Yes, it’s preseason, and yes, it’s just the first week, when starters don’t really get a lot of playing time, but there are still a few things we can take away from the first week of pre-season games:
Daryl Richardson is leading the Rams running back race – The word coming out of St. Louis prior to the game was that Richardson was the favorite to be the team’s starting running back, and that is obviously the case following one pre-season game. Richardson only got four carries, but he averaged six yards per carry. Isaiah Pead also gained six yards per carry, but he also coughed up a fumble, which will hurt his chances of winning the starting job considerably. Replacing Steven Jackson won’t be easy, but at least they have a good idea of who will be replacing him, as opposed to throwing a bunch of different candidates against the wall and hoping one of them sticks.
Washington Redskins are in good hands with Kirk Cousins – We probably won’t see Robert Griffin III at all this preseason, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready for the regular season opener, but the Redskins can rest easy knowing they have Cousins as their backup. Cousins didn’t play much, but he completed six of his seven passes and looked the part of a quarterback that can start in the NFL for an extended period of time. He won’t do the same things Griffin does, but among backups, he could be as good as they get, and if they’re forced to start the regular season with him as their quarterback, they’ll still be in good shape.
The Falcons struggle with mobile quarterbacks – Josh Johnson, who you probably don’t know but who is battling with John Skelton to be Cincinnati’s backup quarterback, ran wild against the Falcons on Thursday night. He racked up 64 rushing yards on just four attempts, including a 43-yard run in which he gashed Atlanta’s defense, who had no clue what hit them. If this is a sign of things to come, the Falcons could be this year, because they aren’t going to win the NFC if they can’t find a way to contain quarterbacks that can pull the ball down and run.
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The Eagles quarterback competition is far from decided – Both Michael Vick and Nick Foles made a positive impression on Chip Kelly against the Patriots. Both quarterbacks led the team on a touchdown-scoring drive, and while Foles lost a fumble, he also ran for a 10-yard gain, showing that he does have some mobility. Even Matt Barkley did some nice things, despite looking like a rookie at times. Nobody expected a decision from Kelly to come soon, but judging from this game, there may not be a whole lot to separate Vick and Foles right now, which means we could be waiting quite a while until the Eagles announce who their starting quarterback is going to be.