Here is our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review So Far…
The first week of the 2023 NFL preseason continued Friday night with games between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants, the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons, and the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Commanders. At the end of the night, the Arizona Cardinals beat the Denver Broncos after coming back from behind.
Several of Friday’s games showed glimpses of quarterback fights. For example, Baker Mayfield showed signs of improvement for the Bucs, and Jake Browning showed he could be Joe Burrow’s No. 2 option.
On Thursday, the New England Patriots hosted the Houston Texans, and the Seattle Seahawks welcomed the Minnesota Vikings.
C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 overall pick, got his first NFL start with the Texans. He went 2-for-4 for 13 total yards and an interception before coach DeMeco Ryans went back to Davis Mills, who had been the starter before.
Before Case Keenum took over at quarterback, Mills completed 9 of 12 passes for 99 yards and a score.
On the other sideline, Patriots fans will have to wait at least another week to see how quarterback Mac Jones has adapted to Bill O’Brien’s new system.
Geno Smith, who went to the Pro Bowl with the Seahawks, watched as backup Drew Lock got the start. The second of Seattle’s two first-round picks, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, played in his first NFL game Thursday night. So did the Vikings’ first-round pick, Jordan Addison.
Here are the most important things we’ve learned from each game so far, as well as the rest of Week 1’s schedule.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Friday, August 11th Games
Now in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 review for the games that took place on Friday, August 11th, 2023:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Green Bay Packers 36, Cincinnati Bengals 19
Let’s start this NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review with the game between the Packers and the Bengals:
Green Bay Packers
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Green Bay Packers.
Jordan Love didn’t take long to get going, and he didn’t remain in the game for long either. The Packers, on the other hand, should be heartened by what they witnessed in their new starter’s first two series.
He completed 7 of 10 passes for 70 yards and one score, connecting with five different receivers, including Romeo Doubs for the touchdown (a disputed 9-yard fade) and his longest completion (a 12-yard crosser).
On play-action, he went 4-for-5 for 28 yards. The only thing lacking was a strong bond. To close the first series, he overthrew a wide-open Luke Musgrave. His pass for Christian Watson was intercepted one play earlier.
Even without his blind-side protector, David Bakhtiari, who is unlikely to participate in any preseason games, Love was never pressured on his 10 dropbacks.
“I thought he looked poised, it looked like he was in total command,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur remarked on the TV broadcast after halftime.
“Obviously, on that first series, he’d love to have the throwback to Musgrave, but all in all, I thought it was a very productive day for him.”
The Packers must now decide if Love has had enough preseason work or whether he will play again next week.
In relief, rookie backup quarterback Sean Clifford led four scoring drives (three touchdowns and a field goal).
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Cincinnati Bengals.
Could frontrunners emerge in a few intriguing job battles? Last year’s third-string quarterback, Jake Browning, played the whole first half with the rest of the second-team offense, while new signee Trevor Siemian played in the second half. Jonah Williams took the night off at right tackle, while Jackson Carman played.
Browning ran with the starters at the joint practice with Green Bay on Friday and received good reps. In terms of the offensive-line battle, Williams is the clear favorite, based on his participation (or lack thereof) on Friday and comments from assistant coach Frank Pollack earlier in training camp.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Detroit Lions 21, New York Giants 16
Next in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s check out the game between the Lions and the Giants:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Detroit Lions.
During his first preseason game, wide receiver Jameson Williams was the center of attention. During the game, he had a few highs and lows. As he said he would, Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave the No. 12 overall pick in 2021 a lot of reps while he is suspended for six games for breaking the NFL’s rules on gambling.
After Maurice Alexander’s 95-yard punt return score in the third quarter, he caught a two-point conversion pass with one hand. On Detroit’s first drive, however, Giants safety Jason Pinnock picked off a deep pass from backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld that was meant for Williams.
On another long play in the first quarter, Sudfeld tried to find Williams, but they were out of sync because Williams moved to the middle of the field as the pass went up the left side.
Williams was targeted seven times, and he caught two passes for 18 yards. At 5:50 in the first quarter, he dropped a deep pass, which got a few boos from the crowd.
After a couple of practices with the Giants during the week, the Lions rested many of their starters, including quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and defensive tackle Aidan Hutchinson.
New York Giants
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: New York Giants.
During his first preseason game, all eyes were on wide receiver Jameson Williams, who experienced both highs and lows. As promised, Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave the 12th overall pick in 2021 a ton of repetitions during his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.
In the third quarter, he completed a two-point conversion reception with one hand following Maurice Alexander’s 95-yard punt return touchdown.
On Detroit’s first possession, however, Giants safety Jason Pinnock intercepted a deep pass destined for Williams from backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
On another deep play in the first quarter, Sudfeld attempted to locate Williams, but they were out of sync as Williams cut to the middle of the field as the pass was thrown up the left side.
Overall, Williams was targeted seven times, with two receptions for 18 yards, including a dropped deep pass at 5:50 of the first quarter, which drew mild jeers from the crowd.
The Lions rested many of their mainstays, including quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and defensive lineman Aiden Hutchinson, after several joint practices with the Giants during the week.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Atlanta Falcons 19, Miami Dolphins 3
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Atlanta Falcons.
On a night when almost all of the Falcons’ offensive and defensive stars didn’t play, the most important thing to learn was how the team works as a whole. This was clear on defense, where Atlanta’s play in the first half was very active. In the first half, Atlanta shut out Miami 6-0.
Safety DeMarcco Hellams picked off a pass in the red zone, and two other stops were made inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line.
During the regular season, those would have been field goal tries, but it’s still a good sign for the type of defense Ryan Nielsen wants to run. Hellams, a Falcons pick in the seventh round who is trying to make the team, was all over the ball in the first half.
Overall, Atlanta picked off Miami’s quarterbacks three times, had five sacks, and hit the QB nine times. This is the kind of defense Nielsen likes to see.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Miami Dolphins.
The fight for the second quarterback didn’t go anywhere. Mike White started and played the whole first half. He completed 9 of 14 passes for a total of 85 yards. He led two drives into the red zone, but on Miami’s first drive, he threw an interception in the end zone.
On the second drive, he failed to convert on fourth down. Skylar Thompson wasn’t much better. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 104 yards, but he also threw two picks and lost a fumble.
Overall, neither quarterback played very well Friday night. White is still in the lead, but neither player did much to help their case.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Now in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s analyze the game between the Steelers and the Bucs:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Mike Tomlin was quick to say that second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett needed more preseason work than an experienced quarterback might, but Pickett and the Steelers’ first-team offense only played one series in the win against the Bucs.
In his short time on the field, Pickett did a great job. He made 6 of 7 passes for a total of 70 yards and one touchdown. The one pass he didn’t make was a throw away to avoid being sacked. Pickett kept his cool as he went through his progressions, like when he hit Diontae Johnson for 11 yards to convert 3rd-and-10 and when he hit George Pickens for 33 yards and a touchdown on 3rd-and-8.
The Steelers’ offense wasn’t as good without Pickett, but Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph showed signs of speed that they didn’t have a year ago. In the third quarter, Rudolph threw a touchdown pass of 67 yards to second-year wide receiver Calvin Austin.
The Steelers’ longest pass play a year ago was when Pickett threw to Pat Freiermuth. The ball went 57 yards. Even though it’s just the practice so far, the offense is looking good.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Baker Mayfield made the first move in the fight to be the quarterback for the Bucs. He started the game and made 8 of 9 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown pass of 10 yards to Trey Palmer.
Most importantly, he didn’t lose the ball, which was the most important thing to show after picking it off nine times in 12 practices.
Kyle Trask needed to show that he could do things downfield, so he completed a 23-yard pass to David Moore.
On the same drive, he threw a pass to Moore, but it was picked off. Six of the ten passes he made went for a total of 99 yards, and one was picked off. On Friday night, Mayfield had a better pass game.
When Trask starts at the Jets next week, we’ll know if that’s true.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Washington Commanders 17, Cleveland Browns 15
Let’s continue our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review with the game between the Commanders and the Browns:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Washington Commanders.
The start quarterback Sam Howell had in the preseason should make Washington happy. He wasn’t amazing, but he did a good job. Yes, the offense got off to a slow start. The offensive line was mostly to blame for the first two bad drives.
They let too much pressure in, especially from the right tackle Andrew Wylie, and didn’t make any running spaces. The result was two runs of 10 yards. But Howell and the offense finished strong with a score on their third and final series. Howell ran and threw to get yards (9 for 12 for 77 yards).
He made plays last longer, and to move the pocket, he also used something called “sprint roll-outs.” This season, they’ll have to do that a lot. Since defensive end Myles Garrett didn’t play, the line has a lot to show.
But Howell didn’t force any throws, and Jahan Dotson caught a 26-yard pass to end the last drive. This season, that could be a good way to work together.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Cleveland Browns.
When Deshaun Watson played his first set of the preseason, he was sharp. After a one-hour weather delay, Watson completed all three of his passes for a total of 12 yards and, even more amazingly, ran three times for 20 yards.
The drive ended when Cleveland was stopped at the goal line on fourth down. But Cleveland’s franchise quarterback had a good game, especially after the six bad games he started for the Browns last year. After practicing with the Eagles, Watson probably won’t play in Cleveland’s preseason game in Philadelphia next week.
But coach Kevin Stefanski has said that Watson will get one more tune-up in the final preseason game in Kansas City before the regular season starts.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Arizona Cardinals 18, Denver Broncos 17
Now it’s time to check out the results from the game between the Cardinals and the Broncos:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Arizona Cardinals.
No one knew what to expect from the Cardinals’ defense heading into Friday night, but it put a unit on display that may exceed expectations this season. Yes, it’s the first preseason game but the way the front seven got pressure on Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t likely to subside going forward.
Defensive lineman L.J. Collier had a batted pass, linebacker Dennis Gardeck sacked Wilson, and the Cardinals’ starting defense had three quarterback hurries, including one on the play right after Gardeck’s sack, all before the second unit took the field.
And, at one point, outside linebacker Zaven Collins, who made a position switch this offseason, dropped a massive hit in the first quarter. The depth the second team showed gives hope that this Cardinals’ defense could help anchor this team while Kyler Murray works to return.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Denver Broncos.
The Broncos have had problems with depth all through training camp, and they showed up again in their first preseason game on Friday night. The players who were supposed to be starters left the game in the second quarter, when the Broncos were up 10-0 and in charge.
After that, the backups had trouble, like when the Cardinals blocked a field goal, the backup offensive tackles got four penalties, and the backup quarterback, Jarrett Stidham, had a bad game (5 of 15 passes, 1 interception).
Elijah Garcia, a defensive lineman with two sacks, Delarrin Turner-Yell, a safety, and Jaleel McLaughlin, a rookie running back, stood out among the backups. McLaughlin scored a touchdown from 4 yards out with 1:30 left to play, but overall, one of the team’s biggest worries going into training camp is still one of the team’s biggest worries.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Houston Texans 20, New England Patriots 9
It’s now time in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review to check out the game between the Texans and the Patriots.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Houston Texans.
C.J. Stroud had trouble in his first preseason game, which could put Davis Mills in the lead for the quarterback job. Stroud played two series and was 2-for-4 with one 13-yard interception. Mills made 9 out of 12 passes and scored a touchdown.
Coach DeMeco Ryans gave Stroud all of the first-team offensive reps during practice because he seemed to know how to run the system better than the other prospects. But in his first NFL game, he was slow, got sacked, and threw an interception, which the Patriots used to score a field goal.
He didn’t have great coverage, and on 60% of his dropbacks, he was under pressure. The only point for the Texans in the first half came when Mills threw a touchdown pass to rookie receiver Tank Dell.
New England Patriots
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: New England Patriots.
Most of the stars didn’t play on Keion White’s first night, but he did well. White was picked in the second round of the draft. The Georgia Tech defensive end weighed 290 pounds and was 6 feet 5 inches tall. He started out on the edge.
He was bad and was always around the ball. He ended up making three stops, and one of them was on running back Dare Ogunbowale when quarterback Davis Mills made a mistake. Calvin Munson, a linebacker, picked up the lost ball and threw it away.
White’s play and the fact that first-round pick Christian Gonzalez is starting at cornerback add some youth to a strong defense that returns all of its players except for Devin McCourty.
The Patriots are the best team in the NFL when it comes to defense.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Seattle Seahawks 24, Minnesota Vikings 13
Last but not least in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s analyze the game between the Seahawks and the Vikings.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Seattle Seahawks.
Drew Lock has been in the NFL for four years, but he still hasn’t figured out everything. On Thursday night, he showed why the Seahawks still think he is a good enough quarterback to start. Geno Smith and most of Seattle’s experienced first-team players had the night off, so Lock started against Minnesota and played until the fourth quarter.
Since he didn’t play a single snap in the regular season last year, the Seahawks want to give him as many reps as possible this preseason.
He sometimes looked like he was shaking off the impact of being on the bench for almost a year. But he mostly showed off the skills that got him picked in the second round and made him a player Seattle really wanted in the Russell Wilson trade.
Lock completed 17 of 24 passes for 191 yards, two scores, and an interception on a throw that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Minnesota Vikings.
Running back Ty Chandler took advantage of a longer look Thursday night as he fights for the No. 2 job behind starter Alexander Mattison. Almost the whole first half, Chandler was on the field. He ran 11 times for 41 yards and caught 4 passes for 29 yards.
He showed along the way that he could make the first player miss the ball. At halftime, Coach Kevin O’Connell said that he did this on some plays when the blocking wasn’t very good.
Kene Nwangwu has been hurt for most of training camp, and DeWayne McBride is having a hard time as a newbie. Chandler has a clear path to the No. 2 job right now.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Saturday, Aug. 12
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills: 1 p.m. ET
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears: 1 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers: 4 p.m. ET
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys: 5 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens: 7 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams: 9 p.m. ET
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Saturday, Aug. 12
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints: 1 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders: 4 p.m. ET
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review of the games so far, brought to you by YouWager.lv.
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