Preseason Preview: Raiders vs Lions, Falcons vs Jets
Thursday night provided a lot of excitement. Lamar Jackson looked good again, juking defenders like a video game and RG3 looked solid, showing why he is still number two on the depth chart. Michael Gallup had people gushing over his beautiful 30-yard touchdown grab. But the fun didn’t stop there. Saquon Barkley didn’t see the field for a long time, but he showed why he was the No.2 pick with an explosive 39-yard carry–and how about the No.1 overall pick? Baker Mayfield was throwing daggers.
Friday night features two primetime games with four teams who looks to have an exciting season
Oakland Raiders vs Detroit Lions
Just like all the starting QB’s, don’t expect to see much of Derek Carr or Matt Stafford. The Raiders are loaded at the wide receiver position, so expect a battle between Seth Roberts, Johnny Holton, Marcell Ateman etc., because half of those guys will be hitting waivers in a number of weeks. The offensive line is also one to keep an eye on for Oakland, and the running back battle as well. Marshawn won’t be there forever.
For Detroit, Kerryon Johnson has everybody and their momma hyped. Johnson will be in for a limited amount of snaps, but all it takes is one explosive run to have everybody gushing over him. Teo Redding is a UDFA out of Bowling Green, but has created some buzz around him at camp. Expect to see a lot of him tonight and to possibly make his case for a roster spot on the Lions WR core. Jake Rudock will also see extensive playing time tonight. Matt Cassel is there, but we’ve seen Stafford get banged up every year, and we’ve also seen Matt Cassel not light it up in his 13 seasons with the NFL, so the quarterback battle is also one to watch.
Atlanta Falcons vs New York Jets
For the Jets it’s all about the quarterbacks. Sam Darnold is the key guy here. There’s still plenty of talk of whether he should start Week one or not, but if he’s going to put a nail in that coffin, he needs to start showing out tonight. Don’t sleep on Teddy though, Bridgewater will also get his shot to claim his right as the starting quarterback for the Jets. Todd Bowles made it loud and clear that there are jobs up for grabs for everyone, so it’s going to be a battle all night at each position for Gang Green.
We will all get to see what Calvin Ridley can do in his first preseason action in a Falcons uniform. Julio Jones has a few more seasons as one of the elite guys, so if the Falcons look to reign supreme when it comes to wide receiver, pairing up Ridley with Jones, is a great way to start. Takkarist McKinley is another guy to watch–he’s been very unlucky with injuries ever since he left UCLA having two major surgeries. Hopefully he’s healthy and ready for primetime in 2018. Overall keep an eye on that Atlanta defense–this young defensive unit looks to stay molded for a few years, and if they can start clicking, Atlanta will be a very scary team for offenses in 2018.