The back nine of NFL’s week 2 preseason battles. On the second part of the weekend recap, I shift the article to a ‘shout out’ and ‘call out’ style. The six games mentioned will either call out a player who needs to show me more before the season starts. Or a shout out to anyone who impressed me. Let’s recap the games.
New England vs Houston
I’m giving a shout out to Tom Savage from Houston and Rex Burkhead from New England. The former threw with intensity and calmness at the exact same time. Savage drove Houston inside the 10 on both drives. One ending with a fourth down turnover, which is great experience and love the call. The second drive ending in a touchdown pass to Jalen Strong, who is a sleeper himself with the injury to Will Fuller. Houston moved at a steady pace against the defending Super Bowl champions. Big confidence booster. The latter of the early mentioned shoutouts is, again, Rex Burkhead. He played extremely well and had an unofficial groove going with Brady. Catching the touchdown on the second drive showed great whereabouts. He found the hole and shook the defender, caught and turned immediately upfield. I’m not sure of the approximated time for Gillislee’s return, but Burkhead is showing he is plenty capable of carrying the load.
Denver vs San Francisco
Another shout out for the guy carrying the rock for the Denver Broncos. Injuries and high expectations lowered the fantasy football owners who want C.J. Anderson on their team. The backup DeAngelo Henderson looked impressive which will get even more people off of Anderson, but he looked good running the ball. The refs made him run the ball from the 3 yard line 3 times, scoring every time, but not enough for the refs. The 49ers had many players who deserve a shout out. Goodwin played great, except the bobbled ball that was intercepted. Hoyer, besides one slippery ball, was on point. He threw the ball smart and besides some bad turnovers, San Francisco looked good. But, I’m calling out the 49ers for their just mentioned, horrible turnovers. You won’t win any games if you can’t hang onto the ball. The team would be driving, and do what all non playoff teams do: turn the ball over, a huge mistake in the NFL, and can’t continue to happen.
Chicago vs Arizona
Chicago has earned itself a shout out for rookie running back Tarik Cohen. Ranked third on their depth chart, but looked as if he could start. Cohen was explosive everytime he touched the ball. The Bears offensive line looked good when run blocking, then Cohen took every ball and purged forward with no fear. Arizona received a call out, specifically Carson Palmer. Sure, he got a touchdown on a fourth down and played Chris Johnson most of his time on the field. I saw some good passes and some bad ones. Palmer needs to have this team clicking on all cylinders and fully expect him to do that. Because I see him being a huge fantasy sleeper, I’m calling him out for these preseason throws. I hope this doesn’t continue to the regular season.
Los Angeles Rams vs Oakland
Todd Gurley is the next player to get a shout out from me. Gurley looks fast and ready to go, running with a purpose on a team that may be able to open more holes for him just because of the addition of Watkins along with the year of experience for Goff. The Rams offense looked light years better than they were last season. That will only help the once top fantasy drafted player Todd Gurley. Oakland’s Amari Cooper gets a shout out also. Getting his first catches of the preseason against Los Angeles. He didn’t light up the stat line and Crabtree got the red zone target and touchdown. But Cooper’s catch to get Oakland into the red zone was amazing. Cooper will be great this season and his catching abilities showed to be in prime position to exceed those expectations.
Atlanta vs Pittsburgh
Second year tight end, Austin Hooper, gets a shout out for his two catches. Atlanta looked good, but we didn’t see much of the starters. Hooper proved to be even more of a piece in the Atlanta puzzle. He caught the balls thrown to him and turned upfield on both catches. I fully expect Hooper to be big this year and his catches and yards are trending upwards. Pittsburgh’s James Conner get a mention. I didn’t feel anyone from Pittsburgh deserved a shout out or call out. I was waiting for someone to impress me and it just never happened. Conner looked rough dropping those passes but looked like he could handle a workload. Bryant fumbled so I was going to call him out. But, game one in 15 months, I can give him a pass. Conner, I’ll mention because he looked good and bad, something to work around but a lot of experience in that game.
New Orleans vs Los Angeles Chargers
I mean, c’mon, the first play of the game for the Saints offense, rookie Alvin Kamara, bursts through the offensive line and darts to end zone. A huge touchdown and yet another game with a huge run. Kamara is putting his name out there in a crowded backfield. Now as good as Kamara can look in preseason, his number three spot on the roster is about as far as he can go up. But if the veterans don’t play, show everyone what the future holds. Los Angeles I’m giving one more call out. Yes, not as many call outs as anticipated, but players looked good this week. Melvin Gordon, here’s a call out: Los Angeles offensive line. For my predictions of the Chargers is to come true, the offensive line needs to play better than what I saw Sunday night. Clemens may not be a starter in the NFL, but no one should have to be pressure as much as Clemens was. Offensive line needs to step their game up for Gordon to be a top five running back.