NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review of the action so far, including the schedule for upcoming games.
The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Green Bay Packers on Friday night, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Detroit Lions hosted the New York Giants, the Miami Dolphins hosted the Atlanta Falcons, and the Cleveland Browns hosted the Washington Commanders.
The Arizona Cardinals completed the evening with a comeback victory over the Denver Broncos.
Several of Friday’s games featured quarterback battles, with Baker Mayfield showing signs of improvement for the Bucs and Jake Browning emerging as a likely backup to Joe Burrow.
The New England Patriots hosted the Houston Texans on Thursday, while the Seattle Seahawks welcomed the Minnesota Vikings.
C.J. Stroud, the Texans’ No. 2 overall pick, had his first NFL repetitions in a start, going 2-for-4 for 13 yards and an interception before coach DeMeco Ryans reverted to incumbent starter Davis Mills.
Mills finished 9-of-12 for 99 yards and a touchdown before Case Keenum took over at quarterback.
Patriots supporters, on the other hand, will have to wait at least another week to see how quarterback Mac Jones has adapted to Bill O’Brien’s new offense.
Geno Smith, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl quarterback, stood by as backup Drew Lock took the field. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the second of Seattle’s two first-round picks, and Vikings first-rounder Jordan Addison both saw their first NFL action Thursday night.
Here are the key takeaways from each game thus far, as well as the remainder of the Week 1 preseason schedule.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Friday, August 11th Games
Next in this NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 review, we are going to analyze the games from Friday, August 11th, 2023:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Green Bay Packers 36, Cincinnati Bengals 19
Green Bay Packers
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Green Bay Packers.
First in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s check out the Packers.
Jordan Love didn’t take long to get going, and he didn’t stay in the game for long, either. On the other hand, what the Packers saw in their new starter’s first two series should give them hope.
He connected with five different receivers, including Romeo Doubs for the touchdown (a disputed 9-yard fade) and his longest completion (12-yard crosser).
He completed 7 of 10 passes for 70 yards and one touchdown. He was 4 for 5 on play-action passes for 28 yards.
A strong link was the only thing that was missing. To end the first season, he threw Luke Musgrave, who was wide open.
One play before, his pass for Christian Watson was picked off. Even though his blind-side defender, David Bakhtiari, probably won’t play in any warmup games, Love was never put under pressure on any of his 10 dropbacks.
After halfway, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said on TV:
“I thought he looked calm, like he had everything under control.”
“Obviously, on that first series, he’d love to have the flashback to Musgrave, but all in all, I thought it was a very productive day for him.”
Now, the Packers have to decide whether Love has played enough in the preseason or if he will play again next week. In relief, rookie backup quarterback Sean Clifford led four scoring drives, three for scores and one for a field goal.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Cincinnati Bengals.
Next in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s see how the Bengals performed.
Could there be frontrunners in a few interesting job races? Jake Browning, who was the third-string quarterback last year, played the whole first half with the rest of the second-team offense. In the second half, Trevor Siemian, who just joined the team, played with the first-team offense.
At right tackle, Jonah Williams took the night off, and Jackson Carman played. Browning ran with the starters during Friday’s practice with Green Bay, and he got a lot of work.
Williams is the clear choice for the offensive line spot, based on how much he played (or didn’t play) on Friday and what assistant coach Frank Pollack said earlier in training camp.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Detroit Lions 21, New York Giants 16
Now in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s analyze the game between Detroit and NY:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Detroit Lions.
Now in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, it’s time to analyze Detroit’s performance.
Jameson Williams, a wide receiver, was the center of attention during his first practice game. He had a few highs and lows during the game. As he said he would, Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave a lot of reps to the No. 12 overall pick in 2021 while he is banned for six games for breaking the NFL’s rules on gambling.
In the third quarter, Maurice Alexander returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown. He then caught a two-point conversion pass with one hand. On Detroit’s first drive, however, Giants safety Jason Pinnock intercepted a deep pass that was meant for Williams that was thrown by backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
On another long play in the first quarter, Sudfeld tried to find Williams, but they were out of sync because Williams moved to the middle of the field while the pass went up the left side.
Seven times, Williams was a target, and he caught two passes for 18 yards. At 5:50 in the first quarter, he dropped a long pass, which made some people boo.
The Lions rested many of their players, including quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and defensive tackle Aidan Hutchinson, after a couple of practices with the Giants during the week.
New York Giants
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: New York Giants.
During his first practice game, wide receiver Jameson Williams was the center of attention. During that game, he had both good and bad moments. As he said he would, Lions head coach Dan Campbell gave the 12th overall pick in 2021 a lot of reps while he was suspended for six games for breaking the NFL’s rules on gambling.
After Maurice Alexander scored on a 95-yard punt return in the third quarter, he caught a two-point conversion pass with one hand.
On Detroit’s first drive, though, Giants safety Jason Pinnock picked off a deep pass from backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld that was meant for Williams.
