Week 3 of the 2013 NFL preseason has officially concluded, and with it, came a good solid look at the first team offenses and defenses.
Some good; some not so good.
As I did in Week 2 of the preseason, I will break down what I feel deserves the most attention. This week’s “best of the best” will feature two stellar games that outshined the remaining lot.
Make no mistake, however, there were a few other contests that had plenty to dissect.
For that and everything in between, you’ll have to read further.
The Highlights: The Best of the Best:I'm a second round ADP RB again?
The very first game I would like to touch on is the Patriots/Lions matchup which featured a small coming out party for RB Reggie Bush. We were all given privy as to why the Lions reached over the table to sign the speedy back.
The interesting aspect here wasn’t just Bush’s ability to still carry the ball, but how much of an added weapon he will be in the already dangerous Detroit passing game. Bush caught five passes for 105 yards adding stock to his already solid fantasy value.
The Patriots, on the other hand, continued to show concerns from their own collective RB corp. I don’t think this will translate into the regular season, but it is noteworthy to keep an eye on with one preseason game remaining.
Down in Houston we had one helluva showdown between the Texans and Saints, and to be perfectly honest, there wasn’t much to complain about in this one.
Both teams performed at “in-season” level, and all of the players fantasy football fans would be concerned with, shined on Sunday.
Houston WR Andre Johnson caught seven balls for 131 yards and RB Ben Tate did a superb job carrying the rock 11 times for 74 yards and a lone TD.
New Orleans continued to show offensive dominance Sunday with stellar play from rookie WRs Kenny Stills (2/54/1) and Andy Tanner (3/33/2), while the veterans completed a modest day in a “sharing-the-roll” fashion.
We already know Houston’s Tate is a solid look for fantasy owners (btw, Is this Texans RB hurting your fantasy draft? ), but I’ll wait another week before passing final fantasy judgment on Stills and Tanner.
The Silent But Deadliest:
The battle for the NFC East crown this season is going to be a tight race and what we saw from Dallas and Philadelphia (in particular) this weekend is solid evidence of that.
Not taking away from New York and Washington, of course.
Philadelphia kept on rolling this week as they took on a resurgent Jacksonville defense that has been giving everyone they face a heap of trouble, particularly from the defensive line. The Eagles first AND second string moved the ball extremely well, but that first team offense looked exceptionally sharp.
The Jaguars passing game showed some improvement this week but still looked awfully slow. What I loved was the continued look at RB Jordan Todman.
CLICK HERE to see his 63-yard TD run against Philadelphia.
Through three preseason games now, this kid has carried the ball 20 times for 163 yards (8.13 YPC) and a single TD. He is fast, has great vision, and is even giving fantasy fans reason to put him on the fantasy map in deeper leagues and even Dynasty leagues.
Much like the Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys played the part of a true “silent but deadly” team as well.
The first team offense finally got some quality time on the field, and it was much of what you would’ve expected from them.
Dez Bryant and Tony Romo stole the show early on, with fellow receiver Miles Austin filling in the closing-curtain act.
As if the Cowboys aerial attack wasn’t enough, the ground game also filled in quite well with DeMarco Murray (12/51) and Joseph Randle (16/66) showing why they are not to be taken lightly.
Quick Hits and Drills:
- In a rematch of last season’s regular season opener—and I don’t have to remind many of that one—the Packers did business with the Seahawks in a very eventful game. The Packers seemed to do a better job at containing the Seattle front four, while Seattle did an excellent job at utilizing the deep ball. For those wondering, RB Eddie Lacy was a non-factor in this one.
- The Panthers and Ravens put on a solid show and in this contest we finally saw Ravens RB Ray Rice get things going with 66 yards on 16 carries and a lone score. We also saw newly added WR Brandon Stokley get some quick work in who is now worth keeping an eye on. Panthers QB Cam Newton did a much better job at spreading the ball around himself, and the Panthers offense as a whole looked much better this week than last.
- Finally, the Rams and Broncos played a tight, solid game which gave everyone a ton to consider. Both offenses looked sharp and responsive, but the big highlight here was the play of Rams LB Alec Ogletree, and Broncos LB Von Miller. Both of these players will be solid IDP players this season.