NFL Preseason Observations - Week 1 - What Did You See?

Giants vs Patriots

I thought Jones and the Giants’ offense in general looked ok–for a first effort under a new coach.

Thing I most dislike is Golladay, though. Sheesh. I never bought the hoopla coming out of college, and then just after he did enough with the Lions to win me over and go all in on him with the Giants last year–he faceplants.

Ok, maybe it was the coaching.

But tonight it still just looked like Jones and Golladay are not on the same wavelength. Or maybe Golladay has just lost it. Or maybe he never had it and Stafford made him what he was. I dunno. But he was pretty much the black hole. Everything else I could live with, if I was a Giants’ fan (and as a Daniel Jones owner). Barkley looked pretty fluid again, even if he wasn’t wildly productive.

Prognosis: Guarded.

Patriots’ Prognosis: Under maximum security protocols–it was impossible to determine anything about the regular season from tonight’s action.

Isaiah Likely might be a better TE than I was expecting, and I drafted him! Check out this catch:

Then again, Likely not…

EDIT: Ok, I know you’re a little bit dynasty and I’m a little bit redraft, but I hope you’re not suggesting a rookie TE is going to supplant Andrews this season…?

Good lord no! Aside from Kyle Pitts and Pat Freiermuth last season, I’d be surprised to see any TE enter serious conversation of TE1 this season. That said, I think Likely might be heading to top 5 TE in future seasons, possibly next year.

TEs usually need 2-3 years to establish themselves as pass catchers. Pitts and Freiermuth are still an exception, not the new rule.

Admittedly, I only watched the highlights of both games. What I took from those was:

The Patriots didn’t look sharp, but also not nearly as terrible as the TC rumors suggested.

Talking about rumors - Damien Harris is rumored to be on the trading block.

For the Titans, if we are ready to ignore the ugly fumble, Julius Chestnut looked really good at times. Definitely better than Hassan Haskins. If Chestnut makes the 53 man roster, he’ll be on my taxi squads in dynasty the next day. He’s on my deep sleeper radar for a while now.

I realize that, which is why I mentioned them.

And that’s all it is.

A Sports Illustrated analyst by the name of Albert Breen speculated that the Patriots have so much talent in their RB corps that they could afford to listen to trade offers for Harris. That’s it. Preseason click bait. Nothing at all from the Patriots themselves about trading their RB1.

Oh, and that was before James White announced his retirement, too.

By the way, I bet the Jets would like to acquire a QB like Mahomes.

There, it’s rumored that Mahomes is going to the Jets.

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Not much of note in the Titans/Ravens game, except that Ryan Tannehill’s job is safe. I only watched a couple of series, but Malik Willis looked like crap. On the first series he missed a 5 yard pass to the RB, then nearly threw a pick 6 to the left flat on third down. Second series he looked slow on a scramble, then missed another receiver on 3rd down when flushed from the pocket.

Nice to see Mike Davis equaling his TD production from September and October last year in the first quarter of this game…

Amon-Ra St. Brown is uncoverable, and the Lions could go undefeated…

…if they could play Atlanta every week.

Still, the offense looked really good, and the Goff/St. Brown connection was as smooth as it was at the end of last season. Don’t miss the boat.

Atlanta’s offense looked pretty good too, and that first catch by London made him look like a seasoned pro–but he apparently got injured on the play. At least it din’t look serious.

Din’t see any Patterson, so he’s probably in bubble wrap as the top RB, but I was surprised to see Ollision and Williams both getting looks as the 2nd RB–and surprised at how good Ollison looked. I’m still rooting for the MVP runner-up of SuperBowl LIV, Damien Williams. He opted out of 2020 because of COVID, so he kind of fell off the map, but he’s not that far removed from being a solid piece of the Chiefs’ offense, and he’s had a year now with da Bears to get himself back into football shape after the year off.

But the thing that has me beaming like a proud papa is the fact that Marcus Mariota scored 13.6 fantasy points in ONE DRIVE (in that run-heavy 2 QB league). Given that NFL teams usually get around 10-12 drives per game, well, you do the math. (While you’re doing math, Amon-Ra St. Brown scored 4.9 PPR fantasy points on one drive as well.)

The thing that scares me is the college playoff QB waiting in the wings–Ridder looked ok too–he didn’t “wow,” but he didn’t do anything to hurt himself, either. His only incompletion on his first drive was a total drop job by a practice squad receiver on a dart throw. So hopefully Mariota will a) keep the job, b) stay healthy, and c) remain productive, and if so, I’ll be golden. If not, I’ll struggle. I did so want to insure Mariota with Ridder in that league, but I came up just a few picks short and had to go for Minshew instead.

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Packers vs Niners

Jordan Love looked ridiculously terrible. He regularly missed targets, even on lateral passes. He threw inaccurately into coverage. And on at least 2 occasions, he never saw a wide open target. Green Bay will be on the market for an Aaron Rodgers successor next year. Because right now, they don’t have one.

Trey Lance, on the other hand… wow. Small sample size, and obviously they don’t let him run a lot in a preseason game. But that 76 yard TD pass to Danny Gray was something else. Lance may be a Konami code QB, but one with a fantastic arm. If he can put it to such use all throughout the season… I’d rather not finish that thought. It was still just a preseason game.

Romeo Doubs was involved a lot. He suffered heavily from Love’s wildly inaccurate passes, but made the best of it. I can’t wait to see him catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. At this point, it looks like Doubs may be worth a thought even in redraft leagues.

Other than that, there is not too much to take away from this game. Trey Sermon looked as good as he’s reported to look in TC. TDP got quite a few carries, and was neither terrible, nor great. The Niners backfield will remain a mystery. In dynasty leagues, I am tempted to reach out to Sermon owners and see how cheap they are ready to trade him away.

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I am intentionally avoiding the 49ers, because we never know the inner workings of Shanahan’s mind.