Studs and Duds from Saturday's NFL Action

Matt BowenAnalyst IIAugust 19, 2012

Studs and Duds from Saturday's NFL Action

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    NFL preseason Week 2 is in full swing, as fans have begun to get a better look at every team's true identity heading into the regular season. 

    Although the season is still very young, strengths and weaknesses are becoming evident for each team. 

    Some players and teams have produced desired results while others have plenty of questions yet to be answered.

    Let's take a look at the studs and duds from Saturday's NFL action. 

Dud: T.J. Conley, Punter, New York Jets

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    New York Jets punter T.J. Conley did a less-than-impressive job in preseason Week 2. 

    He muffed two consecutive punts in the second half against the New York Giants when kicking from the end zone. Conley's punts were for 19 and 23 yards, and he looked more than discouraged on the sidelines. 

    Don't be surprised if he's out of a job soon. 

Stud: Lawrence Tynes, Kicker, New York Giants

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    Lawrence Tynes looked like he was in midseason form, as he was a perfect 4-of-4 when kicking field goals. 

    He was good from 35, 30, 40 and 45 yards as the Giants are sound in their kicking game. 

    With one less thing to worry about, the Giants can now focus on bigger and better things heading into the season. 

Dud: Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks

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    Terrell Owens looked like a 38-year-old wide receiver in his first preseason game this season. 

    Despite five targets, Owens failed to make a catch. 

    What's worse?

    He had a touchdown slip through his fingers. 

    The Seattle Seahawks will most likely give him a mulligan this week, but another repeat performance of Week 2 will have T.O. looking for work again. 

Stud: Cole Beasley, Wide Receiver, Dallas Cowboys

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    Cole Beasley made his case for making the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster.

    Against the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 of the preseason Beasley looked like a stud, catching seven passes for 104 receiving yards. 

    He looked tough as he left the field puking late in the game. He'll live to see another day in the NFL thanks to his output in Week 2. 

Dud: Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

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    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a stud in the preseason's Week 1, but his fortune was flipped in Week 2. 

    Kaepernick was a modest 4-of-8 for just 19 yards through the air. He won praise in Week 1 because of his running ability, which he only displayed once for 12 yards in Week 2. 

    Consider this week a stalemate for Kaepernick, as he didn't quite continue to make the progress that fans would like to see. If starter Alex Smith were to fall to injury, would you trust Kaepernick under center? 

Stud: Sam Bradford, Quarterback, St. Louis Rams

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    He may not have played very much, but Sam Bradford's performance in preseason Week 2 had to be a breath of fresh air to St. Louis Rams' fans. 

    He went 6-of-9 for 102 passing yards and two touchdown tosses. 

    Given the preseason doesn't matter in the win/loss column, but things won't be so bad for the Rams if Bradford bounces back from a woeful 2011 season. 

Dud: Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Denver Broncos

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    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was 16-of-23 for 177 yards, but he threw two interceptions. 

    Manning has now thrown three interceptions in just 25 passes in two preseason games. Two of these picks have happened in the red zone. 

    This is no time to panic for Broncos' fans, but if he doesn't have a clean slate in Week 3, some concern should begin to creep in. 

Stud: Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks

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    With Tarvaris Jackson now out of the hunt as the starting quarterback in Seattle, it can be argued that Russell Wilson is in the lead after his Week 2 performance. 

    Wilson finished the game against the Denver Broncos going 10-of-17 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 33 yards on five carries. 

    His competition, Matt Flynn, went only 6-of-13 for 31 yards. 

    Right now Wilson's versatility looks priceless, and the Seahawks should start him in Week 3. 

Dud: The San Francisco 49ers Offensive Game Plan

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    Nevermind the 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans, the San Francisco 49ers watched new running backs Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James leave the game with injuries.

    Both men were carted off the field, as they were unable to walk off under their own power. 

    To make matters worse, the Niners only managed three field goals against a respected Texans defense.

    The Niners spent the offseason bolstering their offense with the likes of Jacobs and James; now their game plan is subject to change. 

    Sure, they can pretend that they never existed, but that's not reality. These men are playmakers, and more importantly, they are Niners. 

