Friday was a mostly uneventful night of preseason football in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes, C.J. Beathard, Joshua Dobbs and Davis Webb all made their preseason debuts, but none had the eye-opening performance that Mitchell Trubisky did Thursday night.
Instead, it was a night of mostly good and OK performances.
There were still some things to take away from the three preseason games, though. Here’s five things we learned Friday night:
The rookie quarterbacks keep looking good
After Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer all looked good in their preseason debuts, the pressure was on Patrick Mahomes to step up. He looked the part even if he finished with just 49 passing yards.
A good chunk of his yardage was called back by a holding penalty that negated a 40-yard pass on his first play from scrimmage. His highlight of the game instead was a touchdown pass across his body that was probably ill-advised but worked anyway.
On the other side, 49ers rookie C.J. Beathard looked good too. He led the team out of a 17-9 deficit with an 18-0 win in the fourth quarter for San Francisco. Beathard finished with seven completions on 11 passes for 101 yards with two touchdowns.
Things didn’t go as smoothly for Joshua Dobbs in Pittsburgh, but he bounced back from two early interceptions with some nice connections with Cobi Hamilton, including a 28-yard touchdown.
Altogether, the quarterback class from the 2017 NFL Draft is off to a strong start.
Roberto Aguayo is not over his yips
He may be the best college kicker of all time, but Aguayo hasn’t shown much in the NFL. He led the league in missed field goals during his rookie season and didn’t seem to be over his problems Friday night. In the Buccaneers’ preseason debut, the former second-round pick missed an extra point and a 47-yard field goal attempt.
Aguayo is competing with Nick Folk for the Buccaneers’ kicking job and wasn’t helped by the fact that Folk nailed a 45-yard field goal Friday. There’s a very real chance that he could get cut by Tampa Bay before the regular season begins.
Jeff Driskel is a talent worth developing
The Bengals quarterback situation is in good shape with Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron, but McCarron is due to become a restricted free agent in the offseason and is already the subject of trade rumors. It would make sense for the Bengals to begin their hunt for a new backup, but they might not have to.
Driskel spent the 2016 season as the third-string quarterback for the Bengals after he was claimed off waivers from the 49ers following preseason. On Friday we got a glimpse of what Cincinnati sees in Driskel.
He finished 8-of-9 passing against the Buccaneers for 97 yards and a touchdown pass. But it was his 18-yard touchdown run that was the play of the game for the Bengals.
If the Bengals were worried that trading McCarron would leave them in a precarious spot with the quarterback depth chart, maybe Driskel alleviated those worries a bit Friday.
T.J. Watt is here to play
After about six minutes of the first quarter of Pittsburgh’s first preseason game, first-round pick T.J. Watt already had two sacks. Neither was particularly impressive, but Watt was there, made the plays, and was a force on defense for most of the first half against the Giants.
The first sack came when the rest of the Steelers’ defensive line forced Josh Johnson to run out of the pocket straight into the arms of Watt. The second came unblocked when he burst into the backfield and didn’t fall for a play fake.
To prove he’s worth a first-round pick, Watt will have to actually beat opposing offensive linemen. But for now, he looked big, fast, strong and smart. That’s a good start.
The Giants’ backup quarterback job is still up for grabs
Josh Johnson entered Friday in the No. 2 spot on the Giants’ depth chart behind Eli Manning. Behind him was Geno Smith and Davis Webb.
But Johnson didn’t do much to separate himself from the pack. The New York offense looked dysfunctional with Johnson under center and he finished with just 31 yards on 10 pass attempts.
With Smith in the game, the Giants’ offense picked up steam and moved down the field, but he couldn’t punch in scores and threw a terrible interception in the second half.
Smith finished the game 10-of-16 passing for 114 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Webb played out the remainder of the game and completed half of his 16 passes for 67 yards. He looked fine, but still has plenty of growing to do.
The competition is really just between Johnson and Smith, but neither took a lead Friday. What’s better: The guy who did nothing, or the guy who did some good things and one really bad thing? It’s going to take more preseason reps to decide who comes out on top.