NFL preseason 2013: Is Tim Tebow finished & more lessons from Week 4

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason wrapped up on Thursday night. Here's what we learned in Week 4.

Did you get a good look at him? Thursday night's preseason finale between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants may have been Tim Tebow's last game in the NFL. Teams have to trim their rosters from 75 to 53 players by the end of the day Saturday, and the world's most famous backup quarterback didn't do anything to seal his case for one of those final spots on the Patriots' depth chart.

He looked like the Tebow we saw in Denver. There was the 52-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Sims, one of two scores Tebow threw. But there was also an interception, and that same old awkward, ineffective style he uses to throw the ball. He did manage to add six runs for 30 yards ... all against a smattering of undrafted free agents and former practice squad players.

If Tebow does stick around, it's going to take some furious lobbying from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Unless, he's finally given up on that dream too.

Oakland still has a QB problem

I hope you weren't too prematurely excited about Terrelle Pryor starting under center for the Raiders. One week after exposing Matt Flynn as a questionable offseason move by a front office in crisis, Al Davis' last draft pick belly-flopped with a 3-for-8, one interception performance.

Rookie Tyler Wilson was more effective. By the way, the word effective can sometimes be a fancy way of saying being very "meh." He completed eight of 12 passes for a grand total of [adding machine noises] 65 yards. But he didn't turn it over.

Struggling Stafford

Staying with the theme of terrible quarterback play, the Lions put their regular starter, Matthew Stafford, into the last preseason game of the season. He's struggled in exhibition play so far, so the extra reps would be a good tune-up ... or so they thought.

Stafford completed just one pass in six attempts, and he added an interception for good measure. Detroit has to hope this is just preseason noise with Calvin Johnson getting most of the preseason off. Stafford has one game this month where he's completed more than 50 percent of his passes.

Small sample sizes this time of year can be deceiving. The Lions better hope that's the case, or it's going to be another long year for a team that once seemed done with long years.

Who is the man in Denver?

Obviously, it's Peyton Manning, but in this case we're referring to the running back situation there. Ronnie Hillman got the token start. He carried the ball twice for 14 yards. Not playing Thursday night were Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno.

Were the other two backs just resting? Did John Fox just want to give Hillman a little boost?

The Broncos haven't named a starter yet. During the week of practice leading up to this game, Hillman was in with the first team. But Ball took over for him in Monday's practice. We've got one week before we know for sure which backs will get overshadowed by Manning and his receivers.

Patton rising?

Quinton Patton was one of those under-the-radar wide receivers in this year's draft who earned the praise of a lot of scouts. San Francisco's fourth-round pick this year, the Louisiana Tech product made his first preseason start on Thursday night against the Chargers. He caught two passes for 52 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick in the first quarter.

A broken finger limited Patton to start training camp. He wasn't even cleared to catch passes until Aug. 16. A little work in Thursday's exhibition was exactly what he needed.

That's good news for the 49ers, who had to deal with the fallout from missing on another young receiver, former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins. With Michael Crabtree on the shelf indefinitely, a Super Bowl contending team needs confidence and some signs of production from its receiver depth.

Another Jets quarterback

The Jets' starting quarterback situation is a mess, in case you hadn't heard. But at least the team can take confidence that the third quarterback role is settled.

Matt Simms completed 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards against a porous Philadelphia defense. He didn't throw any touchdowns on those passes, but he didn't throw any interceptions either, which is almost as good as a touchdown for the Jets these days.

Right now, it looks like a shoulder injury is going to keep Mark Sanchez on the bench for the season opener. Geno Smith is expected to start. Don't forget about Matt Simms; the Jets will probably have to turn to him at some point this season.

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