    Let's hope these injuries aren't serious, but they're another prime example to hate the preseason. 

Stud: Melvin Ingram, Hybrid, San Diego Chargers

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    Don't look now, but Melvin Ingram will be the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. 

    No matter where he lines up, he causes havoc. 

    He notched a sack against the Dallas Cowboys in preseason Week 2, and truth be told, he was all over the field. 

    He's a bulldozer infused with NOS whose premier focus is on the football. A pure seek-and-destroy player, Ingram is about to become an overnight NFL sensation. 

Dud: Philip Rivers, Quarterback, San Diego Chargers

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    Sure, he may have finished 13-of-15 for 109 yards, but Philip Rivers' only two incomplete passes went for interceptions. 

    This isn't welcomed by San Diego Chargers' fans, as this is a make-or-break season for the franchise.

    While it's nice that Rivers can move the ball, it's all for not when he ends up throwing it to the other team. 

    Chargers' fans should hope for the best and plan for the worst at this point. 

Stud: Brandon Carr, Cornerback, Dallas Cowboys

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    How do you impress your new boss?

    If you're Brandon Carr, you intercept two passes on Saturday night against the San Diego Chargers. 

    This had to put a slight smirk on Jerry Jones' face, at least for a second. 

    Carr won't disappoint in the Cowboys defensive backfield this season, as fans should expect big things from the 26-year-old cornerback. He's just heating up at this point, and he'll live up to his healthy contract. 

Dud: The Kansas City Chiefs' Ability to Hang onto the Football

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    If the Kansas City Chiefs are to make up for their lost 2011 season by winning the AFC West in 2012, they can't fumble the ball four times like they did against the St. Louis Rams in Week 2 of the preseason.

    It's a good thing this game technically doesn't count, but don't tell that to new head coach Romeo Crennel. 

    The Chiefs lost three of those fumbles and ultimately lost the game, 31-17. 

Stud: Kirk Cousins, Quarterback, Washington Redskins

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    Kirk Cousins showed the football world exactly why the Washington Redskins drafted him this season. 

    The rookie may not have a shot at starting because of fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, but Cousins outplayed RG3 in preseason's Week 2. 

    Cousins went 18-of-23 for 264 passing yards and three touchdowns. He almost beat the Chicago Bears by himself, as he led the comeback charge in minimal playing time. All three touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter.

    He gave the Redskins a 31-30 lead with 2:04 to go in the final quarter before Robbie Gould of the Bears kicked a 57-yard field goal to win it with :31 second left, 33-31.

    If he played the entire game he may have gotten a contract similar to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn did this offseason. 

    Right now Mike Shanahan's desire to draft another quarterback to grow alongside RG3 looks ingenious. 

Dud: The Entire New York Jets Offense

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    The New York Jets offense looked downright pitiful so far this preseason. 

    They have yet to score a touchdown, and their quarterbacks have been sacked 12 times.

    As if there wasn't enough media attention already. Mark Sanchez doesn't look comfortable at all in Tony Sparano's new offense and he even called a timeout after a TV timeout in the first quarter against the New York Giants in Week 2 of the preseason. 

    Sanchez's competition at quarterback, Tim Tebow, didn't look much better. He made a couple on nice throws but missed a wide-open Stephen Hill in the end zone and bounced around in the pocket too much. 

    Head coach Rex Ryan doesn't have much time to produce a winner in New York. By the looks of things, he may not make it through the season. 

Stud: Newcomers to the Chicago Bears

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    The Chicago Bears went out and acquired plenty of offense for a reason this offseason, as fans got a glimpse of what could be something special in preseason Week 2. 

    The new running back Michael Bush scored two touchdowns on just five carries.

    New wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery also displayed their talents. Marshall had two catches for 61 yards, while Jeffery reeled in three receptions for 62 yards. The tandem is exactly what quarterback Jay Cutler needed, as the Bears are now balanced on offense. 

    The season is hardly underway, but these are the results that Bears' fans have been waiting for.

     

    Also recently written by Matt Bowen:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1302525-top-12-players-sure-to-see-a-production-drop-off-in-2012