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Defenses typically are able to hinder offenses when it comes to preseason football, and is largely the reason why preseason totals are so low. The variance of totals is also due to the fact of second and third string quarterbacks stepping onto the field after only a few series by the starters. In case you missed some of the preseason action Thursday, here is quick recap of the starting quarterbacks and how they did on their few series on the field.

Most Impressive: Philip Rivers
It wasn’t the stats that jumped out from Philip Rivers, it was his attitude and leadership. He completed five of six throws and led the Chargers to a field goal drive in his short action. He was enthusiastic and appears to have shed some body fat percentage as he looks leaner. With a new head coach and offensive coordinator in Ken Whisenhunt, Rivers may finally be rejuvenated.

Losers: Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, and Josh Freeman
Peyton only played a series so I won’t be highly critical of his few throws on the field. The series did not last long and he ended it with a third down hurried throw under pressure that fell short while he was hit. Russell Wilson on the other hand was up to his old tricks of scrambling outside the pocket. That worked a year ago but it may be more difficult for him now that teams know his strengths. When it came to throwing the football he struggled to hit his receivers. Once again Wilson was only on the field briefly but it was a poor grade for the Seahawks first string offense. Freeman’s woes have carried over to the start of another season. He’ll need to show some signs of improvement quickly or the Buccaneers will lean in another direction before this season is over.

Impressive Second/Third Tier Quarterbacks: Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford, Brandon Weeden
St. Louis vs Cleveland looked like a scrimmage for the most part with Bradford and Weeden in at quarterback. Simple routes were left wide open, and both Bradford and Weeden had no problem picking apart either defenses. I think their performances were inflated as a result, but the key is they did well. Both quarterbacks threw for over a hundred yards with a touchdown each, which would check them out with a high grade for their first preseason game. Cousins is setting himself up nicely for a possible Matt Schaub type of deal once he is a free agent. He performed well in relief of RG3 last year and has handled the backup role in the proper demeanor. He went six of seven with a touchdown in leading the first team offense for the Redskins.


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