The NFL preseason isn't the most important thing out there for fans, but it means the world to players vying for starting jobs and roster spots, and of course it means plenty to the coaches. We can learn a whole lot by watching the preseason, even if the final score doesn't really matter much at all. Let's take a look at what went down on Friday.
Buffalo Bills defeat Minnesota Vikings, 20-16
The Buffalo Bills quarterbacks played so-so, and the battle for the starting job didn't gain any more clarity in the outing. Kevin Kolb made the start and completed 13 of 21 passes for 111 yards and no touchdowns, with one interception. E.J. Manuel took over and completed 10 of 12 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Manuel and Kolb have both started a preseason game and they've had similar stats thus far. It's unclear who will start heading into Week 3. The Minnesota Vikings looked sluggish throughout the game, and it wasn't until third-string quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson took over that the Vikings made it interesting. Bethel-Thompson hit Rodney Smith for a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it close near the end, but it wasn't enough.
San Francisco 49ers defeat Kansas City Chiefs, 15-13
Alex Smith took on the team that drafted him for the first time, but it wasn't anything worth writing home about. Smith completed 7 of 16 passes for 62 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Colin Kaepernick played even less, attempting just two passes.
The 49ers continued to try and get some receivers to step up, but there was nothing of note. B.J. Daniels, the fourth-string quarterback, won it for the 49ers with a touchdown pass to Chuck Jacobs in the final three minutes of play. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles did not play due to injury.
New Orleans Saints defeat Oakland Raiders, 28-20
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn both played longer than expected. Flynn completed 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, despite being sacked five times for 28 yards. Terrelle Pryor only managed one completion out of five attempts, for 9 yards.
Brees completed 14 of 18 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown, so it was an average handful of drives for him, of course. There wasn't much else to note for the Saints, though Mark Ingram managed nine carries for 30 yards and a touchdown. The Saints, as a whole, managed 286 passing yards to Oakland's 123, and 83 rushing yards to Oakland's 62.
New England Patriots defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 25-21
The big news earlier in the week was Tom Brady and his injury at training camp. Well, Friday confirmed that Brady's injury was minor, given that he started the preseason game and fired off a 26-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. Brady completed 11 of 12 passes for 107 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.
The biggest storyline for the Buccaneers was not a good one: running back Doug Martin sustained an apparent head injury and left the game after being tended to on the sidelines. He didn't return to action after going to the locker room. The extent of his injury is unknown, but the hit was particularly nasty, as he took a knee to the head.