On another long play in the first quarter, Sudfeld tried to find Williams, but they were out of sync because Williams cut to the middle of the field as the pass went up the left side.
Williams was targeted seven times, and he caught two passes for 18 yards. At 5:50 of the first quarter, he missed a deep pass, which got a few boos from the crowd.
After several joint workouts with the Giants this week, the Lions gave many of their regulars a break. This included quarterback Jared Goff, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, and defensive lineman Aiden Hutchinson.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Atlanta Falcons 19, Miami Dolphins 3
Let’s continue this NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review with the game between the Falcons and the Fins:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Atlanta Falcons.
The most important thing to learn on a night when almost all of the Falcons’ offensive and defensive stars didn’t play was how the team works as a whole. This was very clear on defense, where Atlanta played very well in the first half. Atlanta beat Miami 6-0 in the first half.
Be safe. One pass was picked off in the red zone by DeMarco Hellams, and two other plays were stopped inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line.
During the regular season, those would have been field goal attempts, but it’s still a good sign for the kind of defense Ryan Nielsen wants to run. Hellams was picked by the Falcons in the seventh round, and he was all over the ball in the first half. He is trying to make the team.
Overall, Atlanta had three interceptions of Miami’s passers, five sacks, and nine hits on the quarterback. Nielsen likes to see defenses like this.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Miami Dolphins.
The fight over who would be the second quarterback went nowhere. Mike White got the ball first and played the entire first half. He made 9 of 14 passes, which added up to a total of 85 yards. He took two drives into the red zone, but on Miami’s first drive, he threw an interception in the end zone.
On the second drive, he was unable to make a fourth-down conversion. Skylar Thompson wasn’t much of an improvement. He was 10 for 16 and had 104 yards, but he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Friday night, neither quarterback did a very good job. White still has the lead, but neither player did much to help their case.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Now it’s time in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review to analyze the game between the Steelers and the Bucs:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Pittsburgh Steelers.
A Coach Mike Tomlin was quick to say that second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett needed more preseason reps than an experienced quarterback might, but Pickett and the Steelers’ first-team offense only played one series in the win against the Bucs.
Pickett did a great job in his short time on the field. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 70 yards and a score. The one pass he didn’t complete was a throw away to avoid getting sacked. Pickett kept his cool as he went through his progressions, like when he hit Diontae Johnson for 11 yards to convert 3rd-and-10 and when he hit George Pickens for 33 yards and a score on 3rd-and-8.
Without Pickett, the Steelers’ offense wasn’t as good, but Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph showed flashes of explosiveness that they didn’t have a year ago. Rudolph threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to second-year wide receiver Calvin Austin in the third quarter.
A year ago, Pickett’s pass to Pat Freiermuth was the Steelers’ longest pass play. It went for 57 yards. Even though it’s only the preseason, the offense looks good so far.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In the Bucs’ quarterback battle, Baker Mayfield made the first move. He got the start and completed 8 of 9 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown pass to Trey Palmer from 10 yards out.
Most importantly, he didn’t lose the ball, which was the most important thing to show after making nine interceptions in 12 practices.
Kyle Trask needed to show that he could make plays downfield, and he did so by completing a pass to David Moore for 23 yards.
However, on the same drive, a pass he threw to Moore was picked off. He made six of ten throws and had 99 yards and one interception. Mayfield was the better passer on Friday night.
Next week, when Trask starts at the Jets, we’ll see if that holds true.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Washington Commanders 17, Cleveland Browns 15
Next in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s check out the game between the Commanders and the Browns:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Washington Commanders.
The start quarterback Sam Howell had in the preseason should make Washington happy. He wasn’t amazing, but he did a good job. Yes, the offense got off to a slow start. The offensive line was mostly to blame for the first two bad drives.
They let too much pressure in, especially from the right tackle Andrew Wylie, and didn’t make any running spaces. The result was two runs of 10 yards. But Howell and the offense finished strong with a score on their third and final series. Howell ran and threw to get yards (9 for 12 for 77 yards).
He made plays last longer, and to move the pocket, he also used something called “sprint roll-outs.” This season, they’ll have to do that a lot. Since defensive end Myles Garrett didn’t play, the line has a lot to show.
But Howell didn’t force any throws, and Jahan Dotson caught a 26-yard pass to end the last drive. This season, that could be a good way to work together.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Cleveland Browns.
When Deshaun Watson played his first set of the preseason, he was sharp. After a one-hour weather delay, Watson completed all three of his passes for a total of 12 yards and, even more amazingly, ran three times for 20 yards.
The drive ended when Cleveland was stopped at the goal line on fourth down. But Cleveland’s franchise quarterback had a good game, especially after the six bad games he started for the Browns last year. After practicing with the Eagles, Watson probably won’t play in Cleveland’s preseason game in Philadelphia next week.
