While the preseason tends to be a fairly meaningless time in terms of determining the direction of the season, there are some higher-level insights that can be gleaned from the action. So far in the NFL preseason, a few intriguing storylines have emerged.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, a franchise that has been mired in mediocrity and worse for years, have a quarterback problem. Blake Bortles, a first round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014, was supposed to be a shoo-in for the starting quarterback spot. However, Bortles has had a lackluster training camp and an even worse first two preseason games. He played very poorly against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 2. Veteran Chad Henne is a viable starting option at this point to take his job. Bortles’ dull performance led head coach Doug Marrone to make this statement: “[The QB position] is right up there for grabs, and either person can take it.”
In Buffalo, the Bills are dealing with some quarterback issues. Tyrod Taylor has youth on his side, but has been very inconsistent through the preseason. To make matters worse, Sammy Watkins, his number one target, was shipped out to Los Angeles. The Bills did bring in another big target in Jordan Matthews in a trade with the Eagles; however, he suffered an injury in his first practice as a Bill.
In week 2 of preseason versus the Philadelphia Eagles, he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Denver, however, has found their starter at the QB position. Last week the Denver Broncos announced that Trevor Siemian would be starting for the second consecutive season over Paxton Lynch. Siemian has been showing more aggressive tendencies and more confidence in his throwing ability.
While the NFC East looks to be a strong division this year, the New York Giants could fall short of expectations this year. A huge concern for the Giants going into this season was their struggling offensive line. Unfortunately, their supposed offseason adjustments do not seem to be working at all. In week 2 of preseason, the Browns defense dominated the Giants offense. Also, New York had two injury scares to their best wideouts with hits to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. OBJ took a nasty but legal hit to his legs and luckily walked away with only a high ankle sprain. Marshall suffered a hit to the shoulder but said he will be fine.
Staying the NFC East, the Eagles are struggling with their running back situation. Currently, the Eagle’s roster features veterans LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and rookies Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement. The Eagles signed Blount during free agency with the intention of making him a leading running back in the offense. Blount was expected to be a difference maker in the division and possibly in a championship hunt, but he has looked slow and uninspiring so far this preseason.. With no other sure-fire every down back, the Eagles face uncertainty here. Week 3 could be a make or break game for this position group.