Dolphins vs Falcons

Falcons vs. Dolphins: 8 players to watch in Thursday’s preseason matchup

With their loss in the Hall of Fame Game, the Falcons have now dropped nine straight preseason contests. That doesn’t matter, but having a good backup quarterback does and Schaub’s performance the last few preseasons has been bad enough to warrant real concern.

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Schaub shouldn’t be expected to play at a Pro Bowl level like he did 10 years ago. However, if Matt Ryan were to get injured Atlanta’s passing offense would be in a tremendous amount of trouble.

At some point in the next four games, Schaub has to prove he still has the arm strength and accuracy to make pro throws. He’s under as much pressure as anyone going into this game. If he lays another egg against the Dolphins, the Falcons have to consider bringing in another veteran for competition.

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Third-string quarterback Kurt Benkert played far better than Schaub against Denver. He also injured his toe in the fourth quarter and it was significant enough for Atlanta to bring back Matt Simms, who served as the No. 3/practice squad QB before Benkert came along.

If nothing else, Simms knows the fundamentals of the offense and is familiar with at least some of the pieces. Even if he’s a standout for the rest of the preseason, Simms is probably never going to be a legitimate answer to backup Matt Ryan. The Falcons need all the depth they can get at the position right now, though.

Backup running back Brian Hill was one of only a handful of Atlanta players that had good games last week. He was by far the team’s most efficient running back, averaging over five yards per carry while no other RB could crack two. Hill also scored the team’s only touchdown.

This means the competition to see who plays behind starter Devonta Freeman just got even more interesting. We assumed Ito Smith would take that role in the offseason, but coach Dan Quinn says there is no favorite right now. Another productive game for Hill could move him to the front of the line, though.

The Falcons brought in several undrafted free agent wide receivers this year. Virginia’s Olamide Zaccheaus has gotten the most hype, but he struggled in Canton, catching just two of six targets and dropping a punt.

Christian Blake and Shawn Bane wound up leading the way for the UDFA receivers, combining for eight catches and 75 yards. Bane nearly scored a touchdown after making a catch at the goal line on a laser from Kurt Benkert, but Denver managed to keep him out of the end zone. With Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley unlikely to play, they should get another opportunity to shine in Miami.

Eagles vs Titans

Eagles vs Titans Preseason Week 1 preview

It’s finally here. The rematch of the Tennessee Titans versus the Philadelphia Eagles.Well, sort of. Eagles fans will have to wait a little longer to really quench their bloodthirst.

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It’s just preseason, but there are multiple storylines to keep an eye on during Thursday’s game. With both rosters posting a 9-7 campaign in 2018, which team will make the jump this year?

When: Thursday, August 8th at 6:30 p.m. CDT
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Watch: WKRN News 2 (ABC)
Listen: WGFX 104.5 FM-The Zone

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Before I break down this game with players to watch for, I’d like to take a moment of silence to commemorate last year’s dogfight.

The Eagles’ 9-7 season resulted in a playoff berth. After defeating the Chicago Bears in the wild-card game, the Eagles fell just short of the NFC Championship Game with a loss to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.

The Titans’ 9-7 campaign was their third straight, but didn’t have the same successful result as the Eagles’. Instead, the Titans were forced to roll backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert out there for a do-or-die Week 17 game against the Indianapolis Colts, a game in which the Titans lost.

But hope springs eternal, and both teams will not only look to improve on their 9-7 records from a year ago, both will also be looking to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Let’s take a look at some lesser-known players to watch for both teams on either side of the ball, some of whom could be competing for a spot on their respective rosters.

Lions vs Patriots

Detroit Lions vs. New England Patriots: What to watch for

Wait no longer, Detroit Lions fans. 221 days after they walked off of the tundra in Green Bay, the Lions will march onto an NFL field again today to play a game. Well, kind of.

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Preseason games aren’t every NFL fan’s cup of tea, and many of the Lions’ key players won’t see any snaps tonight. Regardless, it will be an important measuring stick for the team thus far, and here’s what we’ll be watching closely:

Most NFL coaches are hesitant to reveal too much of their playbook during the preseason, and the Lions figure to be no different. That being said, with a new coordinator and a collection of new contributors on offense, this game could be an important opportunity to see where the team currently stands when they have the ball.

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Under new OC Darrell Bevell, the Lions are expected to be a run-heavy offense, while taking advantage of a deep group of pass catchers and quarterback Matthew Stafford’s powerful right arm. Stafford had one of his worst statistical seasons in 2018, and the Lions are hoping that this offense, his fourth in 11 seasons, will be a great fit for him.

