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What to watch for in Saturday's preseason games

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We here at the NFL had so much fun watching the return of football last weekend that we decided to do it all again this week. Here's what to watch for during Saturday's preseason games.

Saturday (all times ET)


Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts (7 p.m. NFL Network)

» We've been hearing about undrafted free agent Josh Ferguson, but maybe too much considering his ho-hum debut a week ago. In a way, it feels like the Colts are still feeling his role out, which is what the team should be doing with Frank Gore on the sidelines. Still, another dud might force the Colts to crack open the ready list to see who might be able to help.

» The preseason debut of Andrew Luck will be watched closely after the way last season ended. Before the injury there were questions about Luck potentially taking a step backwards, and some of the team's closer observers are quick to note that he hasn't had the best training camp. What does this all mean? Possibly nothing. Peyton Manning had bad seasons early in his career, too. But nothing shuts people up quite like an efficient 80-yard drive to kick off your 2016.

» The Ravens are riding the Mike Wallace hype train, and while we might not see Joe Flacco this week because of his rehabbing knee, we would like to see some evidence that the former Steelers speed demon is worth all the ink of late.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (7:30 p.m.)

» More Myles Jack: The Jaguars were pleased with what they saw out of the would-be first-rounder last week, but is it enough to earn some starter's snaps? Paul Posluszny is still the man to beat and head coach Gus Bradley won't throw out anything exotic this preseason.

» T.J. Yeldon on the goal line? Not likely, but the second-year running back played fairly well a week ago in the opener. All offseason there has been questions about how exactly the Jaguars will split up their running backs, but another week of Ivory as the second swing of the 1-2 punch should cement the rotation in everyone's mind.

» Who emerges with pride? The Bucs and Jaguars are similar in that both are looked at as trendy, ascending young franchises. Both are expected to compete in the division this year. If both teams allow starters to roll for a full quarter, we should get a nice indication of which club is closer to earning their Cinderella status this season.

New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans (8 p.m.)

» With all of the hype surrounding Houston's new receivers, how appropriate would it be for someone like Jaelen Strong to come from behind and steal snaps? Strong, last year's third-round pick, had a nice preseason opener and is hoping to earn more starter's snaps.

» More momentum for Brock: We weren't blown away by the Texans' new-look offense, but two years ago around this time we were also sweating trying to figure out how to adequately describe the Chip Kelly revolution. Brock Osweiler went 4 of 7 last week and the Texans kept to the ground for the most part. If we're lucky, they will open up the playbook a little bit.

» With rookie Sheldon Rankins set to miss some significant time with a broken leg, the Saints could use some energy coming out of the rookie class. How about wideout Michael Thomas? If he can stack another 70-yard performance on top of what he accomplished against the Patriots last week, people might stop worrying about New Orleans' defense so much.

San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos (9 p.m.)

» The 49ers' quarterback competition has eroded into a one-man race at the moment, so Chip Kelly is probably hoping for a better performance from Blaine Gabbert this weekend. Forty percent from the field and a general unease against a starting defense isn't what the 49ers are hoping for as they try to shed the negativity from this offseason.

» Mark Sanchez vs. the field, Part II: The Broncos are certainly interested in drawing this out, and apparently so is Sanchez. While the numbers suggested a decent outing last week, Sanchez could have done much more to tuck away this competition and glide into the regular season. Instead, the Broncos are starting Trevor Siemian.

» Jeff Driskel is not winning the 49ers' quarterback competition any time soon, but he flashed some of his skills during the team's opener, especially on the ground. There was a visible level of discomfort in the pocket, but Kelly is interested in fast forwarding progress for everyone, not just his projected starter.

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams (9 p.m.)

» Jared Goff should start getting first-team reps at some point, even if head coach Jeff Fisher wants to wait until the all-important third preseason game. Doing so against the Chiefs would be a vote of confidence after a quiet debut against Dallas.

» The great Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star has raised our antennas to "football player" Tyreek Hill, who has been taking some handoffs out of the backfield in an effort to recreate the speed back role so desperately needed in Andy Reid's offense.

» Higbee watch: As we noted before, the Rams needs production from rookie tight end Tyler Higbee, and his five-catch, 49-yard debut was possibly the most encouraging aspect of L.A.'s opener.

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