Sid Saraf, FOXSports.com
Preseason, above all else, is a learning experience. Players learn their assignments, coaches learn about their rosters and the fans find out if they should pay attention during the regular season. Saturday’s games provided us some valuable lessons going forward. So, let’s get to work.
1. Mark Sanchez is growing something dirty
A wise man once said “with great mustache, comes great responsibility.” I think it was President Taft … or Peter Griffin. Actually, pretty sure it was Taft.
Anyway, if that’s the case, then Sanchez must do something special to live up to his facial hair. But on Saturday against the Jaguars he came through with an up-and-down effort. He did some good stuff, like throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland on his first drive. He also did some bad stuff, like throwing an interception on third-and-goal from Jacksonville’s 3-yard line. It’s things like this that makes Jets fans do this:
Sanchez had a chance to get some separation between himself and rookie QB Geno Smith, who sat out the game due to his nagging ankle injury. Sanchez finished 13 of 23 for 169 yards with the TD and interception. I don’t think that’s enough to clinch that job.
And it definitely doesn’t measure up to his facial fuzz.
2. The Seahawks are the best show in the NFL
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Seahawks in 2013. I’m not making any predictions, but they are loaded with talent who have bought into Pete Carroll’s system. This is a team that plays with a fire reminiscent of his dominant USC squads in the early-to-mid 2000s.
And that fire burns brightest under the lights at CenturyLink Field. Saturday’s game against the Broncos didn’t count, but it had a playoff atmosphere.
The Seahawks punched it in on their first possession when Russell Wilson found second-year WR Jermaine Kearse for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Kearse, nicknamed “Chop Chop,” would later strike again, returning a kickoff 107 yards for another touchdown:
Also, Seattle’s defense doesn’t seem to have lost a step despite losing defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. They forced two first-half fumbles, the second one coming with the Broncos on Seattle’s 2-yard line. A hard hit on RB Ronnie Hillman forced a fumble, which Brandon Browner picked up in the end zone … 106 yards later, the Seahawks had themselves another TD. They ended up going into halftime leading 33-7.
Here’s the point: The Seahawks can run the ball, throw the ball, play intimidating defense and get after an opponent with undeniable passion and enthusiasm. This team is must-see TV. I can’t see anyone winning in this building this season.
Let’s just settle in and enjoy it.
3. You never know when a camera is on you
There’s picking your nose in public, and there’s what this lady is doing in the middle of thousands of people.
Looks like there was something stuck up there that refused to come out. I’m not gonna go the stuffed-shirt route and say that there’s no excuse for this. We’ve all been there. And it looks like she’s trying to get it done fast. But she forgot the golden rule: If you can’t get it out in one or two motions, give up and come back to it later. It’s the equivalent of throwing the ball away on a busted play.
But unfortunately, she didn’t do that and the cameras just happened to be peeled on her. Now millions of people have seen it.
Didn’t she learn her lesson from Seinfeld?
4. The Bengals have themselves a real sparkplug
You gotta love what we’ve seen out of Cincinnati so far. Not only are they on “Hard Knocks,” and coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, they have a roster full of burgeoning talent. And one new piece is rookie running back Giovani Bernard. He’s not tall (5-foot-9), but he packs a punch at a solid 208 pounds. That was evident during a first-quarter drive.
The Bengals called his number on four consecutive plays: He ripped off runs of 9, 9 and 7 yards before catching a pass from Andy Dalton and gained 22 more. A couple plays later he pounded it in for a 1-yard TD.
What’s great to see is Bernard’s willingness to lower his shoulder and take on tacklers, instead of using juke moves.
Not bad, kid! Keep running tough.
5. Don’t ever call Eddie Lacy fat
Remember the brief hoopla that went down when a bad camera angle made it seem like Eddie Lacy was very overweight?
Well, he got his first chance at NFL action on Saturday against the Rams and let’s just say that he’s going to be fine. Take a look at him and judge for yourself:
Lacy ran with confidence and power, totaling 40 yards on 8 carries, with long run of 15 yards. You’re not getting him down with arm tackles. He’s going to get a lot of opportunities in the Packers offense and if he keeps it up, he’s going to have a great rookie season.
6. This preseason football isn’t going to cut it for much longer
If it’s not Dallas committing six turnovers in a sloppy performance, then it’s Dustin Keller leaving with a horrible knee injury or Blaine Gabbert injuring his thumb after a nice effort.
I think we’ve all had enough of games that don’t count. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the regular season to start. Let’s get it on!
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