Additionally, second year tailback Kerryon Johnson will lead a versatile offensive backfield that will aim to offer the type of balance that the Lions have lacked for most of this decade. While they aren’t likely to stretch the starters out much, we may get a small sense of how some of the new parts will fit together in 2019.

Ravens vs Jaguars

Ravens vs. Jaguars preseason: Wellcome How To Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Ahead of their August 8th preseason matchup, the Ravens and Jaguars participated in joint practices this past Monday and Tuesday. Usually in joint practices, the pent-up aggression and August weather culminate in some sort of fight or conflict between the teams. This time around, however, the endeavor was productive for both parties involved.

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Jacksonville and Baltimore have met just once before in the preseason in 2012, where the Ravens dominated 48-12. Baltimore would go on to win the Super Bowl that year with quarterback Joe Flacco winning MVP of the game.

Both teams will feature different Week 1 starting quarterbacks than they did a year ago, Lamar Jackson replacing Joe Flacco on the Ravens and Nick Foles replacing Blake Bortles on the Jaguars. Jackson won’t see much time and with backup Robert Griffin III dealing with a thumb injury, Ravens third-string QB Trace McSorley will get a lot of snaps.

The Jaguars fell short of expectations in the 2018-2019 season, failing to make the playoffs after narrowly losing the AFC Championship to the New England Patriots just the year before. Foles will likely take some reps with the first-team on Thursday, but the team won’t risk injury as he was their biggest free-agent acquisition.

Ahead of their matchup, here’s everything you need to know to watch.
Ravens vs. Jaguars Preseason Game

Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

What: Preseason Week 1

When: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

TV Channel: NBC, KCBS (Los Angeles)

Live Stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App

Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 and 98Rock

ESPN 710 AM, JACK FM and 93.1 FM (Los Angeles)

Point Spread: Baltimore, -4.5

Over/Under: 34

Weather: 92 degrees, mostly sunny
Preseason Schedule

Week 1: Thursday, August 8 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, M&T Bank Stadium

Week 2: Thursday, August 15 vs. Green Bay Packers, M&T Bank Stadium

Week 3: Thursday, August 22 @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field

Week 4: Thursday, August 29 @ Washington Redskins, FedEx Field
Ravens 2019 Regular Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, September 8 @ Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m., Hard Rock Stadium

Week 2: Sunday, September 15 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 3: Sunday, September 22 @ Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m., Arrowhead Stadium

Week 4: Sunday, September 29 vs. Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 5: Sunday, October 6 @ Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m., Heinz Field

Week 6: Sunday, October 13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 7: Sunday, October 20 @ Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m., CenturyLink Field

Week 8: Sunday, October 27: BYE

Week 9: Sunday, November 3 vs. New England Patriots, 8:20 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 10: Sunday, November 10 @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m., Paul Brown Stadium

Week 11: Sunday, November 17 vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. M&T Bank Stadium

Week 12: Monday, November 25 @ Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m., LA Memorial Coliseum

Week 13: Sunday, December 1 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 14: Sunday, December 8 @ Buffalo Bills, 1:00 p.m., New Era Field

Week 15: Thursday, December 12 vs. New York Jets, 8:20 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Week 16: Sunday, December 22 @ Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m., FirstEnergy Stadium

Week 17: Sunday, December 29 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:00 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

Browns vs Redskins

Browns vs Redskins: Daily Slop: Colt McCoy will not play Thursday’s preseason game vs Browns; Alex Smith is excited for what the Redskins have going forward at QB According to a report, Colt McCoy will not start Thursday’s first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.

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Redskins running back Derrius Guice on hardest year of his life – Washington Redskins Blog- ESPN

Guice, who has used football to hurdle life’s obstacles, says a torn ACL followed by a family tragedy made last year the hardest of his life.

Redskins players spend off day painting at Richmond elementary school | NBC Sports Washington

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There are off days, and then there are off days that get spent doing charity. Today, the Redskins, staff members and volunteers are painting an elementary school. On their off day. In a city they don’t live in.

Jay Gruden is either the funniest guy to ever step up to the microphone for the Washington Redskins, or else he finally has been infected by his boss, the Prince of Darkness, Redskins president Bruce Allen.

On goal of playing again, Alex Smith says ‘without a doubt’ | NBC Sports Washington

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith sat down with Larry Michael to discuss his rehab process and how far he’s come in recovering.

The sixth-round wide receiver has established himself as a sizable, sure-handed target for quarterbacks during Redskins training camp.

Optimistic As Ever, Alex Smith Cherishing Chance To Work With Redskins Quarterbacks

As Smith works back from a gruesome leg injury that ended his 2018 campaign, he’s helped tutor the quarterbacks who have been taking the field in Richmond.

As the Trent Williams situation unfolds, Ryan Kerrigan could be watching closely | NBC Sports Washington

Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams are in a near identical contract situation. Two years left, little guaranteed cash. If the team pays Williams, what are they going to do with Kerrigan?

