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What we learned from Thursday's preseason action

Three years ago, there was a debate over the top cornerback in the NFL: Nnamdi Asomugha or Darrelle Revis. Now Asomugha is fighting just to stay in the league.

The San Francisco 49ers started three cornerbacks during Thursday night's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, and Asomugha wasn't one of them. He was behind Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock on the depth chart. With Eric Wright finally signing in San Francisco on Thursday, it's fair to wonder if Asomugha even makes the team.

Here's what else we learned during Thursday's six preseason games:

[Denver Broncos 10,

San Francisco 49ers 6](

  1. As if defenses didn't have enough to worry about, Peyton Manningbroke out the pistol formation in his only series of work.
  1. Niners backup quarterback Colt McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return. Scott Tolzien is next on the depth chart. McCoy stayed in the game for a while after the injury; coach Jim Harbaugh believed it was a stinger after the game. McCoy will get more tests.
  1. Niners rookie tight end Vance McDonald backed up a strong training camp with four catches for 66 yards. Second-year wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, meanwhile, did not start and had a fumble. Harbaugh was asked about Jenkins' performance:

"Uh, could have been better," Harbaugh said.

(We have our title for the Jenkins "30 for 30" documentary.)

[Cleveland Browns 27,

St. Louis Rams 19](

  1. Brandon Weeden and the first-team offense gave Browns fans reasons to be excited. Two long drives resulted in 10 points. Weeden was protected well and threw the ball with accuracy. Greg Little made some great catches. It's a start.
  1. Browns running back Dion Lewis continued his hot month with three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. The former Philadelphia Eagle is angling to be Trent Richardson's backup. Also standing out in this game: Browns rookie pass rusher Barkevious Mingo.
  1. Rams running back Daryl Richardson had 44 yards on just six touches, and Isaiah Pead fumbled. Richardson's lead in the race to start grew even larger.
  1. My man crush, Chris Givens, already is on a roll, beating Joe Haden to the outside once and also breaking free deep for a 59-yard pass. Sam Bradford throws a pretty deep ball.
  1. Rams starting offensive tackle Rodger Saffold left with a shoulder injury. X-rays were negative, but coach Jeff Fisher admitted that Saffold will miss some time.
  1. Redskins wide receiver Donte' Stallworth left with a hamstring injury.
  1. Maybe all of those Chris Johnson boasts this offseason meant something. He broke out with a 58-yard touchdown on one of his two runs. (Or maybe it's the preseason.)
  1. Kudos to Pat White on his first game action in three years. Washington's No. 4 quarterback rushed for a 9-yard touchdown and then converted the two-pointer to win the game. White still is a long shot to make the team.
  1. Tampa's recent pickup, running back Peyton Hillis, left the game with a knee injury. He fumbled on the play in which he was hurt.
  1. Joe Flacco completed 7 of 9 passes for 57 yards, although he threw an interception. None of the young Ravens receivers stood out. Deonte Thompson had a drop.
  1. Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon showed some pocket toughness while throwing for 169 yards and an interception on 23 attempts. Kevin Ogletree looked like Tampa's No. 3 receiver.
  1. The coolest moment of the game: Falcons linebacker Brian Banks made his NFL debut in the second half. It's been a long road for him to get to this point.
  1. Josh Johnson reportedly looked great throughout training camp. The presumptive Bengals backup quarterback backed up that buzz with a strong performance. He threw for 100 yards and rushed for 64 more.
  1. Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard got a lot of work, but wasn't efficient with 41 yards on 13 touches. He also got blown up in pass protection.
  1. Former Chicago Bear Dane Sanzenbacher made a push for a roster spot with Cincinnati with a 71-yard punt-return touchdown and a 36-yard receiving touchdown.
  1. For those scoring at home, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal were the starting receivers for the Chargers.
  1. Tarvaris Jackson was very sharp in relief of Russell Wilson. Jackson should have the Seahawks' No. 2 quarterback job locked up over Brady Quinn. Rookie running back Christine Michael ran hard for 89 yards on 16 carries.
  1. Philip Rivers played well and moved the ball in his only series.

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