The third week of the NFL preseason rolls along on Friday night with six games, including the Michael Vick-less Eagles, more Ryan Tannehill and Pro Bowlers that won't be playing in the Chargers-Vikings game.
Lots to talk about as we continue on with Week 3, slightly less meaningless than the rest of the preseason.
No Michael Vick means more Nick Foles
One of the least surprising parts of the preseason is Michael Vick getting injured -- twice -- in his first two games. Vick has demonstrated over his career that he's prone to getting banged up now and again. The Eagles know this.
One of the more surprising parts of the preseason is that Nick Foles looks like a good quarterback. Foles has been impressive in his first two preseason games after the Eagles made him a third round pick last April. With Mike Kafka also working with an injury, Foles seems to be the likely backup.
In nine seasons, Vick has played a complete 16-game schedule just once. The Eagles know they need a high quality backup because they'll likely be in the playoff hunt and can't have their season ruined, Bears-style, because of a quarterback injury.
So can Foles be the No. 2 in Philly? Bleeding Green Nation breaks it down here and the results may surprise you.
Another opportunity for Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill was named the Dolphins starting quarterback this week, so he takes the field on Friday night for the first time as the starter. He won't have as much pressure trying to fight for a job. It's his.
But will that affect how he plays?
NFL coaches love creating competition because of the belief that competition will push you to become better. The Dolphins chose to end that battle midway through the preseason. Will Tannehill's new found status as the starter affect the way he prepares or plays?
For that answer, check out the latest podcast at SB Nation's The Phinsider.
Joint practices are the new thing
I wonder then, if other teams will include more joint practices in the future. The Patriots had a series of joint practices with the Saints earlier this offseason and they did the same this week with the Bucs. The two teams meet on Friday night after spending a few days together.
Joint practices break up the monotony of training camp and preseason practices. It's easy for, say, a defensive back, to get used to how best to cover a receiver on his own team if he's been facing him every day. It's a little bit harder when you're covering someone new.
It wouldn't surprise me at all to see an uptick in joint practices next year.
For Chargers-Vikings, it's about who's not playing
Adrian Peterson will be dressed out in pads and participate in warm-ups -- but he won't play. This according to the Vikings, who continue to take it easy on Peterson as he recovers from last season's knee injury. Peterson is a beast and could probably play today, which is a testament to how hard he works (and that he's basically a freak of nature). For now, though, Vikings fans over at Daily Norseman will have to wait until the games count.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, we won't be seeing Philip Rivers or Antonio Gates, which is a slight surprise. Not that they need the practice but the third preseason game is usually the dress rehearsal, the game in which teams play their starters into the third quarter. In San Diego, that won't be the case.
Russell Wilson can earn the starting job on Friday night
If conventional wisdom were to be believed, the Seahawks shouldn't even have a quarterback competition right now. Matt Flynn was given an $8 million per year contract in the offseason, which is usually a pretty good sign that he'll be your starting quarterback.
Not in Seattle though, where Pete Carroll is obsessed with competition. Russell Wilson, not Flynn, will be starting Friday night's game against the Chiefs and he has a legitimate shot to earn the job with a good showing.
This is unusual. A third round pick should not be beating out your high-priced offseason acquisition.
Bears, Giants meet in New York
Your nationally televised game of the week. We'll let the experts handle this one.
For the Bears to succeed, Windy City Gridiron writes:
The Bears should get some good measure on both line units in this one - of course the offensive line against the Giants' pass-rush, but also their own unit. Manning may be hard to bring down, but the addition of Shea McClellin may make getting to and sacking Manning a little easier. Of course, when he breaks the pocket, the back seven have to stay vigilant and not let guys get open, not the easiest task. Winning defensively will take the defensive line doing its job without much help or blitzes with short route protection and help over the top. And on offense, quicker reads and getting the ball out should help out against the fierce pass rush and keep the unit on its heels.
And the Giants need to do pretty much everything better, according to Tom Coughlin.
"Offensively we need to go. We need to get something done here. We have some people who need to show that. Yes, quite frankly, we had a special teams error in both games. That's got to be eliminated. We've got to put the ball in the end zone, that's something that's a challenge for the offensive team. The defense played well last week. We had the ball run on us the week before, so it's a consistency thing. Can we go do that week in and week out?"
This is another one of those 'I wish this one counted' type of games.