Pre-Season Week 2, Part 2

August 25, 2015

The BENGALS laid an egg on Monday Night Football and JAMEIS WINSTON looked a lot better than he had in Week 1. WINSTON, who left the field limping late in the 1st Quarter after getting rolled up on his left ankle during a sack, looked much better than he had at the beginning of the pre-Season opener last week. He went 8/13 for 90 yards, and ran for a TD during his abbreviated stint. And unlike some guys we know, he stuck around with a clipboard and a note pad for the balance of the game. It marked significant progress from game 1.
MIKE GLENNON came in for the pretty much the balance of the game and was quite effective running the BUCS attack. He went 10/15 for 121 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. JON GRUDEN went on a bit of a rant about GLENNON’s potential to start in the NFL. I agree with him. The BUCS might look to trade GLENNON for a vet back-up and a Draft Pick in the near future. He could compete for a starting job on about 8 NFL teams right now, according to CHUCKY & PIGSKIN PAUL.
The BUCS Defense was outstanding and dominated the line-of-scrimmage. ANDY DALTON was pummeled and not given much support. After a lazy catch effort which led to an INT, by top receiver A.J. GREEN, GRUDEN also pointed out that way too many DALTON INT have come from tipped balls or bad patterns from the perceived star receiver GREEN. GRUDEN should know from all the NFL game tape he watches each week at his FFCA offices in Tampa.
The BENGALS OL looked slow and lethargic, allowing the BUCS 3 sacks in the 1st Quarter alone.
A.J. McCARRON got his first action as an NFL QB in this game. He has been sidelined since the end of his senior season at ALABAMA back in 2014. Primary among his issues have been throwing shoulder problems. Despite GRUDEN complaining that he wanted to see McCARRON, let it rip downfield (which is silly) A.J. did alright. On his first two possessions holding penalties on 1st Down left him at 1st and 20 deep in Cincy’s end of the field. By games end he was 11/15 for 97 yards. Now if his shoulder is not significantly sore this week he can move on with his pro career.
It was an officials’ flag fest with the BUCS drawing 3 separate penalty flags in the first quarter on a Punt return. The BUCS had 14 penalties accepted for 153 yards in this one. THat won’t cut it going forward LOVIE. THis team is not good enough to overcome that many mistakes.

In a more typical ho-hum affair the BRONCOS defeated the TEXANS 14-10 in Houston, grabbing the lead late in the 4th Quarter. In what was clearly a defensive battle of sorts BRIAN HOYER showed enough that HC BILL O’BRIEN gave him the nod as the starting QB for September. TOM SAVAGE still showed signs of having long range starting potential. Watching the TEXANS is like a “who are these guys” experience. True stars ARIAN FOSTER/RB, JJ WATT/DE, JADEVEON CLOWNEY/ER, VINCE WILFORK/DT & BRIAN CUSHING/ILB never hit the playing field. WATT & WILFORK are just being saved for the real games and the other three are nursing or recovering from injuries. URFA TE/KHARI LEE (Shrine Game) is catching eyes and working toward a roster spot. The big guy (6’4/267) is blocking well as an inline presence, but also caught two balls for 27 yards, with one of them bring an athletic leaping grab.
For the BRONCOS Defense was the key. DC WADE PHILLIPS is imparting his 3-4 scheme wisdom to his charges and they seem to be responding well. SHAQ BARRETT, an edge-rusher was in the backfield harassing Texans QB all night. He was credited with 2 tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble. WADE can always find a place for a disruptive rush player on his D.
Maybe surprising to most of us, but not to GM JOHN ELWAY, QB/TREVER SIEMIAN/R was most impressive in his late game appearance. He went 7/10, 89 yards and a TD pass that was the game winning score in the 4th quarter. SIEMIAN, was a surprise Draftee in Round 7 by HOF QB ELWAY. Count me as among the many who said WHAT?!, when he was drafted. Then again we might expect that ELWAY knows something a bit special when he sees it. Expect ZAC DYSERT to be cut and SIEMIAN to be the 3rd stringer QB in Denver this season.

JEFF FISHER brought the RAMS into his former stomping grounds in Tennessee and after a very nice pre-game salute to him by the TITANS and a rousing reception from the fans, he was treated rudely by the young TITANS team. The RAMS tacked on some late points to make the scoreboard look respectable, but were never really in the game.
Just like JAMEIS in Tampa, Rookie QB MARCUS MARIOTA looked vastly improved over his Week 1 performance. His playing time was limited but going 5/9 for 59 yards he looked totally in control of the Offense. ZACH METTENBERGER was next man up and he really looked solid chewing up the RAMS defensive troops. DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM, was not a huge downfield threat in this game, but he did register 4 catches for 40 yards. He and JUSTIN HUNTER on the field at the same time give the TITANS a titanic set of wideouts.

The RAMS gave NICK FOLES a limited look as he returns from a 2014 injury in Philadelphia. He looked good at times, but over not so much overall in his first go- round. The biggest news for me in watching the RAMS is to watch them transition to a road grader OL unit which features two Rookies on the right side of the formation right now. JAMON BROWN/RG and ROB HAVENSTEIN/RT were the RAMS 3rd and 2nd Round draftees respectively. The LT GREG ROBINSON and OC/DEMETRIUS RHANEY are second year men. Two of the top OL back-ups could turn out to be Rookies as well. ANDREW DONNAL and ISAIAH BATTLE are big guys with solid NFL potential. This is a work in progress, but once TODD GURLEY/RB is cleared to play the power game should be full on. TRE MASON and BENNY CUNNINGHAM are proven young, but smaller RB who could provide valuable carries in support of GURLEY.
It looks as though AUSTIN DAVIS/QB may be the odd man out in the QB hunt for the RAMS. CASE KEENUM has seen significant time in the first two games and done well overall. He went 7/16, for 164 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.
URFA RB/MALCOLM BROWN also showed well in late action. The former Longhorn toted the ball 4 times for 23 yards, and also caught 4 passes for 78 yards including a 54 yard TD.