2013 NFL Preseason Standouts: Browns, Bills, Seahawks, Patriots, Texans and More
There are two weeks of the NFL preseason in the books, and while we can’t judge too much from these past two weeks, there are a few teams that have stood out, for both good and bad. It’s tough to tell if anything we’ve seen the past two weeks will translate into the regular season, but at least for the time being, here are several teams that have stood out thus far in the preseason:
Cleveland Browns – It is just the meaningless preseason, but Cleveland fans have to be excited about the 2-0 start. Second year quarterback Brandon Weeden has looked sharp in the first two games, completing 72% of his passes and leading the Browns to points on five of the six drives he has played. Weeden playing well is an encouraging sign, and the Cleveland defense has also looked promising, which has given one of the saddest fan bases in football a glimmer of hope.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills have shown off a little more of their playbook this preseason than most teams, as they try to get up to speed with a new coaching staff, but there’s no denying the results have been there. Although he will miss the rest of the preseason, rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has been impressive and avoided making big mistakes, which should make him the starter when he’s healthy. Buffalo knows they have a running back they can lean on in C.J. Spiller, and they’ve showed off an interesting group of young and talented wide receivers as well. With new coaches and young players the Bills’ offense has scored a lot of points and drawn a lot of attention early on in the preseason.
Seattle Seahawks – Seattle has had no trouble winning their first two pre-season games, and they’ve looked impressive doing so. They’ve put a lot of points on the scoreboard, regardless of whether starter Russell Wilson or backup Tarvaris Jackson was running the show. Also notable about Seattle is that their fan base was in mid-season form during their game against the Broncos over the weekend; they’re preparing for what could be a big season, and the Seahawks are already off to a fast start.
New England Patriots – There was a lot going on with the Patriots away from the field this offseason, but they’ve put it together on the field during the preseason. Tom Brady has looked as sharp as ever, and despite having a lot of question marks at the offensive skill positions heading into the season, they’ve gotten quality performances the past two weeks from a few of their younger players, which makes us think it’ll be the same ole Patriots on the field when the regular season begins.
St. Louis Rams – The Rams have stood out this preseason because they haven’t stood out. They added a lot of speed to their offense during the offseason, but we haven’t seen a whole lot of explosiveness from that unit over the first two games, which has been noticeable after they took Tavon Austin early in the draft and later added Stedman Bailey. There’s still time to turn that around before the season starts, and we’ll be watching to see if that happens.
Houston Texans – Houston has been a forgotten team in the AFC with all the attention heading into the season around Denver, New England, and Cincinnati, but the Texans have been as impressive as any team the past two weeks. All three quarterbacks that have played have been impressive, showing off an incredible amount of depth at that position, as well as an impressive group of receivers and tight ends, even without a lot of contributions from Andre Johnson. Houston isn’t the most intriguing team in the AFC heading into the season, but already they look the part of a team that will be a contender once again.