Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL PRESEASON WEEK 2 REPORT:
WE PREVIEW FRIDAY’S FOUR GAMES INCLUDING EAGLES-PATS & CHARGERS-SEAHAWKS
PLUS THERE’S GROWING “HEAT” ON SOME OF THE NFL’S NEW COORDINATORS
By Jim Hurley
Gotta say that one of the really intriguing parts about this year’s NFL Preseason games is the coverage a batch of new coordinators are getting:
For example, the New York Giants—fresh off a non-playoff season for the fourth time in the past five years—are attempting to fix a “broken” offense (that’s what co-owner John Mara called it, remember?) and so the NFC East team brought former Green Bay Packers’ QB coach Ben McAdoo to get things right but so far in the Jints’ two preseason games the timing between quarterbacks and wide receivers is awful (see last year) and there’s been major difficulties when it comes to starting QB Eli Manning doing things just right.
Then take the situation in St. Louis:
One-time New Orleans Saints Super Bowl-winning Gregg Williams—Mr. BountyGate himself—is trying to reinvent himself back with old buddy Jeff Fisher with the Rams and yet in last week’s 26-24 Saints win at the 1½-point favored Rams, Williams’ defense surrendered 5.9 yards per offensive play (and 5.1 yards per carry) and so with all the talk about the St. Louis defensive “depth” the fact of the matter is Williams is very much in a prove-it situation after bouncing around since that aforementioned 2009 Super Bowl season.
There are other coordinators on both sides of the ball that’s gonna continue getting the microscopic treatment from the media—and that includes yours truly here at the Jim Hurley Network®—and from their NFL peers and so keep an eye on what happens the rest of the way this preseason because there could be heat mounting on folks such as McAdoo, Williams and others.
On Friday Night, it’s…
PHILADELPHIA (0-1) at NEW ENGLAND (0-1)—7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network
The Patriots won’t play all of their injured/veteran players here in this preseason gig, but expect QB Tom Brady (DNP in last Thursday’s 23-6 loss at 2½-point fav Washington) to get some snaps while the Eagles report WR Jeremy Maclin left yesterday’s rain-soaked practice with New England because of a tight hamstring.
Maclin had been competing all week against New England CB Darrelle Revis (and doing rather well, we might add) and that’s been a great challenge, of course—but now the oft-injured Maclin says he’ll try and test the hammy in this preseason game but odds are he’ll sit or be very limited in his snaps.
Best stat from last week’s 34-28 Eagles loss in Chicago:
Philly TE Zach Ertz caught a team-best four balls for a team-high 60 yards in that tilt at Soldier Field and we say watch Ertz carefully here because he could be catching a lot of the passes that once-upon-a-time were tossed in the general direction of new Washington WR DeSean Jackson.
TENNESSEE (1-0) at NEW ORLEANS (1-0)—8 p.m. ET
We touched on the topic a bit in yesterday’s edition of "Jim Sez", but what about that 8-carry, 83-yard rushing, 1-TD game by New Orleans RB Mark Ingram, who appeared quicker/stronger than ever before in last week’s win in St. Louis?
The Saints— and who can blame ‘em—want to know if this is the new/real Ingram who could perk up a ground game that last year ranked a lowly 25th in the NFL in rushing (92.1 yards per game) and it’s worth noting N’Orleans played that game last Friday without QB Drew Brees (oblique) and word is the Saints probably will sit Brees once again here even though he did participate in some team passing drills yesterday afternoon.
Tennessee, meanwhile, is starting to admit that maybe second-string QB Charlie Whitehurst (10-of-15 passing for 94yards in last week’s rainy 20-16 win/cover against 3-point road underdog Green Bay) can put some heat on incumbent QB Jake Locker, who has started only 18 of a possible 32 games for the Titans the past two years.
Football Season is Finally Here!
6-1 in Week 1 of the Pre-Season!!!
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Folks, Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers want to welcome you to the start of the 2014 Football Season.
It all began with the annual Hall of Fame Game back on August 3rd, and we've cruised to an early 6-1 start in the Pre-Season. There’s still another three full weeks of money-making NFL Preseason Games straight ahead and it continues to rev up beginning Thursday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars battle the Chicago Bears on ESPN.
It then rolls on with Four (4) games on Friday featuring Philadelphia at New England and San Diego at Seattle—and then there’s Eight (8) more games on Saturday including Baltimore at Dallas, Two (2) games Sunday including the prime-time Fox telecast between Kansas City at Carolina and then Preseason Week 2 wraps up with that aforementioned game between Manziel’s Cleveland Browns at Washington next Monday Night on ESPN.
Plus the College Football campaign swings into high gear later in the month with a full weekend card scheduled for Thursday, August 28th through Monday, September 1st.
Also, take note that America’s #1 Handicapper continues to bang out lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online at www.vegassportsmasters.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-888-777-4155 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners and get all the Football & Baseball winners … can’t beat that, right?
The NFL Preseason, the start of the College Football year and Baseball action too—always a major money-making time of the year for the Jim Hurley Network!
In other Friday action, it’s…
DETROIT (1-0) at OAKLAND (0-1)—10 p.m. ET
Hey, we gotta wonder what’s left in the tank for the host Raiders here after the silver-and-black was involved in—get this—five separate brawls while scrimmaging with the next-door neighbor Dallas Cowboys the past couple of days in Oxnard.
No doubt the Raiders have bigger fish to fry as their cornerbacks experienced big-time headaches in dealing with the Cowboys’ bigger/stronger wide receivers and so let’s see in limited time whether or not Detroit WR Calvin Johnson—protective finger splint and all—will make some highlight plays here in his quarter-or-more play in the Bay Area.
Meanwhile, Detroit backup QB Dan Orlovsky (12-of-23 passing for 89 yards with one sack in last weekend’s 13-12 home win against 1½-point fav Cleveland) is staying ready after starter Matthew Stafford committed 14 turnovers in his final seven games a year ago—hey, nobody’s saying Stafford’s job at No. 1 is in trouble, but do keep in mind Orlovsky is a Jim Caldwell “favorite” after the two spent time in Indianapolis a few seasons ago.
SAN DIEGO (1-0) at SEATTLE (0-1)—10 p.m. ET
Don’t look for Seahawks LT Russell Okung in this interconference tilt—Seattle head coach Pete Carroll told a local radio station that his Pro Bowl blocker will sit out one more week after undergoing off-season surgery to repair a torn ligament in a big toe.
Seattle also reports that fourth-round draft pick DE Cassius Marsh (UCLA) suffered a knee injury in Wednesday’s team practice and won’t be able to go here—note that in last Thursday’s penalty-filled 21-16 loss at Denver (a pick ‘em affair) Marsh finished with four tackles including one quarterback sack and looked wonderful.
On the flip side, the SD Chargers DL Corey Liuget did not practice yesterday because of a lingering ankle injury. Don’t expect Liuget to suit up for this tilt against the defending Super Bowl champions.
NOTE: Get more NFL Preseason Week 2 Previews in tomorrow’s Jim Sez column.