Jaguars Offense is loaded with talent
The Jaguars boast one of the most exciting young offences in the league, and their starters delivered a phenomenal performance in their preseason opener. Receiver Allen Robinson looks set to have another dominant season, making a couple of incredible catches against the Jets. Marquise Lee also chipped in with a spectacular grab of his own, a reminder of the depth that the Jags possess at the position. At running back, Chris Ivory will look to improve what was one of the worst redzone offenses in the league last year, and should form an exciting partnership with TJ Yeldon in the backfield.
Broncos’ starting quarterback remains up in the air
The quarterback situation in Denver is no clearer now than it was at the beginning of training camp. Mark Sanchez looks like the favourite to start on opening night against Carolina, but it is highly likely that Paxton Lynch will step into the lineup sooner rather than later. The rookie showed off his big arm and underrated athleticism in the Broncos’ shutout victory over the Bears. He was not drafted in the first round to sit behind Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian.
RGIII’s underwhelming debut
RGIII had an explosive start to his Cleveland Browns career, connecting with quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor on a 49-yard bomb on the Browns’ first offensive play of the game. From there, things went downhill for the former offensive rookie of the year, throwing an interception at the end of his first drive and completing only half of his passing attempts. Browns fans will pray that Hue Jackson can help him regain some of the form from his sensational rookie season.
Dak Prescott is legit
The LA Rams’ first overall pick, Jared Goff, was not even close to being the most impressive rookie QB on the field at the LA Coliseum last Saturday. Cowboys backup QB Dak Prescott delivered the best performance of all the rookie throwers in the first week of the preseason, exuding confidence while remaining calm and composed within the pocket. The Cowboys have been searching for a backup and future replacement for Tony Romo for years, and it looks like they may finally have found their guy.
Mediocre start for Carson Wentz
The number 2 overall pick in this year’s draft had a mixed performance in his first NFL game against the Buccaneers. Wentz had some success on short and intermediate throws, but struggled with deep ball accuracy. He threw a bad interception, and still needs to perfect his mechanics in order to seize the starting role in Philly. It emerged after the game that he suffered a hairline fracture in his ribs, and it is unlikely that we will see him take the field again this preseason.
Blaine Gabbert is not a starting NFL quarterback
Three years ago, the 49ers were 5 yards away from winning a Super Bowl. Now, they face a very possible scenario in which Blaine Gabbert is their starter for the upcoming season. The former first round pick was extremely disappointing in Sunday’s game against the Texans, misfiring on two simple throws to Carlos Hyde on the opening drive of the game, and struggling with inaccuracy throughout the first quarter . If Colin Kaepernick cannot improve on his poor play from last season, it will be a long and ugly 2016 campaign for San Francisco.
Terrance West is a fantasy sleeper
The former Cleveland Browns’ running back is a player to keep an eye on late in fantasy drafts this year. West displayed excellent vision, speed and power in his limited playing time, and with Justin Forsett turning 31 in October, West could feature prominently in the Ravens’ backfield this season.
Christine Michael looks exceptional
Michael turned in a brilliant performance against the Chiefs, showing exceptional burst and power that we have not seen from him since entering the league. Thomas Rawls is still the main man in Seattle’s backfield, but Michael is sure to eat into Rawls’ carries if he continues to perform well throughout the preseason.
Titans’ running game could be special
Tennessee’s ‘exotic smashmouth’ offense was exciting to watch in their opening game of the preseason. 2014 offensive player of the year DeMarco Murray and bruising rookie rusher Derrick Henry formed a formidable pairing behind Marcus Mariota, rushing for a combined 167 yards against the Chargers. Murray looks like he has regained some of the speed that he lacked last year during his brief stint with the Eagles, while Henry showed the ability to abuse opposing defenders with his impressive size. The former Alabama star also displayed extremely nimble feet, a rare quality for such a big running back.
This OTI Piece was written by Cathal Keane. Cathal is a passionate Cincinnati Bengals fan from Dublin who enjoys studying and analysing game film. Cathal also plays for the Dublin Rebels in the Irish American Football League. Follow him on Twitter @whodeycathal