NFL Preseason Week 2: Saturday Recaps

Cowboys 7, Cardinals 12

Saturday, August 17th, the Dallas Cowboys traveled to Glendale, Arizona to take on the Arizona Cardinals in a preseason matchup. During the NFL regular season there are practices and film sessions that carry more weight than preseason matchups, but for both teams this year’s preseason carries a little extra importance. The Cowboys look to prove themselves as a real contender in the NFC East this and the Arizona Cardinals rebuild with a new head coach and quarterback.

The first half of Saturday’s game was dominated by the Arizona offense as they controlled the football for over 20 minutes. However, the Cowboys defense held strong with a bend but don’t break attitude as they only surrendered three first half fields goals from Arizona kicker Jay Feely, who converted from 25, 40 and 53 yards. In the second half Feely would tack on another 22 yard field goal and finish 4-5 on the day.

Feely’s four field goals turned out to be enough to kick the Cowboys out of Arizona with a 12-7 defeat.

Jaguars 13, Jets 37

The Jacksonville Jaguars traveled to MetLife Stadium on Saturday to face the New York Jets in the second preseason game for both teams. Jacksonville has been a franchise in rebuilding mode since 2009 and has seemingly been going nowhere fast. With new head coach Gus Bradley at the helm, the Jaguars have nowhere to go but up this season. For the New York Jets, head coach Rex Ryan is sitting in the hottest seat in the NFL this season as rookie Geno Smith competes against Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback spot.

Mark Sanchez played through three quarters and got off to a hot start going 5/5 in the first quarter, but began to fade and ended his night 13/23 for 176 yards, a touched and an interception. Geno Smith did not play due to an ankle injury.

Blaine Gabbert led the Jaguars passing attack, going 13/16 for 165 yards and a touchdown, but suffered a thumb injury during the game.  Maurice Jones-Drew only had 3 carries on the night for a total of nine yards.

The Jets poured on 27 second half points to take down the Jaguars 37-13.

Tennessee 19, Bengals 27 

The Tennessee Titans travelled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a preseason matchup Saturday. The AFC North is a division dominated in recent years by both the Steelers and defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, but this year the Bengals are looking to be the team that wins the division and make a run towards the Super Bowl. Tonight the Bengals took a step in the right direction as they defeated the Titans by a final score of 27 to 19.

The key to success this season for the Tennessee Titans starts with Chris Johnson. Johnson made running the ball seem easy last week against the Redskins as he only had two attempts from the field for 60 yards and a 58 yard touchdown. However, Saturday was not the same case for Johnson as he had seven rushing attempts and only ran for 30 yards and did not score. Although Johnson struggled to get going this game he is looking to get back to the 2000-yard season he had in 2009.

The Titans missed three field goals in their 8-point loss to Cincinnati, a number that proved to be the deciding factor. The Titans continue to look for their first preseason win next week in Tennessee as they face the winless Atlanta Falcons. Cincinnati will go down to Arlington, Texas next week to face the 1-2 Cowboys and try to continue their winning ways.

Rams 7, Packers 19

For teams like the Green Bay Packers, Saturday night’s pre-season matchup against the St. Louis Rams had no underlying purpose, and no exterior motive to prove themselves as contenders because they are already proven. They played for only one purpose, practice. The Packers are returning the same nucleus of players and coaches from last year and once again are favorites to win a heavily fortified NFC North division. As for the St. Louis Rams, they look for quarterback Sam Bradford to take control of a very young and talented offense that has the potential to be dangerous.

Rodgers went 10/12 with 134 yards, but the Rams defense held strong only allowing 2 field goals with Rodgers on the field. On the other side of the field quarterback Sam Bradford performed admirably tonight as well. Bradford was 8/12 with 155 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Rams were held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

The Packers added a touchdown in the 4th quarter to expand their 12-point lead and distance themselves from the Rams as the game finished as a Packers win 19-7.

Next week the Rams travel to Denver to face the Broncos and the Packers will play host to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Dolphins 7, Houston 24

The Houston Texans took on the Miami Dolphins at home Saturday in their second week of preseason games. Houston defeated the Dolphins 24-17 to go 2-0 and remain undefeated in the preseason.

This week’s matchup between Miami and Houston features two teams that are both coming off of victories last week. With the Dolphins in their third week of the preseason, starters saw a few more minutes on the field. While on the Texans side, starters such as J.J. Watt and Matt Schaub a lesser amount of plays from scrimmage in their second week of the preseason.

The Miami Dolphins look to keep building around their second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was 10/15 for 141 yards and a touchdown on Saturday in Houston. Next week the Miami Dolphins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are looking for their first victory this preseason.

Matt Schuab was 8/11 for 92 yards with one touchdown and one interception on the night. Tight end Owen Daniels was on the receiving end of Schuab’s touchdown pass, a combination that has become very familiar with Houston fans. Arian Foster did not play for the Texans due to injury, but the team expects him back on Monday. The Texans stay at home for next week’s matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

Broncos 10, Seahawks 40

The Denver Broncos traveled to Seattle to face off against the Seahawks in a pre-season matchup that generated genuine interest throughout the NFL fan base. The Broncos are an easy favorite to win a depleted AFC West with veteran signal caller Peyton Manning leading the charge. In Seattle, the Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson look to improve on what was a somewhat surprising, but very successful season.

The Seahawks dominated every aspect of the game during the first half of Saturday’s matchup against the Broncos. Russell Wilson threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jermain Kearse on the opening drive, followed by 42-yard field goal from kicker Steven Hauschka. Following a Denver touchdown pass from Manning to Welker, Seahawk’s receiver and returner Jermaine Kearse took the ensuing kickoff 107 yards for a touchdown. In the 2nd quarter the Seahawks defense joined the scoring bombardment as Brandon Browner recovered a fumble and returned it 106 yards for another touchdown. After another Hauschka field goal, Wilson finished off the first half strong with his second touchdown pass with only 37 seconds remaining.

Seahawks quarterback Wilson finished the night 8/12 with 127 yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Manning was 11/16 with 163 yards and a touchdown pass to his newest wide receiver Wes Welker. During a scary moment in the second half Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe went down with what is being evaluated as a possible cervical spine injury.

The Seahawks used the second half to build onto their lead with a touchdown from backup quarterback Tavaris Jackson and they would go on to win the game 40-10.

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