Week 2 of NFL Preseason Features Eight National TV Games
August 13, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Football is back. All 32 teams have played at least one game. Now it’s on to Week 2 of the preseason with Kickoff Weekend rapidly approaching.
“The first preseason game was good to get the rust off and evaluate where we’re at,” says New Orleans Saints cornerback KEENAN LEWIS. “We have four games to get ready for the regular season and I think we played extremely hard in the first one and that puts us in a good spot going forward.”
Eight games will be featured on national TV, starting with the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting the Chicago Bears on Thursday night (8:00 PM ET, ESPN) and concluding with the Washington Redskins hosting the Cleveland Browns in primetime on Monday (8:00 PM ET, ESPN).
*Joined live in progress (game starts at 10:00 PM ET)
Some of the highlight games in Week 2 of the NFL preseason:
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at CHICAGO BEARS (Thursday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET)
Both the Jaguars and Bears were victorious in their preseason openers.
Jacksonville got touchdowns from safety WINSTON GUY (68-yard interception return) and wide receiver/running back DENARD ROBINSON (23-yard run) as the Jaguars defeated Tampa Bay 16-10. Jacksonville rookie quarterback BLAKE BORTLES, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 Draft, made his NFL debut and completed seven of 11 passes for 117 yards.
“The main thing is we’re all excited to be here,” says Jaguars linebacker PAUL POSLUSZNY. “We just need to work on improving our communication and getting better each day.”
In Chicago, the Bears opened their preseason campaign with a 34-28 victory over Philadelphia. Starting quarterback JAY CUTLER threw the first of Chicago’s four touchdown passes on the night and the Bears defense recorded three interceptions.
“It was a good win,” says Chicago head coach MARC TRESTMAN. “It took all 90 guys and all four quarters to win this game. I’m really excited about that. It’s going to take all 60 minutes to win games all season.”
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Friday, NFLN, 7:30 PM ET)
Leading up to Friday night’s contest, the Eagles and Patriots will conduct two joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I’m looking forward to this week,” says New England head coach BILL BELICHICK. “It’ll be a big opportunity for our team and for each of us individually to improve on where we were last week.”
Last week, Philadelphia running back MATTHEW TUCKER rushed for two touchdowns and rookie wide receiver JOSH HUFF had a 102-yard kickoff-return touchdown in the Eagles’ preseason opener.
“Well, the kickoff return was set up by my teammates,” says Huff, who was drafted by the Eagles in the third round. “I couldn’t have done it without them. That kickoff return was something special for me and my teammates.”
New England rookie quarterback JIMMY GAROPPOLO, the team’s second-round pick, saw his first NFL action last week and completed nine of 13 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at DALLAS COWBOYS (Saturday, NFLN, 7:00 PM ET)
The Ravens opened the preseason with a 23-3 win over San Francisco. Starting quarterback JOE FLACCO led Baltimore on an 80-yard touchdown drive in his only series and set the tone for a Ravens offense that amassed 386 yards.
“You expect to go out there and have a good drive,” says Flacco, who completed four of five passes for 52 yards. “You envision good things happening. You have a good idea of what plays you’re going to run. It went on schedule.”
Quarterback BRANDON WEEDEN started at quarterback for the Cowboys and completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown to tight end JAMES HANNA in Dallas’ preseason opening loss at San Diego.
“I thought there were some good things and still a lot of areas that we need to improve,” says Cowboys head coach JASON GARRETT about the team’s performance in the opener.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at CAROLINA PANTHERS (Sunday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET)
The Chiefs scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in last week’s 41-39 win over Cincinnati. Kansas City had two interception-return touchdowns (SEAN SMITH, 36 yards and MALCOLM BRONSON, 51 yards), two offensive touchdowns (TRAVIS KELCE, 69-yard pass and CYRUS GRAY, two-yard run) and a punt-return score (DE’ANTHONY THOMAS, 80 yards) in the opener.
“We want to score touchdowns in all three phases of the game and we were able to do a pretty nice job of that,” says Chiefs head coach ANDY REID about the team’s performance.
In Carolina’s opener last week, rookie wide receiver KELVIN BENJAMIN made an acrobatic play to haul in a 29-yard touchdown pass.
“We knew he had big play ability and those are the kind of big plays we are looking for,” says Panthers head coach RON RIVERA about Benjamin, the team’s first-round selection.
CLEVELAND BROWNS at WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Monday, ESPN, 8:00 PM ET)
Week 2 of the preseason concludes on Monday night with the Browns visiting the Redskins.
Last week, the Browns opened the preseason with quarterback BRIAN HOYER as the starter. Hoyer completed six of 14 passes for 92 yards before being replaced by rookie JOHNNY MANZIEL, who was drafted by Cleveland in the first round. Manziel completed seven of 11 passes for 63 yards and added 27 rushing yards in his NFL debut.
“They both did some things more suited to their skill set,” says Browns first-year head coach MIKE PETTINE.
Washington’s JAY GRUDEN, another first-year head coach, got his first victory last week with a 23-6 win over New England.
The Redskins’ starting offense – led by quarterback ROBERT GRIFFIN III – opened the game with an 11-play drive that resulted in a field goal.
“We came out and did what we wanted to do,” says Griffin. “Got the starters in and out and had an effective drive. We got some points and almost had a touchdown.”
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS, AUGUST 7-9
2014 PRESEASON WEEK 2 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY-MONDAY, AUGUST 14-18
(All times local)