Those two nights without football were rough. It was nice to ease back into the football weekend with a pair of games Thursday night. Here's what we learned:
» The numbers weren't flashy, but Browns running back Montario Hardesty showed great burst while running for 45 yards and a score in the first half. He also lost a fumble. The third-year-pro entered camp on the roster bubble, but now looks like a competent fill-in for Trent Richardson. Cleveland's offensive line played well.
» A brutal night for Packers backup quarterback Graham Harrell combined with a nice effort by Browns backup Colt McCoy created a lot of dot-connecting in Green Bay and beyond. Harrell is running out of time to show he can step into this role. His protection was poor, but he's not calm in the pocket. His first 16 plays behind center created 19 yards. That was before he threw a pick six and the safety he took. (A receiver fell on the interception.)
"My arm feels great," Dalton said, "and you can tell everybody that it's not even close to what I've got if I need it."
That's fantastic. (Although Green elevates Dalton's play, not the other way around.)
» The Falcons are not messing around in the preseason. Matt Ryan's numbers in Atlanta's new up-tempo offense through two preseason weeks: 27-for-34 for 329 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He looks very smooth in the new system. Everything is pointing to a big year for Ryan and Julio Jones.