NFL Hall of fame weekend has come to a close. After the Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday night, Sunday, Aug 3, 2014, there was NFL football played for the first time since the Seattle Seahawks historic 43-8 beatdown of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The first preseason game of the upcoming season featured two teams with question marks, as the New York Giants took on the Buffalo Bills in the annual Hall of Fame game. As with most preseason games, the starters saw limited time. The Giants did win the game 17-13. Giants QB Eli Manning is adjusting to a new West coast style offense, and Bills QB E.J. Manuel is trying to avoid a sophomore jinx.
For the most part, Manning looked comfortable, save a sack/lost fumble in the first quarter. Manuel looked physically okay, but did not have a great game, only completing 2 passes in limited action before giving way to Jeff Tuel. The biggest changes were to the game itself. The extra-point has been moved back from the 2-yard line, to the 15-yard line. There were no extra points missed, as any NFL-caliber kicker can make a 32-yard FG with relative ease (even if his name is 'Dan Carpenter'). Also, the sideline coaches began using tablets instead of the traditional pages of photos to review plays. All in all, nothing really earth-shattering, and fortunately there was only one injury, as NY Giants TE David Fells suffered a sprained knee. The severity of the sprain is not yet known.
Preseason football is never terribly exciting, but the best part is that it means 'real' football is only about a month away.
This week's preseason NFL game schedule:
Thurs AUG 7 - IND @ NY Jets 4:00 pm PT, NE @ WAS 4:30 pm PT, SF @ BAL 4:30 pm PT, CIN @ KC 5:00 pm PT, SEA @ DEN 6:00 pm PT, DAL @ SD 7:00 pm PT
Fri AUG 8 - MIA @ ATL 4:00 pm PT, BUF @ CAR 4:30 pm PT, TB @ JAX 4:30 pm PT, PHI @ CHI 5:00 pm PT, NO @ StL 5:00 pm PT, OAK @ MIN 5:00 pm PT
Sat AUG 9 - CLE @ DET 4:30 pm PT, PIT @ NYG 4:30 pm PT, GB @ TN 5:00 pm PT, HOU @ AZ 5:30 pm PT
*NFL training camp injury update - SF 49ers DL Glenn Dorsey - Torn bicep (out for season)
Eli Manning and Michael Strahan
Prior to start of Hall of Fame game, Giants QB Eli Manning chats with newly inducted Hall of Famer, former Giants DL Michael Strahan. Manning played in three offensive series, went 6-7 for 43 yards, and had one lost fumble. Manning and Strahan were teammates on the Giants Super Bowl XLII championship team.
E.J. Manuel looked mobile
Showing no signs of last season's injury, Buffalo QB E.J. Manuel had a lackluster couple of series. He went 2-7 for just 19 yards. Though moving well, Manuel was not very sharp with his reads.
Rashad Jennings to the rescue
Offseason acquisition Rashad Jennings made his debut in a New York Giants uniform. If the the Giants hope to get back to the power running which highlighted all four of their Super Bowl championships, Jennings will have to live up to billing.
Rookie RB Andre Williams
Giants rookie RB Andre Williams led the Nation last season, with 2177 rushing yards. The highly-touted Boston college phenom may see plenty of action this season, with RB David Wilson's NFL future now in doubt due to injury.
Bills QB Jeff Tuel
Backup QB Jeff Tuel saw plenty of action. He went 12-17 for 74 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. It is unlikely he would be chosen to start the regular season, but in the Hall of Fame game, he did look better than Manuel.