Week 1 of the NFL preseason slate is in the books, and we’re that much closer to Sundays dominated by Red Zone on the TV and cold beers in our hands.
Quarterback Battle in Carolina?
Baker Mayfield summed up his first performance in a Carolina Panthers uniform as “some good, some bad.” Ironically, that’s how I would sum up Baker Mayfield’s NFL career to this date. I guess that’s why he’s in a quarterback battle with Sam Darnold in Carolina while known sexual predator Deshaun Watson is counting his bucks in Baker’s old home.
Still, Mayfield is clearly a better quarterback than Darnold, but for some reason, Matt Rhule is making this QB battle much more serious than it should be.
Mayfield got the nod as the starter in the Panthers’ first preseason game against Washington this past weekend. The former Sooner went 4-of-7 for 45 yards in a designed limited outing. Darnold went 2-for-3 for 16 yards and a touchdown after he entered with the Panthers deep in the Commanders side of the field after a Washington turnover.
The brief outings by Mayfield and Darnold were by design, as Matt Rhule said last week that six-to-eight snaps would be the sweet spot for the two quarterbacks. There wasn’t much to see from either that we haven’t already, which in my mind still gives Mayfield the advantage over Darnold.
While Rhule won’t name a starter yet, I can’t see the Panthers carrying both quarterbacks on the roster with PJ Walker and Matt Corral in tow. The Panthers traded for Mayfield because the Darnold experiment failed. It’s Baker’s job to lose, so why the unnecessary drama?
Joe Burrow Returns to Practice
Three weeks after his appendectomy Joe Burrow returned to Bengals practice on Sunday. Burrow was given a chance to take things slowly, but that’s not Burrow’s style. Burrow dove head first into seven-on-sevens, and all was well in The Jungle under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.
Here’s Burrow nailing Trenton Irwin on a 30-yard dart down the sideline:
Irwin, an underfed free agent who has spent multiple seasons on the Bengals practice and active roster, said that Burrow was “throwin’ some dots” on Sunday.
Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said that if you asked Burrow, he would tell “there’s still rust involved, and he still needs to get his feet underneath him,” but as far as Callahan is concerned, Burrow “looked pretty good ” on Sunday.
If you ask Bengals beat writer Paul Dehner Jr., Burrow’s return gives the city of Cincinnati a sigh of relief. Dehner Jr. has more on Burrow’s return to Bengals camp in his latest column at The Athletic:
Zach Wilson Surgery Set for Tuesday
Jets’ second-year quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a bone bruise and torn meniscus in Friday night’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, the Jets are optimistic that Wilson will be ready for Week 1.
Head coach Robert Saleh said on Sunday that Wilson was going to Los Angeles to have his procedure done on Tuesday. Saleh said that the Jets are optimistic, but Wilson is not out of the woods yet.
- Former Bears tight end Adam Shaheen was almost a Houston Texan, but a failed physical caused a trade from the Dolphins to the Texans to fall through last week. The Dolphins were set to receive a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for Shaheen and a seventh-round pick.
- 49ers beat writer David Lombardi writes about Trey Lance’s rough practice on Sunday in which he completed only 4-of-15 passes in team drills. Lance was 4-of-5 for 92 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s preseason opener against the Packers this weekend.
- NFL on CBS’s social team has jokes 😂:
- A reminder that the NFL Top 100 list is generally nothing more than a popularity contest:
- I don’t think anyone disputed that George Pickens was uber talented:
- Who hasn’t Josh Johnson played for?
- Almost there folks!
- If you pre-ordered the All-Madden Edition of Madden 23, you could be throwing touchdowns at 11 (ct) tonight! Let’s not forget the GOAT 🐐 version of the Madden series: