Zero sum game: Adding up the pluses and minuses from Week 2 of the preseason

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Balancing the books for week 2 of the NFL preseason, where everyone comes out even.

The preseason continues to be like life: short, empty, and ultimately full of too much Chris Berman. Oh, Chris Berman. You get assigned preseason football and the Home Run Contest, and yet you can't take the hint.

Browns 24, Lions 6

+1: Trent Richardson, who finally gets to say he played in a preseason game. It's like running somewhere vaguely near a marathon route, or taking a picture of a picture of Mount Everest.

-1: Detroit's wide receivers, none of whom managed to accumulate 20 yards of offense individually. Calvin Johnson didn't play in this game, so basically somebody should keep Calvin Johnson in a protective case whenever he's not on the field for the Lions. Accidents happen, people.

Eagles 14, Panthers 9

+1: Graham Gano, who, in his limited action with Carolina (the end of last year and this preseason), has been quite accurate, connecting on 12 of his 14 field goal tries, with the only misses coming from beyond 45 yards. That's good news for a franchise that's struggled to find a consistent kicking game ever since cutting ties with John Kasay.

-1: Kenjon Barner's final line: 5 rushes for 6 yards, 1 reception for -1 yards, and a muffed punt return. All in front of his own college coach, too.

Ravens 27, Falcons 23

+1: Steven Jackson. His numbers last week against the Bengals left plenty to be desired, but 55 yards on 9 touches in this game are much more in line with what Atlanta fans are hoping to see.

-1: Baltimore's running game only mustered 61 yards rushing on 26 attempts, and about a quarter of those came from Tyrod Taylor. SOLUTION: Tyrod Taylor becomes the first string running back for the Ravens. It can't fail!

Bears 33, Chargers 28

+1: Consistency. Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers dropped back to pass a total of 19 times. Of those 19 plays, 5 resulted in sacks, and two resulted in interceptions. In a world that can seem so tumultuous, it's really nice to be able to rely on Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers playing semi-shitty.

-1: San Diego and the Field Position Battle. The Bears had 13 drives in this game, and seven of them started inside the San Diego 40 yard line. The Chargers also had 13 drives, and 7 of them started inside their own 20 yard line. Maybe this was just a weird way of limiting Chicago's overall offensive numbers?

I'm not sure if it's sexual harassment to call the Buffalo defense 'exotic.'

Bills 20, Vikings 16

+1: Flag manufacturers. The Bills finished with 14 penalties for 106 yards, and if you don't think costly penalties are going to rob this team of at least one win this year, congratulations on not following the Buffalo Bills ever.

-1: Christian Ponder's rhetoric skills. I'm not sure if it's sexual harassment to call the Buffalo defense "exotic." I am sure that 5/12 for 53 yards, no touchdowns, and two sacks, is terrible. I am also sure that you probably don't need an exotic defense to shut down a quarterback who's only managed to score multiple touchdowns in eleven of his 26 career starts.

49ers 15, Chiefs 13

+1: Rich people, specifically, television executives and San Francisco ownership, who got advertising dollars and ticket sales from this, somehow. Now you can say you've seen B.J. Daniels and Tyler Bray duel into the fourth quarter. It's like the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl from Hell.

-1: Alex Smith's sense of security is probably not doing great after getting sacked three times and watching his receivers drop three passes. It didn't help that Jim Harbaugh came up to him after the game and whispered "NOBODY WILL EVER LOVE YOU."

Patriots 25, Buccaneers 21

+1: Danny Amendola. Six catches, 71 yards, and a touchdown, and that means this limited preseason game would have been Amendola's fourth best performance of his entire St. Louis career. Yeah, turns out it's more fun to play with Tom Brady than Sam Bradford. Who knew?

-1: Josh Freeman's friends. He said he couldn't come to your birthday party because he had a game. He said he really wanted to be there, too. And then he threw two completions for eight yards, got sacked three times, and was done. Keep it up and you're not invited to my Holiday CookieFest, Josh Freeman.

Saints 28, Raiders 20

+1: Glenn Foster, the undrafted rookie who now has three sacks and a forced fumble in two preseason games. YOU HEAR THAT, MR. BIRTHDAY PARTY EXCUSE JOSH FREEMAN?

-1: Tyler Wilson, who is going to get cut in favor of Matt McGloin. There are few fates more cruel than this.

Cardinals 12, Cowboys 7

+1: Tony Romo, who was, somehow, not responsible for a single one of Dallas's six turnovers. Take your blame elsewhere, people. Tony Romo is worth every penny of that massive contrahahahahahahahahahahahaha

-1: Arizona's ability to convert on said turnovers was almost non-existent, as the only points they generated from them were two field goals. Jason Garrett's offense now cannot even produce points for the other team.

Bengals 27, Titans 19

+1: Shonn Greene. Is now averaging 5.5 yards per carry after two games, which is how you know the preseason is so very, very, very not real.

-1: Tennessee's rushing defense, which only stopped one Bengal runner behind the line of scrimmage and got gashed for a few long runs. That's not a great sign when you have to face Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew twice a year.

Jets 37, Jaguars 13

+1: Hey, Blaine Gabbert completed 81% of his passes, was effective on third down, didn't turn the ball over or take any sacks, and will be the starter! Go Jaguars!

-1: Hey, the new starting quarterback in Jacksonville suffered a hairline fracture in his thumb! Go Jaguars!

Packers 19, Rams 7

+1: Jermichael Finley. Four catches! (DON'T DRAFT HIM) 78 yards! (YOU'VE BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD) So much chemistry with Aaron Rodgers! (COME ON HE'S GOING TO CATCH ONE BALL FOR THREE YARDS WHEN YOU NEED HIM MOST)

-1: Kellen Clemens. Here is how every drive Clemens led ended: punt, Clemens throws a pick, punt (muffed and recovered by St. Louis), Clemens throws another pick, punt, punt. Only one of these drives lasted more than 3 plays.


Texans 24, Dolphins 17

+1: Being Mean To Matt Moore. Four sacks to three completions is a ratio that only leads to questions about whether the offensive line and receivers are playing an elaborate prank on the quarterback.

-1: Houston wide receiver Alec Lemon, not for what he did on the field, but, instead, because you can keep pushing letters from the end of his first name onto his last and still have a legit name. Alec Lemon. Ale Clemon. Al Eclemon. That's suspicious.

Seahawks 40, Broncos 10

+1: Awesome Seahawks Shit. A botched snap Russell Wilson still turned into a touchdown pass. A 107 yard kickoff return for a score. A 106 yard fumble return for another score. Damn, Seattle. You gotta ration these. Now you're going to be starving for big plays in November, dummies.

-1: Injuries. Derek Wolfe seems to be okay as of now, but ambulances on the field are something we only want to see in Madden games. Also in Street Fighter. Enjoy that hefty copay, Dhalsim!

Colts 20, Giants 12

+1: The University of Miami. They said "Circus Studies" wasn't a worthwhile major.


Reggie Wayne showed them how wrong they were.


Redskins 24, Steelers 12

+1: Only two more weeks of preseason football to get through!

-1: Wait, that also means two more weeks of Rex Grossman getting meaningful playing time.

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Michael Vick wins starting job | Brandon Weeden, too

Chiefs acquire A.J. Jenkins from 49ers

Rob Gronkowski could return by Week 3

Longform: Olympian Marquise Goodwin seeks success on the gridiron

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