The first full week of preseason is in the books, and it’s time to wildly overreact to what we saw. That means that if your team looked good, they’re definitely winning the Super Bowl — if they looked bad, then they’re absolutely going to suck. I don’t make the rules here, I just enforce them.
Okay, yes, we can learn things from preseason. It’s important to see a team’s depth and isolate players who could step up into starting roles or how a new scheme is meshing — but that’s not nearly as fun as drawing huge conclusions from scant data, so let’s deliver some scorching takes based on one week of backup football!
Kellen Mond should start!
Outgoing coach Mike Zimmer didn’t hide his disdain for Kellen Mond after the Vikings took him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and it seemed he’d be destined to more or less do nothing until his contract ran out.
Now, with new people in charge, Mond is getting another change and in one game he pretty much locked down the backup QB job. Mond was accurate, he pushed the ball downfield, finishing 9-for-14, 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Obviously Kirk Cousins will be the starter this year, but man… Minnesota may have their future in the wings if this holds.
Kenny Pickett is the future!
There was a ton of pressure on Pittsburgh’s first round rookie QB to come out and assuage some fears, especially after a bad training camp followed by Malik Willis lighting it up on Thursday night.
The Steelers were so smart, because they didn’t ask Pickett to really do anything difficult — which allowed him to shine. Not much deep throwing, letting the receivers pick up YAC, and it worked brilliantly because as it stands he looks like a franchise QB. We’ll let this play out some more, but the future looks bright.
A great, great weekend for Pickett.
The Bills are amazing!
There was no reason for Josh Allen to take a snap this week, and the result was pretty clear: Buffalo remain excellent. Matt Barkley and Case Keenum were both pretty mediocre — but this was a great team performance as a whole, beating the Colts who should be a challenger in the AFC.
The Bills’ defense looks great, the depth is solid and when Allen is the full time starter and they have their difference maker at QB, well, yeah … they’re going to be great again.
The Broncos are winning the Super Bowl!
Denver looked totally in charge against the Cowboys this weekend without Russell Wilson playing a snap. Heck, most of the starters didn’t even take reps in the team’s 17-7 win. To be fair, neither did Dallas — so if you want to look at this like a push, cool.
What stood out to me is the astounding receiver depth the Broncos have now. We knew about Cortland Sutton, Tim Patrick (who just underwent knee surgery) and Jerry Jeudy, but rookie Jalen Virgil was a huge deep threat against the Cowboys, catching three passes for 84 yards and Brandon Johnson adding another 64 yards, including a 40 yard bomb from Josh Johnson.
Patrick will miss the 2022 season due to an ACL tear which required surgery, but there’s plenty of hope at the position with these young players stepping up.
Meanwhile Denver’s defensive was stingy enough to hold its own. Keep an eye on this team.
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