Football is finally back, with the Hall of Fame game taking place last week, it was time for a majority of other teams to get back in action Thursday night. All four of the teams in the AFC East played their first preseason game, with the New York Jets being the only one not to come away with a victory. On the AFC East Roundup this week, we recap the main takeaways from the games.
The Bills were able to come away with a 24-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field. Although it was only for two series, the starting defense looks legit even with Jerry Hughes and Micah Hyde not playing. The defense held Indy’s offense—led by Jacoby Brissett—to eight plays total for 21 yards, with both resulting in punts. The players looked good for a defense returning most of their starters and they looked fast and ready to go. On offense, Josh Allen was 6-for-11 for 66 yards with some good and bad passes. Most of his decision making was good. Last year there was a play where he was scrambling out of bounds and decided to chuck the ball downfield for an easy situation. When faced with the same situation last night, Allen instead opted to just throw it out of bounds to live another down—showing maturity from last season.
This was the first chance for the team to get a good look at their quarterback competition between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen. The Dolphins defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-27, but the winner in the battle at quarterback was undetermined. Fitzpatrick only threw five passes, completing two for 20 yards. Meanwhile, Rosen went 13-for-21 for 191 yards but also threw an interception. Going forward, the second and third preseason games may shed some light on the competition, as Fitzpatrick should get more time to play with the starters and it would be expected that Rosen may get a chance as well. Watch out for receiver Preston Williams who snagged four balls for 97 yards.
It was a battle of the New York teams with the New York Giants defeating the Jets 31-22. Sam Darnold had an efficient night completing four out of his five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Prized free agent Le’Veon Bell did not play in the game as he gets back in the swing of things but their other big free agent on offense, Jamison Crowder, did. He only had two grabs but one of the two went for a touchdown. The defense did let rookie Daniel Jones execute a perfect 5-for-5 touchdown drive, but it’s the first preseason game so it shouldn’t be that much of a worry.
New England beat up on former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and his Detroit Lions by a score of 31-3. Tom Brady did not play in the game as he tends to do but the other quarterbacks who did definitely showed up to play. Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer combined for over 300 yards and three touchdown passes. Also, neither one of them threw an interception. Nick Brossette got the bulk of the carries for the team with 22 for a total of 66 yards. We don’t go too much into detail on the Patriots’ preseason games because usually they rest the starters and work on the depth players on the roster. Look for Brady and company in the second or third preseason game before we get a taste of what’s to come this season.