Dwayne Haskins isn’t letting ‘brain farts’ stop him from trying to be Redskins’ starter | NBC Sports Washington

Dwayne Haskins is listed as the Redskins’ No. 3 quarterback on the initial depth chart. But he’s not worried about behind left behind.

Check out these images of training camp practice Monday, August 5, 2019, at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.

Charley Casserly: Healthy Jordan Reed gets ‘best separation’ in NFL, better than Gronk | NBC Sports Washington

To even the most casual observer the best player at Redskins training camp must be Jordan Reed. He’s dominated. Charley Casserly and Landon Collins certainly think so.

Cole Holcomb’s intense study habits are helping him stick out for the Redskins | NBC Sports Washington

The fifth-round rookie linebacker has already made an impression on Jay Gruden because of his study habits. Those habits are also helping him make an impression on the field.

Alex Smith is excited for what the Redskins have going forward at quarterback | NBC Sports Washington

While recovery from a gruesome leg injury will cost Alex Smith his entire 2019 season and perhaps longer, the quarterback has still been very involved with the team.

Why do Redskins players wear long sleeves even when it’s scorching hot? Their reasons vary | NBC Sports Washington

Redskins training camp in Richmond is always filled with scorching, humid days. Even so, plenty of players wear long sleeves and sweatshirts on the field. Why? Their reasons vary.

Giants vs Jets

Giants vs. Jets game is one of a few nationally televised preseason matchups that will be shown live in Week 1, but even if you’ve cut the cable cord or you want to watch.

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1. Kicking off 2019. Fifty years after they first played each other in a preseason game, this is just the third time the Giants and Jets have met in a preseason opener. They also did so in 1983 and 2010, the latter in the first NFL game in MetLife Stadium. This will be the 51st consecutive summer in which the Giants and Jets will meet since the series began in 1969. The Giants have won the three previous preseason meetings, including 22-16 last year.

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2. Playing time. Pat Shurmur did not disclose who will and will not play on Thursday night, but did say that “a few guys that are healthy and have been practicing may not play.” Does that mean Eli Manning? “We’ll let that all reveal itself,” said Shurmur, who rested the quarterback in the second and fourth preseason games last year. Running back Saquon Barkley played only the preseason opener as a rookie.
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3. Jones to debut. One player who will for sure see the field, Shurmur said, is rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. He has been practicing with the second team, followed by Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta. “I’m excited,” said Jones, the sixth overall draft choice. “I think it’ll be a whole lot of fun to just run out there for the first time and kind of be part of the scene, be part of an NFL football game. So, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

4. Depth chart. The Giants have released their first depth chart ahead of Thursday’s preseason opener against the Jets. As always, it is subject to change. It simply serves as a guide, more so for the media than the coaches. Check it out HERE.

5. Injury report. The team will release a “did not play” list later tonight, but the following players have missed time or were limited this week in practice: WR Darius Slayton, CB Sam Beal, OT Brian Mihalik, OT Chad Wheeler, OLB Avery Moss, OT George Asafo-Adjei. WR Sterling Shepard (broken thumb) and CB Grant Haley (shoulder) have been practicing while wearing a non-contact yellow pinny.

6. Standout rookies. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and cornerback Corey Ballentine have turned some heads this summer, and Thursday night will be their first time at an NFL game. Neither has ever seen one in person.

“The first impression is the best impression kind of deal,” said Lawerence, a first-round draft choice who grew up a Giants fan. “No stress, it’s just go out there and play football. It’s what I’ve been doing all my life.”

“I lived in Kansas and I had Kansas City, which was in Missouri,” said Ballentine, selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. “But I was never really a big fan, so I never went to the games. I don’t really know why I never went to a game, actually. I never really got the chance. But I’m excited for (Thursday).”

7. Competitions heat up. Thursday night is one of four major auditions for starting job and roster spots as the 53-man roster must be finalized by 4 p.m. on Aug. 31. The competitions at center, wide receiver, and cornerback are among the ones to watch. Jon Halapio is currently with the first team at center, but the Giants also feel confident with Spencer Pulley. Given the absences at wide receiver, players like Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, and Russell Shepard have seen increased reps. In the secondary, Grant Haley and Antonio Hamilton are listed as second-team cornerbacks behind Janoris Jenkins and DeAndre Baker.

8. New P.I. rule. A major storyline of the preseason around the NFL is the new rule that made offensive and defensive pass interference subject to review. Coaches can now challenge those calls outside of the final two minutes of each half. Inside of two minutes, they will be subject to a booth review. It was put to use for the first time in the Hall of Fame Game as the Broncos challenged a pass interference penalty called on their defense. The call was upheld.

