Saturday we had a full slate of preseason NFL games. A total of nine games were played, and there was plenty of action to take in throughout the evening.
The Panthers and Titans played the lone afternoon game and gave us lots of scoring to kick off the day. The 34-27 win for the Titans was highlighted by a pair of former college standouts — Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey.
In the evening, we had everything from the Cowboys looking dominant, the moment group celebrations were born again, a kick-six, throwing a fumble, and Kellen Moore bringing the Cowboys down quickly. Oh, and Pat Mahomes looked pretty darn good.
Here’s the best and worst from Saturday’s games.
1. Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry party like it’s 2015
The 2015 Heisman Trophy went to Derrick Henry because he racked up 28 rushing touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey had to settle for second, even though he had a ridiculous 3,864 all-purpose yards.
Both players played just the first half of a preseason matchup Saturday, but their performances head-to-head mirrored that 2015 season.
Henry bulldozed his way to two touchdowns and 36 rushing yards on 16 carries against one of the NFL’s best rushing defenses.
McCaffrey had just five touches, but tallied 33 rushing yards, 39 receiving yards, and scored a touchdown of his own.
Both players should play prominent roles in 2017 and absolutely nobody who watched college football in the last two years should be surprised by that.
2. The Dallas Cowboys’ opening drive was perfect
One of the biggest criticisms of Dak Prescott last season was that he didn’t find Dez Bryant enough. On the opening drive, Dak and the Cowboys offense went 95 yards down the field, capped off with a Dak-to-Dez touchdown.
Prescott finished the evening 7-of-8 passing with 106 yards, a touchdown, and a passer rating of 158.3.
It’s preseason, and the Colts defense looked pretty bad to start this one off, but the Cowboys should feel good about seeing Prescott handle them with ease.
3. The Detroit Lions broke out a wonderful group celebration
The NFL decided to chill when it comes to penalties on celebrations during games. It didn’t decide to let things be a free-for-all, but one of the things players can do now is group celebrations.
We’ll give that one a 10/10. Here’s to hoping that gets surpassed multiple times as the season goes along.
4. A 109-yard kick-six to end the half
It does not matter if it’s preseason. If you take a kick back 109 yards in any football game, you deserve praise. Deonte Thompson did that to close out the first half for the Bears against the Cardinals.
Give that man some oxygen. (Chris Davis’ was still better because of circumstances.)
5. Michael Crabtree could be a Harlem Globetrotter
Michael Crabtree — chain-snatching victim — took Troy Hill’s ankles on his way to the end zone against the Rams.
This is just filthy.
That’s some Allen Iverson, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, And 1 Mixtape, Harlem Globetrotter level ankle-taking.
1. Kellen Moore
After Dak Prescott’s hot start, Kellen Moore came in and quickly cooled things off. He was stripped by Barkevious Mingo, and Lavar Edwards took the football back to the house for six.
Moore completed just 10 of 21 passes in the game. Third-string rookie Cooper Rush entered later and threw two touchdowns.
2. Noah Brown destroying Colts punter
Noah Brown — who blindsided us with arguably the best catch in college football last season — blindsided Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez, who was down on the field for a solid minute.
Former Colts punter Pat McAfee tweeted some advice for the new guy on the block:
3. Look alive!
The Patriots’ Justin Coleman didn’t get out of the way of this punt, but lucky for him, teammate Kenny Moore recovered it.
If there’s one team you really don’t want to do that on, it’s the Patriots. Bill Belichick won’t have it.
4. Brian Hoyer’s non-throw
Brian Hoyer somehow managed to throw the ball -3 yards, where Denver was able to recover the football near midfield.
Hoyer is expected to be the starter for the 49ers going into the season. Kyle Shanahan couldn’t have been too confident after seeing a blooper like that one.
5. All these penalties, only for them to be offset
Pete Morelli could barely keep himself from laughing after the Broncos and 49ers combined for five penalties on one punt. It’s hard to blame him, especially when you hear another official giving him help on making the call.
6. Christian Hackenberg compliments the Lions for something they didn’t do
Hackenberg said he thought Lions did a great job studying their tape. Stafford said team barely watched tape at all prepping for this game.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) August 20, 2017
The Jets only managed two field goals in the 16-6 loss, both in the fourth quarter.
We’re halfway through the preseason, folks. It’s only going to get more interesting.