What learned after Week #1 of the NFL preseason:
- Preseason football is way better than labor
- That’s still not saying much about preseason
- The new kick off rule means Touchback City
- People in Cleveland are going nuts about the
Browns winning a preseason game
- People in Cincinnati are going nuts about the
Bengals sucking their way through a preseason loss
- Kyle Orton is going to keep Merril Hodge on
speed dial for pep talks about how bad a starting QB Tebow would make
- The Steelers have some rust they need to get rid
of before Week 1 of the real season
First off, preseason football doesn’t count. I’m not just saying that because the Steelers lost their first game, I’m saying that because it’s a fact. The stats don’t count for anything and the record doesn’t count for anything. The only thing that does matter in preseason, unfortunately, is how many players drop with injuries. Preseason football is like the chips and salsa you get at a Mexican restaurant. Sure, you’re going to eat them because they’re on the table and you need to eat something with the round of margaritas you just ordered, but no matter now good those chips and salsa are you still came for the enchilada platter.
With that being said I’ve never seen such excitement before the start of preseason games. The threat of losing them or any regular season games has starved the fans for any kind of football, no matter how irrelevant it might be. Preseason is basically a tool for the coaches and scouts for each team to evaluate and take on the huge task of trimming the roster from 90 to 53. The starters play for minimal time, just to see where they are or give a chance for certain starters that are new to the team to play in game situations that can’t be covered in drills.
We saw lots of action from Thursday to Saturday night, with all teams but the Jets and Texans who will play Monday night, getting their first preseason game under their belt. The Patriots blew out the Jaguars, without Tom Brady who was suffering from his monthly visitor apparently and couldn’t muster up the energy to take a few snaps with the first team. The Dolphins edged one out against the Falcons, with Chad Henne playing rather schizophrenic with INT’s and a touchdown pass. On a ridiculous moment of the preseason so far note, the Raiders apparently have not yet mastered the coin toss. Steelers fans will never forget the Thanksgiving coin toss incident in Detroit years ago but this is a different story entirely. The Raiders won the toss in their game against Arizona but the acting captains hadn’t yet gone over that all important step of what to do after winning the toss. As a result, the Raiders kicked off to the start the game as well as to start the second half. Well done boys, here’s hoping they can iron out those pesky coin toss manuevers in camp.