Welcome back for another week of preseason football. Thursday’s partial slate featured Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense, Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins, and Lamar Jackson preparing for his first full season as the starting quarterback in Baltimore. There were some great moments, and a lot of backups who’ll never show up on the radar again. As always, we’re sifting through the details so you don’t have to. Here’s what we saw:
Bengals vs Redskins
- Case Keenum: 3/7, 52 yards
- Dwayne Haskins: 7/14, 114 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 sacks
Case Keenum started the game for Washington and he looked sharp during limited action, but two of his completions (for 10 yards and 44 yards) were called back due to holding and offensive pass interference penalties. The whole first half was a mess of penalties really for both teams. Dwayne Haskins looked like a seasoned pro at the start of the night, and his highlight was a 55-yard touchdown pass to Robert Davis. He held strong in the pocket while the pass rush was coming in fast, he uncorked a nice pass, and hit Davis for the score. He made some mistakes as the night wore on (and took 3 sacks), but I still liked what I saw overall. If Haskins continues to develop, it won’t be long before he’s starting. Still, Keenum didn’t do anything to hurt himself. If the season started today, I’d project Keenum as the starter.
- Adrian Peterson: 4 carries, 31 yards
- Samaje Perine: 5 carries, 1 yard
- Craig Reynolds: 5 carries, 25 yards
It’s unfair how Adrian Peterson seems to have found the fountain of youth. Despite turning 34 in the offseason, Peterson clearly still has what it takes to lead an NFL backfield–as long as he gets a lot of carries. Peterson opened the game with a 26-yard run and he looked athletic. He cut outside, ran to the edge, and then lowered his pads as he smashed into a defender. He saw limited action, and this was clearly a sign of his importance to the team; after all, we don’t know when Derrius Guice will be back to 100%. Samaje Perine also saw five carries, be he totaled one yard on the day. I’ve passed the point where I ever expect him to show any value.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End
- Robert Davis: 1 reception, 55 yards, 1 touchdown
- Vernon Davis: 2 receptions, 43 yards
For the second consecutive preseason game, Robert Davis caught a long touchdown pass to separate himself from the rest of the Redskins’ receivers. Davis was lined up in the slot, took off at the snap, and outran his coverage to get open as his defender stumbled trying to keep up. Davis caught the pass from Haskins in stride and ran it in for the score. Davis’ stock is sure to skyrocket, so grab him now if you want to take a flyer. Still, I’d still like to see more playing time from him to get a better idea of who he is. Ageless wonder Vernon Davis (currently 35) also had a nice night with two big catches. It’s amazing that he’s still playing meaningful football, though he hasn’t been fantasy useful since 2013.
- Andy Dalton: 5/9, 36 yards, 1 interception
- Ryan Finley: 20/26, 150 yards, 2 touchdowns
This clearly wasn’t entirely Andy Dalton’s fault, but the Bengals’ first series was a mess. There were seven penalties on the drive between the two teams including 3 offensive holding calls on the Bengals. The drive ended with a pick-six by Montae Nicholson after Daron Payne tipped a pass at the line. The biggest worry here wasn’t Dalton himself, but the sad state of the offensive line; Dalton never had a chance. Rookie Ryan Finley fared much better against Washington’s backups and should have the #2 job all but locked up. His highlight was going 8/ 8 on his first drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown to Drew Sample. Surprisingly, no Bengals quarterback was sacked on the night. They were, however, pressured five times and hit four times.
- Joe Mixon: 1 carry, 3 yards
- Jordan Ellis: 15 carries, 52 yards, 5 receptions, 19 yards
Joe Mixon started for the Bengals, but he was out before the first drive ended. He had a nice 14 yard rush to the outside that was called back due to holding, and I’m worried that the aforementioned Bengals O-line might sabotage him as well this year. Still, Mixon is extremely talented and could overcome it. Undrafted rookie Jordan Ellis saw the bulk of the work tonight, and I think he is well on his way to a roster spot. It seems like every other play was another carry or reception for him, and I’d be surprised if the Bengals don’t carry him into the season behind Mixon and Giovani Bernard.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End
- Damion Willis: 5 receptions, 59 yards
- Cody Core: 2 receptions, 30 yards
- Stanley Morgan Jr.: 2 receptions, 21 yards
- Auden Tate: 4 receptions, 16 yards, 1 touchdown
- Drew Sample: 2 receptions, 15 yards, 1 touchdown
- Tyler Boyd: 1 reception, 8 yards
We know that AJ Green is out with his ankle injury, so the younger guys had a chance to shine. Tyler Boyd saw limited action and caught his only target. His spot is safe, and this was likely a way to prevent further injuries. Rookie Damion Willis led the team in receptions and yards, and it’s safe to say that he’ll see more work in the third preseason game. Other than that, the ball was spread around to 16 different players as the Bengals try to hammer out roster spots.
— Mike Miklius