Okay, technically we’re jumping the gun. There is one game remaining in the 2011 preseason, but if anything of significance goes down in tonight’s Raiders-Seahawks game, we’ll be sure to get that information to you in swift fashion. So calm down, and enjoy our recap of the highs and lows from last night’s 15-game slate:
Cam Newton cemented his role as Carolina’s Week 1 starter. And all he had to do was complete three passes. One of those went for a touchdown, which people are calling his first professional TD pass, even though it’s not. Because this is the preseason, and the preseason doesn’t count.
Canadian first-round pick Danny Watkins forced his way into the starting lineup in Philly. And — surprise! — he looked like a rookie, which he is. It was sort of a rough preseason for Watkins, and the entire Eagles offensive line. Making matters worse, Vince Young suffered a hamstring injury in the victory over the Jets. (On the bright side, Young performed well prior to getting hurt.)
It appears John Beck has “earned” the starting job in Washington. And all it took was a 10-for-21, zero-touchdown, one-pick performance on Thursday night to lock it down. Wait, what? So the battle is by no means over, but let’s face it: the Redskins — all of them — have already lost the war.
The Colts won a preseason game for the first time in franchise history. Or something like that. Oh, and Kerry Collins was “adequate” in the process. Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and several other top options didn’t play, which is odd considering that Collins might have to throw to that crew in a regular-season game in just over a week. I still think Peyton Manning will suit up in Week 1.
The Broncos had better hope Kyle Orton stays healthy. Because right when Brady Quinn seemed to have the backup job wrapped with a bow, he fell on his face with a Brady Quinn-esque performance. Tim Tebow was much better than Quinn on Thursday night. I think it’s clear at this point that if Orton gets hurt the Broncos will either go with Tebow or phone Jake Plummer.
This is why you don’t play your starters in the final preseason game unless absolutely necessary. But isn’t hindsight wonderful?
Jake Locker capped a great preseason with his best performance yet. Locker was 15-of-17 for 132 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Matt Hasselbeck’s being paid too much to be a backup, but the leash might be shorter than we think.