The start of the NFL regular season is just days away, and there’s a lot to digest from recent news and NFL preseason games. From injuries to on-field performance, this is all of the most important information that any fan or bettor can take from the past week in the NFL.
The Giants Offense is Getting Better
Over the weekend, the Giants played what could potentially be an early season starter offensive line against the Jets. Performance was promising, and we can see a lot of early potential in this team. After what was an ugly interception for Eli Manning, guard John Jerry was subbed for Brett Jones. Jones has previously played in the CFL and he made himself imposing while he was on the field. After replacing John Jerry, the offense performed much better and we could even go as far as describing it as ‘good’.In the past, the defense has had to carry the offensive side of the Giants, so seeing Eli Manning able to find his receivers and create opportunities meant that we could be looking at a vastly improved side this year. Combine that with a defense that we already know is good, and we could be looking at serious contenders for the playoffs by the end of this season.Paul Perkins was also strong against the Jets, proving that Ben McAdoo’s decision to name him as a starting running back was not a mistake.
The Giants Defense is as Good as it Was at the End of Last Season
Despite losing out to the Packers in the playoffs last year, most analysts would agree that the Giants had one of the best defensive sides in the NFL. Being able to carry performance from one year to the next is not always easy, but the Giants have shown early signs that their defense is just as good as it was in the post season. Jason Pierre-Paul impressed with a sack in the game, and he was critical in disrupting the Jets’ game plan. It seemed that any time the Jets were about to do something; the Giants would limit their productivity. Christian Hackenberg [New York Jets Quarterback] would have been immensely frustrated, and unfortunately for him, the Giants made him look like a very average player. The Giants managed two interceptions against Hackenberg, with two of them ending up as touchdowns. Dontey Deayon, a reserve in the corner, took one of those interceptions for one of the touchdowns. He also made four tackles overall. Calvin Munson totaled six tackles in the game. When there are players who are able to pull out defensive plays like this ahead of the season, even players that are sitting in reserve, then it’s clear that the Giants are on the right track to get impressive results this year. With an offense that is improving, it’s easy to speculate the Giants are going to go a long way this year.
The Bills Quarterback Situation Looks Dire
While the Giants will be giving bettors a lot of hope in future picks and predictions, the Bills are in a more precarious position ahead of the season. In their Saturday game against the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion which saw him leave the field. This on its own wouldn’t be much to worry about, but news came on Sunday that another player, T.J. Yates, was also out from a concussion, and this leaves the team with only one healthy quarterback. Nathan Peterman is their one remaining option. Being a rookie, he will benefit from the time on the field, but head coach Sean McDermott will need to be looking for a backup to play in their next game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday.Concussion injuries can sometimes have quick turnarounds, but there’s no set rule for how long it’s going to take a player to get back into play. They depend entirely on the exact nature of the impact that led to the concussion, and the team medical staff will ultimately determine when it’s safe for Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates to get back into play. The Buffalo Bills play their regular season opening game against the New York Jets on September 11, and they will be hoping that all of their quarterback lineup will be ready by the first game.
Chicago Bears Also Lose a Key Player
Wide receiver Cameron Meredith took a huge hit in the weekend, and was taken off the field by staff in the first quarter of play. This could be a season ending injury, as staff believe that he has suffered from a torn ACL. Although the injury has not yet been confirmed, video of the moment the injury occurred is particularly worrying. The awkward tackle below the knee resulted in a gruesome twist as Meredith’s entire body weight went in the opposite direction. The low tackle came from Tennessee Titans safety, Johnathan Cyprien. Meredith will now have an MRI that will determine the extent of the injury. Meredith has been seen as an important member of the 2017 lineup, after leading the team in receptions in the previous season. This will be particularly disappointing for the team, as Meredith had already started to develop a strong on-field relationship with Mike Glennon.If the injury is confirmed as an ACL tear, it will leave the Bears in a difficult position. They let go of Alshon Jeffery in the offseason, allowing him to enter free agency, rather than negotiate a contract with him. Jeffrey will now play with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.
NFL Preseason: One Week Until the Regular Season
There’s one more week to go until the regular season begins, and teams will be hoping they can avoid injuries in their final pre-season games. We’ll bring more updates as we have them, along with updated expert predictions and power rankings as the regular season progresses.