We made it through our first big day of preseason action, and I couldn’t be more excited that football is back. We saw some quarterbacks shine (Paxton Lynch anyone?), a rookie wide receiver take over his game (hello Miles Boykin), and a rugby-playing Brit steal the whole show with a 65-yard score (check the Bills game). Still, sometimes the preseason is a bit–boring (I’m looking at you Jacksonville). In that light, we watched the games so you don’t have to. Here is what we saw:
Note: For links to all of Thursday’s games, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Broncos vs Seahawks
- Drew Lock: 17/28, 180 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
- Kevin Hogan: 3/7, 27 passing yards
- Joe Flacco: 3/4, 19 passing yards
The Broncos put all their quarterbacks in tonight, and the offense was humming right away behind Joe Flacco. He didn’t stay in the game for long, but he looked sharp while leading the Broncos to a field goal. Kevin Hogan was next, but he didn’t manage to do much against Seattle’s defense and was replaced by rookie Drew Lock. Lock saw a lot of action tonight and he looked better than his last game, despite a Seattle pass rush that harassed him all night. He was more on target, and this looks like a good sign for the Broncos. I still expect Flacco to start the regular season while Lock has time to develop behind him. This should work out well since they have similar play styles.
- Royce Freeman: 3 carries, 49 yards; 1 reception, 1 yard
- Phillip Lindsay: 4 carries, 10 yards; 1 reception, 9 yards
It was good to see Denver’s starting running backs get some work, and each had a chance to lay claim to the lead job. Philip Lindsay saw the first action, likely showing the job is still his to lose. He made a couple of great plays (a 10-yard run and his 9-yard reception) before being pulled. This was a smart choice to preserve his health. Royce Freeman then took over and blasted free for a 50-yard gain. It was the longest play of the game, and it showcased Freeman’s power. I imagine we are heading towards a split of carries, but this could work with a strong Denver defense.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End
- Noah Fant: 2 receptions, 14 yards
- DaeSean Hamilton: 1 reception, 13 yards
- Courtland Sutton: 0 receptions
- David Williams: 5 receptions, 36 yards
The Broncos quarterbacks threw passes to a ridiculous 21 different players in the game and, as such, nobody really had the chance to stand out statistically. David Williams led the team with 36 yards, but this was mostly in a late comeback attempt that ultimately ended in an interception. Noah Fant played well en route to his 2 receptions and continues to be a part of the offense. Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton were minimally used, but I expect to see more in the Broncos third preseason game next week.
- Paxton Lynch: 11/15, 109 yards, 1 touchdown; 38 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
- Geno Smith: 3/9, 58 yards
Tonight was all about Paxton Lynch and how he showed against his former team. In case you forgot, Lynch was a first-round pick for the Broncos in 2016, but he was considered a bust and soon dumped. Tonight, he was playing like he had something to prove. He looked sharp from start to finish, led the Seahawks to 12 points in the third quarter, and ultimately a nice win. I was impressed by the way he ran the offense, the accuracy of his passes, and he had a particularly impressive touchdown run where he plowed in headfirst against a bevy of defenders. I’d love to see the former first-rounder make a comeback, but it is still just a preseason game. It must have felt good for Lynch though.
- Rashaad Penny: 6 carries, 15 yards; 1 reception, 27 yards
- Bo Scarbrough: 7 carries, 32 yards
Chris Carson had the night off, so it was all about Rashaad Penny. Penny was a first-round pick last year but he saw limited action as a rookie. He’s had a great offseason and has been looking good throughout camp. He looked fast tonight with his most impressive carry being a seven-yard gain. He was also involved in the passing game, catching a screen pass that he took for 27 yards. While Penny was in the game it seemed like the whole offense was revolving around him. I expect big things this year from the sophomore. Bo Scarbrough saw a lot of action tonight as well, and he’s monitoring in deeper leagues. He was a former standout recruit, he played at Alabama, and he could flash given the opportunity. He was effective tonight, and he’d have a shot at a role if anything happened to Chris Carson or Rashaad Penny.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End
- DK Metcalf: 1 reception, 8 yards
- Jazz Ferguson: 4 receptions, 54 yards
- John Ursua: 1 reception 23 yards
Let’s be honest: we all want to know how DK Metcalf looked. After a slow start, Metcalf impressed with his speed and ability to get open. He broke free twice on deep routes, but both times the pass was just a little off. I think Metcalf could have had the first pass, though it would have been an amazing catch, while the second one was a miss-throw. I want to see more of the shirtless wonder, and I expect good things. Jazz Ferguson was the other standout on the day rising from the obscurity of going undrafted. He frequently found open space and caught a 6-yard touchdown to highlight his day. I want to see how things change when Tyler Lockett is active, but pass catchers stepping up was a welcome sign for Seattle.
— Mike Miklius