Skip to main content

Around the League

Presented By

What to watch for in Saturday's preseason games

The second week of the preseason continues Saturday with eight games. Here's what to watch for:

Sam Bradford is a bona fide Q rating vacuum, but I'm watching to see how the Rams quarterback moves around on his surgically rebuilt knee. Coach Jeff Fisher says his starter will play at least a quarter against Green Bay's refashioned defensive line. We'll also get our first look at Aaron Rodgers and one of the NFL's more interesting casts of wideouts. Keep an eye on second-round pass-catcher Davante Adams, who continues to turn heads as a potential early-season contributor.

So far, Eli Manning's clunky rap videos are more buzzworthy than his play in Ben McAdoo's new offense. In two preseasonoutings, the Giants starter has yet to throw the ball more than 10 yards through the air or complete a pass to Victor Cruz or Rueben Randle. We have no doubts, though, about Andrew Luck. Let's hope for a longer peek at the Colts quarterback against New York's underrated secondary.

The war of attrition has begun for both clubs: The Bengalshave been stripped of "Making the Leap" wideout Marvin Jones while New York's secondary is on life support after Dee Millinerwent down with a nasty high ankle sprain. Rex Ryan's defense relies on high-quality press coverage, something the Jets utterly lack. Around The League's Gregg Rosenthal could earn snaps in this beat-up secondary.

Ravens rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley looked like a five-year veteran in his NFL debut, generating a sack and a hurry in four pressures against San Francisco last week. He'll face another rugged offensive line in Dallas, but we can't say the same for the Cowboys' defense. After being mauled by the Chargers, this Sean Lee-free outfit takes on a Ravens offense drawing rave reviews in camp under proven play-caller Gary Kubiak.

Tampa's offensive line was a car crash in last week's debut. They'll need to shore it up quick for fantasy owners to get a closer look at signal-caller Josh McCown and his cast of tall pass-catchers. For Miami, we won't seeKnowshon Moreno, but we will get a look at bounce-back candidate Lamar Miller against one of the NFC's premier tackle/linebacker combinations in Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David.

Football fans deserve a chance to see Steelers first-rounder Ryan Shazierin action. Coach Mike Tomlin hinted Thursday that the super-quick linebacker might sit out against the Bills, but Shazier practiced fully Thursday and plans to play. We'll also get our first look at Mike Mitchell and Troy Polamalu paired at safety against Bills passer EJ Manuel. One reason to hang around till the end: Steelers defensive tackle Daniel McCullers, the 6-foot-7, 352-pound behemoth whom Tomlin called an "enormous man and one that is difficult to move."

Will the Texans get anything from their quarterbacks? Asleep at the wheel last week against the Cardinals, Ryan Fitzpatrick remains slated to play with the ones after losing practice reps to Case Keenum this week. At running back, Houston is high on rookie Alfred Blue, but he needs to prove himself as a pass protector to beat out Jonathan Grimes for No. 2 duties behind Arian Foster.

With Adrian Peterson in street clothes, we'll get another long look at rookie running back Jerick McKinnon. The former Georgia Southern star has a bead on third-down duties if he can build on last week's strong debut. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that veteran Matt Cassel will play deep into the first half before rookie Teddy Bridgewater -- battling information overload -- rolls with the twos. This quarterback duel feels like a wrap.

The latest "Around the League Podcast" talks quarterback battles and debates the gang's preseason power rankings.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content