The Oakland Raiders' passing attack keeps getting worse under Matt Schaub as the preseason wears on. After Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for a long score on the Raiders' first drive Friday night in Green Bay, Schaub led the Raiders to five straight three-and-outs.
Oakland wound up with seven straight unsuccessful drives totaling 45 yards before halftime, including a lost fumble by Schaub. The former Texans quarterback's inability to throw to the outside is well documented, but his lack of pocket presence is just as glaring. Oakland's pass protection looks shoddy, and Schaub is not built to improvise. Schaub moved the ball to open the second half, but it was against Green Bay's backups. He finished with 27 throws for only 110 yards.
Rookie Derek Carr was held out Friday because of a concussion, leaving backup duties to Matt McGloin. He pushed the ball down the field effectively for a second straight game. McGloin was playing against third-stringers, but at least he's aggressive. The Raiders may eventually face the uncomfortable truth that last year's undrafted quarterback is a better option than their $8 million starter.
1. It was a nightmare evening for the Raiders. Linebacker Sio Moore was taken off the field on a stretcher after taking a hit to the neck. X-rays were negative. Running back Kory Sheets (ankle), linebacker Nick Roach (head) and cornerback Tarell Brown (head) also were knocked out of the game. Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji left with an arm injury.
3. Known as a blocker in college, Packers tight end Richard Rodgers looked surprisingly athletic running down the field on a 32-yard gain. He is slated to start and play plenty in Week 1, even if he's not often featured as a receiver.
-- Gregg Rosenthal
1. Cam Newton doesn't yet look comfortable on his surgically repaired ankle. He was not looking to scramble Friday and struggled to get away from a consistent Patriots pass rush. He left for one play after taking a shot to the back, but X-rays after the game were negative.
2. This was a mostly perfect game from the Patriots. Their coverage was excellent, and their first-team defense pitched a shutout in more than two quarters against Newton. Chandler Jones absolutely dominated left tackle Byron Bell. Tom Brady was extremely sharp.
4. New England used two running backs at the same time very often. They used four different running backs in one touchdown drive in the second quarter. Jonas Gray (!) got a lot of time with the starters, perhaps spelling the end of Brandon Bolden's run with the team. Shane Vereen was typically dynamic as a receiver.
-- Gregg Rosenthal
1. Eli Manning and the Giants' first-team offense avoided full-scale talk radio panic with an 11-play, 91-yard touchdown drive to close out the first half. The team's first five possessions had ended with Steve Weatherford punts. Not a great effort overall, but definite progress for Ben McAdoo's struggling offense.
2. Geno Smith enjoyed his best game of the preseason, throwing his first touchdown pass and playing mistake-free football. The Jets can win games with this version of the second-year QB, who coach Rex Ryan named his Week 1 starter after the "Snoopy Bowl" showdown.
4. Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro had another nice game, finishing with four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. The Jets' red-zone passing attack, so woeful a year ago, should be much improved with Amaro and Eric Decker in the mix.
-- Dan Hanzus
1. It took Blake Bortles just 84 seconds to outshine Chad Henne's entire evening of work, taking over before halftime to engineer a 10-play, 79-yard drive that triggered a field goal. It was the start of another fine night by the rookie, but Gus Bradley didn't blink: The coach reiterated after the game that Henne remains the Week 1 starter.
2. Jacksonville's starting offensive line has issues. Henne was tossed around by Lions pass rushers to the tune of two sacks and six quarterback hits. The line's interior lets too many enemies through.
3. Everyone crows about Detroit's passing game, but they can pound people on the ground. After Joique Bell softened up Jacksonville's front seven with a pair of bruising first-quarter runs, Reggie Bush broke away for an 86-yard touchdown volt that showed off his still-impressive speed.
4. Matthew Stafford opened 1-of-5 passing for 1 yard and a pick. No need to panic, but his five drives beyond the Bush gallop led to two punts, the interception and a pair of marches squelched on downs.
-- Marc Sessler
1. If you live in Chicago, you root for the Bears and you happened to miss this one: avoid the horror at all costs. The Seahawks rained points on Marc Trestman's team and often looked like a team operating on a higher plane of human existence.
2. We got our first look at new Bears wideout Santonio Holmes. The former Steelers star and Jets malcontent hauled in one pass for 7 yards on two targets. Josh Morgan looked more the part in leading all Bears pass-catchers with 48 yards off three grabs.
3. Marshawn Lynch ran with speed and power during a quick preseason debut capped by a 7-yard touchdown jaunt on Seattle's opening drive. Behind him, Robert Turbin might be the team's most improved player on offense while "Making the Leap" candidate Christine Michael looks the part as an explosive change-of-pacer.
4. NFL Media's Bucky Brooks wrote an outstanding post this week on Seattle's plans for an expanded passing game around Russell Wilson. The young quarterback made four or five eye-popping throws and generally had his way with Chicago's underwater defense.
-- Marc Sessler