout performer thus far in camp. The Steelers have yet to name a starting QB for the season.

Did Cowboys Try to Coax Whitworth out of Retirement?

After winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams last February, longtime tackle Andrew Whitworth retired on a high note, telling his kids after beating the Cincinnati Bengals, “That was daddy’s last football game. That’s it. No more. I’m gonna be home with you guys. Promise.”

That apparently didn’t stop Dallas from putting in a call to the all-pro left tackle when the Cowboys lost theirs to a torn hamstring on Thursday.

Whitworth, who is part of the Amazon broadcast team for Thursday Night Football this season, was asked during the Texans-49ers preseason game if his phone has been active lately with calls and texts about the prospect of returning to football.

“It has,” Whitworth said. “I mean, obviously, there’s been some things with the Cowboys and losing Tyron Smith. It’s just an awful deal. Such a great player, and a guy I’ve always loved watching play. It’s been a busy day of answering calls. The problem is they’re calling and texting the wrong person. They need to be texting and calling Melissa Whitworth (his wife) and the kids because they have final approval on whether I’m ever going to play football again.”

Whitworth later clarified his comments on Twitter saying the calls and texts were from people “begging” him to sign with the Cowboys.

Hansen With the Exclamation Points

In a 17-0 shutout victory where the Houston Texans’ defense took charge against the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Jake Hansen provided a pair of exclamation points as he fights for a roster spot. Hansen picked off 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy at the Houston 28 to preserve the shutout on San Francisco’s penultimate drive. And to further help his case, on the 49ers’ final possession, Hansen forced a fumble that was ultimately recovered by San Francisco. Houston’s defense stopped the 49ers on two goal-to-go snaps in the final 10 seconds to clinch the shutout.

Mills, Moore Won’t Be Denied

Most key starters who even play in Week 3 of the preseason will check out early. Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills is still playing into the third quarter, and he helped receiver Chris Moore get some instant redemption to widen the Texans’ lead over San Francisco. One play after a penalty on Moore nullified a touchdown pass to Nico Collins, Moore hauled in 16-yard touchdown from Mills to give Houston a 14-0 lead over the 49ers.

Buchele to Bushman (X2): Kelce-Approved in K.C.

A lengthy strike from Shane Buchele to tight end Matt Bushman gave Kansas City the lead back in their preseason finale against Green Bay, and drew the approval of the Chiefs’ stars, particularly Travis Kelce. The offensive reserves (both are buried on the team’s depth chart) combined for a 54-yard score, as Buchele found a wide open Bushman on the left side for the easy touchdown, drawing some of Kansas City’s top players on to the field to celebrate.

Bushman and Buchele weren’t done for K.C., either. The pair combined for a touchdown on the team’s opening drive of the second half, Bushman showing good concentration to bring in the pass as Green Bay’s Micah Abernathy jumped in to nearly pick it off.

Goodson Hits Em’ With the Spin & Griddy

Green Bay rookie running back Tyler Goodson got a chance to break out the celebration against Kansas City Thursday in the teams’ preseason finale. Goodson dropped a nice spin move to break out of a tackle and fight his way into the end zone for the Packers’ first points. Once there, he broke out the Griddy, taking a chance to enjoy his touchdown as he fights for a spot on Green Bay’s depth chart behind starters Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.

Pierce Locking Down the RB1 Gig in Houston

Houston rookie Dameon Pierce is running like he’s ready to be the Texans’ feature back this season. In the team’s preseason finale Thursday against San Francisco, Pierce carried Houston to the end zone on its first possession. He carried the ball six times for 37 yards, and finished the series off with a touchdown to give Houston the 7-0 lead. Pierce has had an impressive preseason, convincing many that he should be the team’s Week 1 starter, over veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead.

First-Rounder McDuffie Injured Against Packers

Kansas City first-round pick Trent McDuffie made a great early stop for the Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers, but that will be his lone highlight from the team’s preseason finale. McDuffie entered concussion protocol at the midpoint of the first quarter of Thursday’s game. The rookie out of Washington had played with Kansas City’s first-team defense, and was an expected Week 1 starter.

Kansas City Offers On-Field Tribute to Len Dawson

Kansas City Chiefs legend Len Dawson passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87. One day later, the Chiefs led off their preseason finale with a tribute to the Hall of Famer. As Kansas City took the field for its first offensive possession, the offense got into the “choir huddle” that Dawson led in his time as the Chiefs’ quarterback, with Patrick Mahomes playing the part of Dawson facing the rest of his offense. Mahomes did not take a snap, leaving the field as the play clock ran out.

Here is how Kansas City’s tribute compared to the huddles Dawson ran as a player.

Christian Watson Among Packers Out for Friday’s Preseason Finale

Green Bay’s second-round pick will not make his Packers debut until the regular season begins. Christian Watson is among Green Bay’s starters who are ruled out for Friday’s preseason finale against Kansas City. The Packers drafted Watson 34th overall to help replace Davante Adams, but Watson has not played for the Packers in a preseason game while recovering from a knee injury. Green Bay is also resting the majority of its starters and key players in the game.

Drew Lock to Get Significant Playing Time on Friday

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says Drew Lock will get “significant run” on Friday against the Cowboys. Lock could play up to three quarters and has the chance to prove why he should be the week one starter.

Lamar Jackson Won’t Play in Preseason Finale

Head coach John Harbaugh told the media on Thursday that Lamar Jackson won’t play in the team’s final preseason game. Harbaugh didn’t expand upon the reasoning other than they want to keep their players healthy.

Rashad Penny to Miss Final Preseason Game

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and is out for the team’s final preseason game. Penny missed the team’s last preseason game as well after fracturing his finger in practice.

“Most Starters” to Play for the Cleveland Browns

Head coach Kevin Stefanski informed the media on Thursday that “most starters” will play in the final preseason game against the Chicago Bears. Jacoby Brissett will also be starting for the Browns in this game to get reps in-game with the first team.

Wednesday, Aug. 24

Baker Mayfield to Play into the Second Quarter

Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule announced on Wednesday that quarterback Baker Mayfield will start the team’s third preseason game and will play into the second quarter. Mayfield was named the team’s starter on Monday by Rhule after the team traded for the former top pick this offseason.

The Panthers host the Buffalo Bills on Friday in their final tune-up before hosting Mayfield’s former team, the Cleveland Browns, in their Week 1 opener on Sept. 11.

Geno Smith to Get Final Preseason Start

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that quarterback Geno Smith will get the start in Seattle’s final preseason game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Smith is the starter, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times. Drew Lock will also reportedly play “a lot,” as the QB battle continues to be decided.

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