On the first heavy night of action this preseason with seven games, there was thankfully a scarcity of major injuries and plenty of opportunity for overreaction. Here are the stories that should stick, starting with all the quarterback intrigue:
- Siemian looked like a competent, unspectacular starter as usual for his three drives Thursday night, completing 6-of-7 passes for 51 yards. The Broncos quarterback's only incompletion came on a nice deep throw that Emmanuel Sanders couldn't come down with. While Siemian hardly lit up the scoreboard, he made quick, smart decisions with the ball.
This uninspiring "Siemian wins by default" storyline mirrors the reports coming out of training camp. It was a dark enough night that reporters asked coach Vance Joseph if little-known third-stringer Kyle Sloter is a legitimate option to start. Lynch will need a big performance when he starts next week or Siemian figures to start getting all the starting reps in practice.
The Bears didn't score a point, gaining only four first downs in six drives with Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez running the show. Glennon threw an ugly pick-six on his first drive, his lack of pocket presence notable when he threw a pass while getting hit. Trubisky, meanwhile, led the Bears on a two-minute touchdown drive in his first NFL action. He led the Bears to 17 points and 14 first downs on his first three drives before stalling some in the fourth quarter.
If nothing else, this result should inspire coach John Fox to eventually stop wasting second-team snaps on Sanchez. Glennon remains a strong bet to start Week 1, but every positive Trubisky performance will increase public pressure and eat into Glennon's regular season job security.
"Our depth chart is not going to change after one game, particularly a preseason game," John Fox said after the game in the most John Fox way possible.
- Thursday night started with Brock Osweiler getting his chance to grab the Browns' starting quarterback job. It ended with rookie DeShone Kizer completing a pair of Roethlisbergeriffic vertical throws to lead the Browns to a victory. Kizer showed great pocket movement and raw skills that Osweiler and Cody Kessler simply can't match. They were the type of "AFC North" plays Hue Jackson has spoken of wanting from his quarterback.
Osweiler finished with only 42 yards on 14 attempts after starting the game with three straight three and outs, chastising himself after the game for his lack of accuracy.
"I'm pretty sure that no ball has ever been completed that is thrown out of bounds," Osweiler said.
It would be shocking if Kizer doesn't get more time with the starters next week.