But coach Kevin Stefanski has said that Watson will get one more tune-up in the final preseason game in Kansas City before the regular season starts.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Arizona Cardinals 18, Denver Broncos 17
Now in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s analyze the results of the game between he Cardinals and the Broncos.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Arizona Cardinals.
Before Friday night, no one knew what to expect from the Cardinals’ defense, but it showed a unit that may be better than expected this season. Even though it was the first preseason game, the way the front seven put pressure on Russell Wilson, the Broncos quarterback, isn’t likely to change.
Before the second unit took the field, defensive lineman L.J. Collier batted down a pass, linebacker Dennis Gardeck sacked Wilson, and the Cardinals’ starting defense had three QB hurries, including one right after Gardeck’s sack.
And at one point in the first quarter, outside linebacker Zaven Collins, who switched positions this summer, made a huge hit. The second team’s strength gives us hope that the Cardinals’ defense can help hold this team together while Kyler Murray works on getting back.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Denver Broncos.
The Broncos have had problems with depth all throughout training camp, and they showed up again in their first preseason game on Friday night. The players who were meant to start left the game in the second quarter, when the Broncos were up 10-0 and in control.
After that, the backups had trouble. For example, the Cardinals stopped a field goal, the backup offensive tackles got four penalties, and the backup quarterback, Jarrett Stidham, had a bad game (5 of 15 passes, 1 interception).
Among the backups, defensive lineman Elijah Garcia, who had two sacks, safety Delarrin Turner-Yell, and rookie running back Jaleel McLaughlin stood out. With 1:30 left to play, McLaughlin scored a touchdown from 4 yards out, but one of the team’s biggest worries going into training camp is still one of the team’s biggest fears.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Thursday, August 10th Games
And, our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 review, wouldn’t be complete without analyzing the two Thursday 10 games:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Houston Texans 20, New England Patriots 9
Let’s start our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review of Thursday’s games with the one between the Texans and the Patriots.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Houston Texans.
C.J. Stroud had trouble in his first preseason start, which could keep Davis Mills in the lead for the quarterback job. Stroud played two series and went 2-for-4 with one interception for 13 yards. Mills completed 9 of 12 passes and scored a touchdown.
Coach DeMeco Ryans gave Stroud all of the first-team offensive reps in practice because he seemed to know how to run the system better than the other candidates. But in his first NFL game, he was hesitant, got sacked, and threw an interception that led to a field goal for the Patriots.
He didn’t have great cover, and on 60% of his dropbacks, he was under pressure. On the other hand, Mills threw a touchdown pass to rookie receiver Tank Dell to give the Texans their only point of the first half.
New England Patriots
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: New England Patriots.
Most of the stars didn’t play on the night that second-round draft pick Keion White made his debut, but he did well. The 290-pound defensive end from Georgia Tech stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and started on the edge.
He was destructive and always near the ball. He ended up with three stops, and one of them was on running back Dare Ogunbowale when quarterback Davis Mills made a mistake. Linebacker Calvin Munson picked up the loose ball and turned it over.
White’s play and the fact that first-round pick Christian Gonzalez is starting at cornerback add some youth to a strong defense that brings back all of its players except for Devin McCourty.
When it comes to defending, the Patriots are the best in the NFL.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 results: Seattle Seahawks 24, Minnesota Vikings 13
Last but not least in our NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review, let’s check out the game between the Seahawks and the Vikings:
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Seattle Seahawks.
Drew Lock has been in the NFL for four years, but he hasn’t put it all together yet. On Thursday night, he showed why the Seahawks still think he’s a good enough quarterback to start. Geno Smith and most of Seattle’s veteran first-team players got the night off, so Lock started against Minnesota and played until the fourth quarter.
This is because the Seahawks want to give him as many reps as possible this preseason, since he didn’t play a single snap in the regular season last year.
He sometimes looked like he was shaking off the effects of sitting on the bench for almost a year. But he mostly showed off the skills that got him picked in the second round and made him a guy Seattle really wanted in the Russell Wilson trade.
Lock made 17 of 24 passes for 191 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on a throw that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1 Review: Minnesota Vikings.
As he fights for the No. 2 job behind starter Alexander Mattison, running back Ty Chandler took advantage of a longer look Thursday night. Chandler played for almost the whole first half. He ran 11 times for 41 yards and caught 4 passes for another 29 yards.
Along the way, he showed that he could get the first player to miss the ball. Coach Kevin O’Connell said at halfway that he did this on some plays where the blocking wasn’t great.
Kene Nwangwu has been hurt for most of training camp, and DeWayne McBride is having trouble as a rookie. At this point, Chandler has a clear road to the No. 2 job.
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Saturday, Aug. 12
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills: 1 p.m. ET
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears: 1 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers: 4 p.m. ET
Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys: 5 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens: 7 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams: 9 p.m. ET
NFL Preseason 2023 Week 1, Saturday, Aug. 12
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints: 1 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders: 4 p.m. ET
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