Questions Remain for NFL’s Premiere
by Amy Lignor
The score was 39-26 – not exactly the numbers usually found in a preseason match-up – when the Eagles beat the Green Bay Packers (gasp). But the score was not the only surprise in the game and Sam Bradford wasn’t the only QB that made mincemeat of the Packers’ secondary. Mark Sanchez can be credited for racking up 150 yards and two (count em: two) touchdowns. This is Philadelphia’s third preseason victory – a team that many have already said is out of contention.
The Packers, the team everyone not only says is in contention but is actually the team that will win it all this year, has been dealt some horrific blows. A new one came in this game when in the first quarter, the much-needed wide receiver Randall Cobb left the game with a shoulder injury. A sigh of relief came from the fans when it was stated that it was nothing more than a sprain. I’m sure QB Rogers breathed the same sigh of relief seeing as that his number one wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, is gone for the season because of a torn ACL. Could the Pack be under a dark cloud this year?
Another outstanding score for a preseason game came when the Buffalo Bills (43) met up with the Pittsburgh Steelers (19). The Bills are yet another team that is still facing questions, especially in the form of who will be the QB when the big games begin. First off, the Steelers’ defense looked more than confused during the game, a continuation of what they’ve looked like in all their preseason games thus far. Buffalo’s offense, however, looked as strong as any other. Now Matt Simms (who is not in the battle for starting QB), proved a good sight to see when he completed five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Tyrod Taylor was the QB running a bit ahead of Matt Cassel for the starting job, and he definitely looked better while slaughtering the Steelers’ defense. Bills Coach Rex Ryan needs to come forward and pick the one he will rely on this season but, thus far, he’s kept mute. And the QB controversy continues on.
In another game, the score was basically normal for preseason and the team that everyone assumed would win, won. However, it was not pretty. The San Francisco 49ers are in the category of “the fork is still stuck in us, so we’re still done,” as far as the so-called football experts are concerned. And, of course, the illustrious Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are still among the best of the best. But even though the Broncos came away with a 19-12 win over the 49ers, it took the defense to make that happen. Peyton Manning failed in seven possessions to get the Broncos into the end zone; thankfully, the running game was acceptable. Manning was given no protection when out on the field, and between penalties, dropped passes, and interceptions, it looks as if retirement might have been the right option to choose at the end of last season.
Slightly worse for Manning (depending on how you take it), is the fact that Broncos legend and General Manager, John Elway, came out and spoke about the fact that he wants Manning to retire a champion (like he did).
Elway’s statement was: “I appreciate him coming to Denver and playing and finishing his career in Denver, and I feel obligated to him as much as I do the Broncos to try to figure out a way to let him walk into the sunset with a world championship.” The words were meant in a nice way, of course, but the tone of it sounds as if Manning is doomed. But we shall see…
One last note regarding a great team that is most likely going all the way, per those experts? Well that comes from the home of the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, they say they are over the fact that they should have had back-to-back Super Bowl wins, except for that nasty interception that allowed Tom Brady to jump up and down with glee. Still…it seems that Coach Pete Carroll is not exactly loving what he’s seeing in his first string offense this preseason. Just gave the QB lots of money, yet on the field his offense looks substandard at best. Perhaps the gleam is off the Seahawks for good. Like another bird – the Falcons – perhaps Seattle is just one of those teams that’s one and done.