Eleven things to know from Thursday's games


The best part of the preseason's fourth week is when it ends. The worst night of professional football for the year is mostly forgotten, as teams move on to roster cutdowns and preparation for the real Week 1.

Regular-season football is less than a week away, and we are thrilled to be moving on from the preseason. A few developments from Thursday's 16-game slate will leave a lasting mark.

The Oakland Raiders have to start Derek Carr at quarterback in Week 1 after his electric performance Thursday. Matt Schaub isn't healthy, and he no longer appears to have an NFL-quality arm. General manager Reggie McKenzie surely doesn't want to give up on Schaub after handing him $8 million guaranteed, but Carr has given the organization an easy way out. They have a rookie second-round pick that is already a better option.

The situation is all too reminiscent of McKenzie's Matt Flynn misstep a year ago. The bridge quarterback has collapsed. The Raiders just have to hope Derek Carr doesn't prove reminiscent of his brother David when the real games start.

In the meantime, here are 10 more things you need to know from Thursday's 16 games.

2. The Bills' preseason has gone from bad to worse. Coach Doug Marrone kept EJ Manuel on the field for three drives against Detroit's backups with the hope of building some confidence. Instead, Manuel went 3 for 8 during three unproductive drives. Even worse, wide receiver Sammy Watkins re-injured his ribs in the second quarter. It's been an incredibly depressing month for Buffalo. Manuel isn't accurate.

3. San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert hurt his shoulder. The rest of the night's injuries can be seen here.

4. From immortal Browns correspondent Marc Sessler: "Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer put together a clean 13-play, 85-yard scoring march before giving way to Johnny Manziel. The rookie was a mixed bag, extending plays with his feet but struggling with his accuracy while guiding Cleveland to three scores. Manziel's ceiling plays are enticing, but his 6-for-17 night at 4.9 yards per attempt revealed the truth: He floats into September far from a finished product."

5. It's a delight to watch Russell Wilson, even in the preseason. Even against the Raiders' backups. Four plays, three passes, 77 yards, 105 seconds and one touchdown. See you in Week 1.

6. Santonio Holmes made a strong case for a roster spot in Chicago with a 32-yard touchdown and a 30-yard punt return.

7. Remember Margus Hunt, the fascinating Hard Knocks star from a year ago? It looks like the light has come on for him. He had three sacks, finishing off a nice preseason.

8. Teddy Bridgewater's preseason ended quietly. He threw for only 17 yards on nine attempts during a driving rainstorm in Tennessee. He finished the preseason with five touchdowns and no picks.

9. Jimmy Garoppolo had a mixed performance in his full-game audition for the New England Patriots' backup job. He made a lot of poor throws early, many of which could have been picked off. But he mostly moved the ball well against the New York Giants, finishing with 284 yards with one score and a pick. If we had to guess, Ryan Mallett will still be a Patriot next week.

10. Green Bay Packers undrafted rookie Jayrone Elliott recorded another sack, putting his preseason total at five.

11. Reading between the lines, it sounds like Michael Sam is headed to the St. Louis Rams' practice squad after his solid preseason.

On the latest "Around The NFL Podcast," the heroes preview the entire NFC.