Five Quick Hits From the NFL's Preseason Games

Patrick ShieldsCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2008

Well, six preseason games have come and gone, and already I am anticipating the Redskins-Ravens matchup that will undoubtedly happen in XLIII. Ha.

To you 'Skins fans out there who have conjured up dreams of a Super Bowl victory after Sunday's win, please, take a deep breath, count to 10, and bring yourself back down to earth. Your team is good, but the Colts approach preseason games like the Dolphins do the regular season.

My thoughts and analysis of what I have seen so far


1) The QB situation in Baltimore is even more muddled than it was before.

Kyle Boller went 11-15 for 102 yards and averaged 6.8 YPA. Add a fumble and an INT and you have a performance more resembling a backup than a starter.

Troy Smith posted a line of 5-12 for 74 yards and 6.2 YPA, but unlike Boller, he did not turn the ball over. Still, Smith was not effective on the field and could never seem to find a rhythm.

Flacco went 0-3 and also lost a fumble deep in Raven's territory, and he looked lost running around on the field.

Watching the Ravens' offense attempt to march down the field was painful. Each QB that Baltimore sent out failed to take control of the offense and last night's game made it painfully obvious that the QB controversy in Baltimore is far from resolved.

I know Harbaugh has said that Boller is his starter, but I feel that is only the case because the other two look even worse than he does.


2. The Browns' offense looks good. Real good.

The first-team offense was given only one possession, but with that, they were able to march down the field on an improved Jets defense and punch it in for six.

Anderson looked smooth in the pocket, going 4-5 for 20 yards and a TD. He also showed good instinct and playmaking ability when he scrambled for a first down on 3rd-and-6 inside the red zone.

Stallworth and Edwards looked comfortable running their routes, and Braylon turned in a circus catch that also accounted for a TD.

The Browns have the potential to be a scary team when they have the ball, and from the looks of things, I say they will deliver on that potential.


3. The Redskins are serious contenders in the NFC East.

What I saw while watching the Redskins is an improved offensive unit that will compete in a stacked NFC East. Campbell looked comfortable and efficient in the pocket, going 5-5 with a TD, and Colt Brennan turned in one hell of a performance, posting a stat line of 9-10 for 123 yards and 2 TDs.

Look for Brennan to become Campbell's backup by season's end.

While studs such as Jason Taylor and Clinton Portis did not suit up, watching the Redskins' demeanor, both on the field and off, makes me think that they could put a run together and surprise some teams in the upcoming season.


4. I think Larry Fitzgerald will have a tremendous year, regardless of who the Cardinal's starting QB turns out to be.

While being interviewed after being pulled from the game, Fitzgerald seemed confident, but not cocky, a characteristic that should comfort both Cardinal fans and fantasy football owners who have Fitz on their squad. He was excited about not only himself, but the team as a whole, going into 2008.

While some will say that he will not be as driven to play through injury since he just inked a new deal, I don't see Fitzgerald as one of those players. He loves the game, and I predict that he will have a career year as a way to say thank you to Arizona for giving him a new contract.


5. Watching New York Jets TE A.J Schable go down after a head-to-head collision on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter made me, as well as the rest of nation, flashback immediately to Kevin Everett's situation from last year.

I know that nothing illegal took place, but I can't help but feel that eventually, and I think it will happen sooner than later, a player will become paralyzed, maybe worse, as a result of the violent collisions that occur during kickoffs.

I was glad to see Schable flash a thumbs up as he left the field, and I wish him the speediest of recoveries.