Week one of the preseason is here and without further ado here are ten storylines you should be keeping an eye on Thursday night.
1. Baker Mayfield’s debut: We most likely won’t see a lot of Saqoun Barkely on night one of the preseason but my guess would be we see Mayfield for a solid quarter and a half. It will be very interesting to see how he performs in the preseason. You can’t judge a whole lot purely off QB play in the preseason but basic things like mechanics and accuracy are very diagnosable. If you don’t find Mayfield interesting, Nick Chubb is someone to watch as the Browns running back competition is wide open.
2. The Bills new wideout core: Yes the three buffalo QB’s will be playing, but for the first time we will get to see Corey Coleman as a Bill. Not to mention some of the depth the Bills have at wide receiver. By depth, I mean names that mesh together on the roster that we have never really seen in the NFL. Who knows maybe the Bills have a hidden gem in their mess of an offensive roster. On the other side of the ball, DJ Moore is a guy to watch. It will be interesting to see where the rookie lines up in week one of the preseason. Christian McCaffery also has a chance to improve his running between the tackle skills in this first preseason game.
3. Anthony Miller: For the first time this season we will get to see the wideout being touted as the next big thing in Chicago. It would not shock me if at some point he lined up as the number one receiver in this game. Though we won’t see Mitchell Trubisky for long it will be interesting to see if he can create one or two big plays to Miller. Nagy’s offense showed sparks of it’s potential in the hall of fame game I want to see more sparks tonight.
4. Darius Guice: Guice was a highly touted guy coming into the draft and being someone who doesn’t watch a lot of the college game I am excited to see him run against a nonexistent second string Patriots defense. It would not shock me if he put up 100 yards in a quarter of a preseason game. You can’t glean much from the preseason, what you can figure out is which running backs are due to become stars. Keep an eye on Guice.
5. More Lamar Jackson: I wasn’t a huge fan of Lamar Jackson’s hall of fame game but there is room for improvement throughout the preseason. I want to see Harbaugh incorporate more run first schemes for Jackson, this guy was touted as the next Michael Vick so play him like Vick.
6. Derrick Henry vs Dion Lewis: The Titans offseason has been a bit slow. They are probably the least talked about team in the league. I don’t know why that is, they have a new coach and finally some exciting potential in a wide-open AFC South. One big question is if Derrick Henry truly will have a bulk of the workload this year especially after the team bought in Patriots stud Dion Lewis, It’s an interesting battle to watch.
7. Patrick Mahomes: The reigns are all his, let’s see how he performs.
8. Joe Williams: The Niners depth running back was redshirted last year after a successful career at Utah. It will be interesting to see how he performs in a game where I would expect he will get a lot of touches against the Cowboys.
9. Andrew Luck: Yes it’s the preseason. Yes, he will probably only get five throws. Yes, we may not learn anything from it. Am I still excited about it? Hell yes.
10. Football: It is back folks, let’s fly.