Published August 10, 2014
Tampa, FL – Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Johnny Manziel made his much-anticipated debut for Cleveland, but it was the Detroit Lions grabbing a 13-12 victory over the Browns in the preseason opener for the two squads. Manziel, the 22nd pick of this year's draft, took over under center in the second quarter and played the entire third, going 7-for-11 for 63 yards while adding 27 yards on six carries and leading the team on one scoring drive. Cleveland, coming off a 4-12 season that saw the team finish with double-digit losses for the sixth season in a row, saw the debut of new head coach Mike Pettine. Detroit also has a new coach in Jim Caldwell, who took over the reins after the Lions fired Jim Schwartz following a 7-9 season that saw the team lose six of their final seven games.
Final Score: NY Giants 20, Pittsburgh 16
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Curtis Painter's 3-yard touchdown pass to Corey Washington late in the fourth quarter led the New York Giants to a 20-16 preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. Painter, who completed all seven of his passes for 68 yards, was efficient, using over seven minutes of the clock with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in Washington's short touchdown reception. The Giants' defense stood tall in the final moments, forcing a fumble at their own 27-yard line to seal the win. Rashad Jennings led New York on the ground with 85 yards and a touchdown on five carries. Eli Manning started the game, but was just 0- for-2 passing. Ben Roethlisberger played the first drive for Pittsburgh and went 1-for-2, connecting with Dri Archer on a 46-yard pass to help set up Shaun Suisham's 26-yard field goal less than five minutes in.
Final Score: Tennessee 20, Green Bay 16
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jackie Battle's 7-yard touchdown run with 5:02 remaining gave the Tennessee Titans a 20-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night in the preseason opener for both teams. Zach Mettenberger completed three passes for 71 yards on the go-ahead drive and the Titans kneeled out the clock after the Packers couldn't convert a 4th- and-1 at the Tennessee 24. Jake Locker played just two series for the Titans, completing one of his two passes. Charlie Whitehurst saw much of the work, completing 10 of 15 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, running back Eddie Lacy and wide receiver Jordy Nelson were all healthy scratches on Green Bay's first team. Matt Flynn threw for 49 and Scott Tolzien passed for 124. James Starks rushed for 49 yards and a score.
Final Score: Arizona 32, Houston 0
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald connected on a score on the first drive of the game, and the Arizona defense stuffed Houston as the Cardinals thumped the Texans, 32-0, to open the preseason. Arizona is coming off a 10-6 season, the best record among the teams that failed to make the postseason. The Cardinals defense suffered several blows in the offseason, as linebacker Daryl Washington is out on a yearlong drug suspension and fellow linebacker Karlos Dansby went to Cleveland via free agency. In addition, linebacker John Abraham was recently charged with a DUI. However, the defense shined in the preseason opener as it held the Texans to just 172 yards of offense and nabbed two interceptions. Houston finished an NFL-worst 2-14 last season and have a new coach in Bill O'Brien. Top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney saw limited play and had one tackle in his first professional action. He had sports hernia surgery in June. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason and will be the starter when the regular season begins, had an inauspicious debut as he went just 6-for-14 for 55 yards and was picked off twice.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8
Final Score: Atlanta 16, Miami 10
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sergio Castillo kicked a pair of second-half field goals to provide the winning margin in the Atlanta Falcons' 16-10 preseason victory over the Miami Dolphins at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan played just one series for Atlanta but was flawless, going 7-for-7 for 53 yards on a 15-play sequence that ended in a Jacquizz Rodgers 2-yard run that tied the game at 7-7 near the end of the opening quarter. Ryan Tannehill also excelled on his lone drive for Miami, hitting on all six of his throws for 62 yards on a jaunt the quarterback culminated with a 6-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Gibson.
Final Score: Buffalo 20, Carolina 18
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Tuel's touchdown pass with six minutes left in the fourth quarter helped the Buffalo Bills hold off the Carolina Panthers for a 20-18 preseason victory on Friday. E.J. Manuel went 9-for-13 for 96 yards in Buffalo's first three drives. The second-year quarterback completed his first seven pass attempts before throwing an incompletion. Cam Newton, who underwent offseason ankle surgery, was inactive. Derek Anderson started for the Panthers and connected with first-round pick wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on a 29-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, capping a 10-play, 82-yard drive to give the Panthers a 6-3 lead. Kicker Jordan Gay missed the extra point.
Final Score: Jacksonville 16, Tampa Bay 10
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Denard Robinson's touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the preseason opener for both teams. Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, the third pick in this year's draft, went 7-for-11 for 117 yards in his first NFL action, leading the team on one scoring drive in about two quarters of action. Chad Henne started under center for the Jaguars and was 4-for-7 for 30 yards. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has a new head coach in Lovie Smith, who was hired in the offseason to replace Greg Schiano. Free agent signing Josh McCown, who played under Smith in Chicago, went 2- for-4 for 20 yards and an interception while starting under center. Mike Glennon was 11-for-19 for 140 yards and a score.
