It was a night of creative blitzing for NFL preseason schedule football. The Panthers and Bengals got an eye-full of two rookie quarterbacks and Philly faithful worry about the health theirs. Also don't forget the Capital City quarterback duel.
Philadelphia Eagles def. Cleveland Browns: Michael Vick abused in win
The good news was the Philadelphia Eagles got a good performance out of their shiny new defense. The bad news was they might lose quarterback Michael Vick to the emergency ward by October. Once again the Eagles offensive line wilted under a sustained Cleveland Browns pass rush. Vick got banged around the entire first half but somehow managed three scoring drives. Vince Young came in to relieve him and got plastered once or twice too. Philadelphia thankfully performed well running the football with Ronnie Brown and the defense shutout Browns quarterback Colt McCoy who was having a dynamite preseason. Five different Eagles sacked McCoy and Asante Samuel picked him off. Cleveland got some very valuable lessons from this game, most notably how much they need running back Peyton Hillis back.
Final score: 24-14
Cincinnati Bengals def. Carolina Panthers: Andy Dalton outclasses Cam Newton
Andy Dalton finally looked like a high draft pick in his third NFL preseason schedule game. Following a quiet first quarter, Dalton led the Cincinnati Bengals on four scoring drives to end the first half while the defense harassed and pummeled Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Dalton also gave Bengal fans their first sneak peek at rookie receiver A.J. Green when the two hooked up on a 40-yard touchdown pass. Newton struggled all night, completing only six of his 19 passes. He did run for the Panthers' only touchdown, but showed how much the lockout has affected his maturation to a pro offense. Cincinnati put the game out of reach thanks mostly to running backs Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott who combined for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Final score: 24-13
Baltimore Ravens def. Washington Redskins: Joe Flacco overcomes bad start
Most of the quarterback focus in this game went to the deadlock duel between John Beck and Rex Grossman for the Washington Redskins starting job. Both players performed well, with each having high and low moments. Grossman barely completed half his passes but threw for more yards and a touchdown. Beck was more accurate but tossed canceled out his touchdown pass with an interception. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco endured some early drubbings from the Redskins defense. He eventually settled down to throw two touchdowns while helping Ray Rice cap a big performance with a third. Washington held the lead late in the fourth quarter but the Ravens got a late drive out of backup Tyrod Taylor to steal the game on a touchdown pass with 22 seconds left.
Final score: 34-31
Additional News Update: Hurricane Irene affects time of Jets-Giants game
Football games never get called due to weather except for extreme circumstances. Some might call Hurricane Irene an extreme circumstance. League officials announced that the preseason game between the New York Jets and New York Giants would move ahead five hours to 2 p.m. Eastern time given that Irene should make landfall somewhere near the Manhattan coastline.
NFL preseason schedule games continue shortly. Stay tuned for further updates.