Week 1 of the preseason is sort of within the books with simply two video games left on the docket. In the early sport Saturday, Vikings and their new franchise quarterback, Kirk Cousins, face the Broncos, whose new franchise quarterback, Case Keenum, led Minnesota to the NFC Conference Championship Game final January.
In the late sport, the Cardinals host the Chargers. Arizona additionally has a brand new franchise quarterback — it’s going to both be low season acquisition Sam Bradford or rookie first-round choose Josh Rosen — whereas Los Angeles nonetheless has Philip Rivers, who stays one of many league’s finest passers as he begins his 15th season.
The quarterback place has been a recurring theme during this week’s games, beginning final Thursday when first-overall choose Baker Mayfield had a powerful debut for the Browns, first-rounder Lamar Jackson confirmed glimpses of his particular skills, Patrick Mahomes had a steady-as-she-goes outing because the Chiefs‘ unquestioned starter, and Deshaun Watson returned to the lineup after lacking the second half of final season with an ACL harm.
On Friday, No. Three general choose Sam Darnold and veteran Teddy Bridgewater have been each sharp for the Jets and Derek Carr’s backup in Oakland, Connor Cook, had a strong outing in Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines after a nine-year hiatus.
Scores and schedule
Panthers 28, Bills 23 (box score)
Bengals 30, Bears 27 (box score)
Buccaneers 26, Dolphins 24 (box score)
Browns 20, Giants 10 (box score)
Steelers 31, Eagles 14 (box score)
Saints 24, Jaguars 20 (box score)
Patriots 26, Redskins 17 (box score)
Ravens 33, Rams 7 (box score)
Packers 31, Titans 17 (box score)
Texans 17, Chiefs 10 (box score)
49ers 24, Cowboys 21 (box score)
Colts 19, Seahawks 17 (box score)
Kirk Cousins appears to be like snug on this offense
The Vikings determined to let Case Keenum stroll within the offseason after he helped the crew to the NFC Championship Game in January. They changed him with Kirk Cousins, who signed a fully guaranteed, three-year, $84 million deal in March appeared each bit the franchise quarterback in his very first collection.
Cousins went four of four for 42 yards on the eight-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in what may develop into a well-recognized sight in 2018: Stefon Diggs celebrating in the long run zone.
Diggs, who just signed a five-year extension, arrange the landing with a nifty 28-yard acquire earlier within the drive.
But there’s extra!
Running again Latavius Murray had back-to-back 21-yard runs early within the drive because the Vikings’ offensive line, which featured three backups, dominated a Broncos beginning protection that was with out Von Miller however included first-round choose Bradley Chubb.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer apparently noticed sufficient of Cousins, whose evening ended after one collection. He was changed by the person who began 10 video games for the Broncos final 12 months: Trevor Siemian.
Broncos no-show in first quarter earlier than Freeman shines
There is not any query: Case Keenum is an improve over the quarterbacks the Broncos trotted out the final two seasons. You simply would not have identified it to observe him in his debut. To be truthful, he performed simply two collection, accomplished one go in 4 makes an attempt for 5 yards, and did not register a primary down.
Then once more, Paxton Lynch, the 2016 first-round choose who has 4 profession begins, did not fare significantly better. Lynch threw an interception on his first try, overthrew his tight finish on third down a collection later and took a sack on third down the collection after that. The Broncos punted on their first 4 drives and did not sniff a primary down within the first quarter.
But issues lastly got here collectively on drive No. four, because of a brief area that got here courtesy of Siemian lastly throwing a go to a Broncos participant (that is a joke!).
On third-and-Three, rookie working again Royce Freeman not solely received the Broncos’ first first down of the night, he saved working all the way in which to the top zone.
That spotlight was short-lived; just a few performs later, Roc Thomas took a display screen go 77 yards to provide the Vikings a 17-point lead late within the first half.
Not to be outdone, Isaiah McKenzie did this a short while later:
To recap: McKenzie’s punt return went 78 yards. Denver’s offense to that time within the sport had 56 complete yards.