Five Things We Learned in the NFL this Week: Preseason: Week Three

So, let’s be real here for a moment. It’s still the preseason. I know that we’re all excited to see NFL Football, but let’s not crown a new Super Bowl Champion just yet. Week two rarely shows us anything new, with most teams only letting the starters out of the gates this week, if at all. So, hang tight as we try to figure out what can truly be learned in by watching smoke, mirrors and practice squad dudes.

1.Carli Lloyd has a boot

It’s being reported that two-time World Cup champion Carli Lloyd drilled a fifty-five yarder at the Eagles training camp and has since gotten some interest from NFL front offices. If you think she can’t do the job because she’s a woman 1) oh boy, are you on the wrong sports website and 2) watch some women’s soccer and get back to me. Carli Lloyd is a particularly strong player and if you think she won’t crush at least a few NFL kickers in conditioning drills, you’re nuts. One team reportedly offered her a roster spot for the final preseason tilt, but she couldn’t join up quickly as she and the USWNT are off to play a friendly against Portugal. But that might not be the end of it. In case you’ve missed it, women have kicked in competitive football at every other level, and with a few teams in dire need of reliable legs (ahem, Chicago), it’s only a matter of time before someone gives Lloyd a serious look. Let me make this clear: WE ARE HERE FOR THIS!

2.The Colts are out of Luck

In a move that shocked plenty of fans (and tanked thousands of fantasy football seasons), Andrew Luck hung up his cleats. To me, it’s actually not that surprising. Luck has been particularly injury prone, and the last two injuries have been exceptionally difficult to diagnose and rehab. That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow, but if you aren’t sure that your body can handle the load, you shouldn’t be in an NFL locker room. Especially at quarterback. You have to kind of feel for the four-time pro-bowl QB. He succeeded Peyton Manning on a Colts team that seemed ready to contend as soon as Manning’s long-time rival Tom Brady retired. Only that hasn’t happened, and Luck never became the AFC sure thing he was probably meant to become. Luck holds nine NFL records, many of them from his fantastic rookie season, but we’ll never know what could have been in a post-Brady AFC. The Colts seem to be taking the separation well, given that they aren’t seeking almost seventeen-million dollars-worth of prorated signing bonus that could be recouped. That’s mighty nice of them…Former Patriot backup Jacoby Brissett is now the starter in Indy, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Colts aren’t a lost cause with him under center.

3.Football fields are one hundred yards for a reason

In one of the preseason’s weirder stories, the Raiders and Green Bay met up on a CFL field in Winnipeg. The field alterations cost around a million Canadian dollars, and ostensibly the idea was to show our neighbors to the north what real NFL football looks like. Well that didn’t happen. After getting a quick glimpse of the mangled end zones, the teams decided that they’d play the game from the ten to the ten, meaning that the field was only a total of eighty yards long. That meant no kickoffs and sadly for Canadian fans, no Packers stars, either. The game was as absurdly weird as you’d imagine with the shortened field…Oakland won the scrimmage 22-21, and yeah, let’s not do that again.

4.Jimmy G is here… Or is he?

Another week, another opportunity for me to point out that a young quarterback looks good, but with a serious question mark. After last year’s lost season, Bay Area fans are lathered up to see their high-priced quarterback of the future sling it. The preseason hasn’t been kind, though. Garoppolo suffered a five-interception practice a few weeks back, then an abhorrent 1-for-6 performance for exactly zero yards and an INT last week against Denver. In short, he hasn’t looked like the next great 49ers signal caller. This week was different. Jimmy G went 14-for-20 for 188 yards and a TD. Not great, but not bad either. The only problem is his opposition. The Niners easily bested the defensively problematic Chiefs 27-17, so once again, caveat emptor.

5.Antonio Brown carries grudges

Everyone knew that the honeymoon was over in Pittsburgh, but I don’t think anyone knew how bad it had gotten. When Steelers QB Big Ben said he was sorry for publicly criticizing Brown’s route-running because it ruined the friendship, A.B. had the single most savage retort of all time. Per NFL.com the former Steelers wideout replied via twitter “Never friends just had to get my ends…….shut up already.” He’s since deleted the tweet, but damn…the Raiders won’t play the Steelers this season unless both teams make the postseason. As of this moment, I’m kinda rooting for that to happen…

Image Source: AP Images

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