Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports
Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Matthews is the latest in this year's crop of rookie receivers to stand out in the preseason. His nine-catch, 104-yard performance against the Patriots could signal that the young man from Vanderbilt is ready to challenge Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper for targets this season in Chip Kelly's wide-open offense.
Crystal LoGiudice/USA Today Sports
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans
The drum beats over Hunter as a breakout player in 2014 got a little louder after the second-year Titan exploded for 111 yards and two touchdowns on just four receptions. As Tennessee tries to sort out its running game, Ken Whisenhunt's offense could rely on the aerial attack more. Hunter appears ready to be the complement to Kendall Wright.
AJ Mast/Associated Press
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Maybe it was playing against his former team. Or maybe it had something to do with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton being unavailable. Whatever the reason, Nicks looked more like the player who topped 1,000 yards with the New York Giants. There are still plenty of targets to contend with in Indy, but the veteran's strong performance should help his rapport with Andrew Luck.
Ed Zurga/Associated Press
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce hasn't seen much work with the first team, but that should change after the reserve tight end posted his second consecutive big game of the preseason. In two games, Kelce has six catches (on seven targets) for 136 yards and two scores. While he's not as talented a blocker as Anthony Fasano, Kelce could become an impact player in an offense lacking consistent pass-catchers.
Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL
Houston Texans D/ST
So, um ... Jadeveon Clowney. Wow. Through two preseason games, the No. 1 overall pick looks like he's going to be a problem for opposing offensive lines. Pairing him with J.J. Watt will do wonders not only for the team's sack totals, but potentially for Houston's interception numbers as well. If Clowney can continue to do what he's done so far, last season's awful defensive totals could just be a one-season anomaly.
Charles Krupa/Associated Press
James White, RB, New England Patriots
Well that didn't last long. A week ago, White was picking up steam in Patriots' camp and stealing first-team snaps from Stevan Ridley. On Friday, he looked sluggish and hesitant running the football against the Eagles. In two games, White has 36 yards on 14 carries. That's a 2.6 yards per carry average -- worse than Trent Richardson from a season ago.
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans
Sankey is trending down for the second straight week and while his numbers were better after Friday night's contest, it was telling that he saw the field behind Dexter McCluster. Sankey's mediocre rushing numbers are one thing, but he's also having problems with pass protection. The latter is what could keep him off the field consistently for the Titans.
Don Wright/Associated Press
EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Manuel is supposed to be the conduit through which all good things flow for the Bills offense this season. But right now, there's a blockage somewhere down the line. In three preseason games, Manuel has yet to lead the offense to a touchdown and has compiled a stat line of 28-for-47 for 263 yards with an interception. What happens with Manuel will have a ripple effect on Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and could eventually impact the running backs as well.
Scott Boehm/Associated Press
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
After tossing a league-high 27 interceptions in 2013, you had to wonder if it could get any worse for Eli this year. It might not be worse ... but it's not getting better. In three games, Manning is 7-of-16 for a measly 49 yards and no touchdowns. Yet the news about Eli isn't all bad. He hasn't thrown a pick ... yet.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers D/ST
Defections, injuries and a possible suspension appear to be taking a toll on San Francisco's fearsome defense. The unit has looked like a shell of itself through the first two preseason games -- and a concussion to Antoine Bethea won't help. The 49ers begin the season with the Cowboys, Bears and Eagles in three of their first four games. Unless they get things sorted out in a hurry, it could be an ugly start.
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