Final Score: Chicago 34, Philadelphia 28
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Zach Miller caught two touchdown passes and the Chicago Bears upended the Philadelphia Eagles, 34-28, in the preseason opener for both teams. Jay Cutler threw a 10-yard pass to Miller in the back of the end zone late in the first quarter, and Miller caught another touchdown pass from Jordan Palmer in the second. Cutler finished with 85 yards on 9- of-13 passing for the Bears, whose backups also proved effective. Palmer completed 8-of-11 throws for 104 yards with an interception, while Jimmy Clausen tossed for two scores. Philadelphia started slow with Nick Foles getting picked off twice in his three possessions under center. Mark Sanchez was an efficient 7-of-10 for 79 yards and led the Eagles' second-team offense to 14 points courtesy of Matthew Tucker's two touchdown runs.
Final Score: Minnesota 10, Oakland 6
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Teddy Bridgewater was 6-of-13 for 49 yards in his NFL preseason debut as the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Oakland Raiders, 10-6, in the exhibition opener for both teams on Friday. The rookie Bridgewater, who was selected with the last pick of the first round, did not start the game but did see reps with the starters. He took over for Matt Cassel after he led the Vikings to their lone touchdown drive on his only series of the game. Cassel finished 5-of-6 for 62 yards, while Cordarrelle Patterson caught three passes for 38 yards for Minnesota, which went 5-10-1 a year ago. Offseason quarterback acquisition Matt Schaub went 3-of-7 for 21 yards and free-agent running back pickup Maurice-Jones Drew registered 10 yards rushing on two carries and hauled in two passes for 14 yards for the Raiders.
Final Score: New Orleans 26, St. Louis 24
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Griffin threw for 179 yards and a touchdown as the New Orleans Saints opened the preseason with a 26-24 win over the St. Louis Rams. Griffin, a second-year product out of Tulane, came on for quarterback Luke McCown and completed 16-of-23 passes. He found first round pick Brandin Cooks for a 25-yard touchdown connection late in the third quarter that proved to be the difference. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson each ran for touchdowns, with Ingram racking up 83 yards on eight carries. Cooks caught five balls for 55 yards in addition to the score for the Saints, who finished with an 11-5 record in 2013 and won their postseason opener against the Eagles. Veteran signal caller Shaun Hill threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Rams, while Austin Davis picked up 134 yards and a score on 10- for-16 passing. Both starting quarterbacks, New Orleans' Drew Brees and Sam Bradford of the Rams, were given the night off.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7
Final Score: NY Jets 13, Indianapolis 10
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Furney kicked a go-ahead 51- yard field goal with 1:18 remaining and the New York Jets defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 13-10, in the preseason opener for both teams on Thursday. Second-year quarterback Geno Smith was 4-of-6 for 33 yards and had a 10-yard run. He's in a battle for the starting job with Michael Vick, who was 3-of-6 for 17 yards and led the Jets to their lone TD drive in the second quarter.
Final Score: Baltimore 23, San Francisco 3
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Tucker hit three field goals and the Baltimore Ravens rolled to a 23-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the preseason opener for both teams Thursday. In a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII, it was the Ravens again coming out on top as Bernard Pierce's touchdown run in the first quarter gave the team all the points it needed.
Final Score: Washington 23, New England 6
Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Kirk Cousins played the majority of the opening half and threw a touchdown pass in Washington 23-6 preseason victory over New England. The Patriots rested starting QB Tom Brady, while new Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson sat due to a left ankle injury. The Patriots also rested cornerback Darrelle Revis. Robert Griffin III played the first offensive series and led the Redskins to a field goal from Kai Forbath.
Final Score: Kansas City 41, Cincinnati 39
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - De'Anthony Thomas had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown and Sean Smith returned an interception 36 yards for a score as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 41-39, in the preseason opener for both teams on Thursday. Alex Smith played three series, going 3-of-5 for 19 yards, while Jamaal Charles carried the ball three times for 12 yards and added two receptions for nine yards for Kansas City, which went 11-5 and made the playoffs in its first year under head coach Andy Reid in 2013.
Final Score: Denver 21, Seattle 16
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Brock Osweiler's 34-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Norwood in the fourth quarter gave the Denver Broncos the lead in a 21-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. Both teams started their preseason schedule just over six months after Seattle routed Denver for its first Super Bowl title. The game was delayed for 45 minutes because of lightning with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter after Ronnie Hillman's 1- yard touchdown gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead.
Final Score: San Diego 27, Dallas 7
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Cowboys' biggest weakness heading into the 2014 NFL season is on the defensive side of the ball. That area was a problem in 2013, and it remained a problem in the Cowboys' 27-7 preseason loss to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. Philip Rivers played one series and completed all four of his passes for 61 yards.