“I really do believe that we all want to get it right,” Shurmur said. “This is going to be talked about a great deal. It’s going to have an effect on some games, so I think in the preseason, it makes sense for all of us to, every once in a while, throw one just to see what the response is.”

9. Classmates. Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Jets quarterback Sam Darnold were drafted second and third overall, respectively, in the 2018 NFL Draft. The college superstars played against each other in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl in history as Penn State and USC combined for 98 points. Barkley had 194 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards, 57 kickoff return yards, and three total touchdowns in the 2017 game.

10. See ya later. Of the Giants’ four preseason opponents this year, they will see three of them again in the regular season. They play the Jets in Week 10, Patriots in Week 6 (Preseason Week 4), and Bears in Week 12 (Preseason Week 2). The Giants lead the all-time regular-season series against the Jets, 8-5, including five consecutive victories between 1996 and 2011. The Jets’ 2015 overtime victory was their first over the Giants since 1993.

Bills vs Colts

Bills vs Colts Live Game Preseason Week One: Players to Watch Chris Blystone. 9 hrs ago. Amid criticism, Trump will take on role of consoler-in-chief. These are the victims of the El Paso shooting.

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The Buffalo Bills are back at New Era Field, hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night in the preseason opener. There are plenty of story lines for the Bills, and you can find updates on Ed Oliver, Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, LeSean McCoy and much more as part of today’s links.

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Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane says team was willing to accept risk of free agents’ injury history – newyorkupstate.com
Beane’s biggest free-agent signing, center Mitch Morse, is in concussion protocol after suffering his fourth concussion in five years.

14th Annual Buffalo Bills Training Camp Awards – BuffaloBills.com
Bills Insider Chris Brown wraps up the 2019 Bills training camp by handing out 11 awards for the two weeks of practice in Rochester.

Sean McDermott: “I’m always trying to think of the next thing we need as a team” – BuffaloBills.com
“Bills head coach Sean McDermott joined One Bills Live to discuss what to look for in the preseason opener, the game plan at RB, the team’s progress at camp and his evaluation of the team so far.”

Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts: 7 players to watch in preseason opener – Cover 1
The Buffalo Bills face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the 2019 NFL Preseason. Here’s a look at Josh Allen, Ed Oliver and the top seven players to watch during Thursday’s action.

Lafayette Pitts ready to fill the void left from E.J. Gaines’ injury | WGR 550 SportsRadio
“The cornerback is expected to get more reps in the coming weeks with the Bills down another player”

Whispers fueling McCoy | RochesterFirst
“LeSean McCoy knows what you’re thinking. He knows the football world thinks running backs can’t be effective past 30 years old and that his poor 2018 season–the season after McCoy hit the big 3-0–is just a confirmation.”

‘Be their shadow’: What Bills veterans think of Devin Singletary’s enviable situation in the running back room – The Athletic
The rookie gets to learn from a future Hall of Famer in Frank Gore and another strong candidate in LeSean McCoy. (Subscription required.)

‘I’m the guy’: Unpacking LeSean McCoy’s comments and what he can bring to the 2019 Bills – The Athletic
Beane and McDermott speak highly of their 31-year-old running back, even after adding Gore and Singletary to the group. (Subscription required.)

Buffalo Bills post-training camp rookie report card: Ed Oliver earns high marks – newyorkupstate.com
Ed Oliver thrived when the pads went on at training camp. What about the Bills’ other 2019 rookies?

Who’s a lock and who’s on the bubble? Breaking down the Bills roster before preseason games – The Athletic
“We separated the 91 players into three different categories based on where they stand with the Bills heading into preseason.” (Subscription required.)

Winners and losers from Buffalo Bills Training Camp – Cover 1
The Buffalo Bills wrapped up training camp at St. John Fisher College on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a look at some of the winners and losers from the last few weeks of practices ahead of the team’s first preseason game against the Colts.
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BBR: NYUP.com’s Ryan Talbot checks in to chat Josh Allen, training camp, and much more – Buffalo Rumblings
There are plenty of training camp competitions to discuss in this week’s podcast.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy refutes trade rumors and demotion – Buffalo Rumblings
Speaking to reporters in what is now a somewhat rare occurrence, Bills running back LeSean McCoy states he’s still “the guy” in Buffalo.

Billieve Podcast: Buffalo Bills’ training camp observations, part 1 – Buffalo Rumblings
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Buffalo Bills’ nickel defensive back spot could lead to role for safety Siran Neal – Buffalo Rumblings
The nickel role could open the door for Siran Neal in 2019.

Bills Links, 8/7: Training camp comes to a close at St. John Fisher – Buffalo Rumblings
The Bills open the preseason at New Era Field on Thursday.