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 four rarely shows us anything new, with most teams keeping their real game plans and healthy heroes for the regular season. So, hang tight as we try to figure out what can truly be learned in by watching smoke, mirrors and practice squad dudes.
1.Seattle is about to make some noise
Week four of the preseason is often about the off the field stuff, and this year is no exception. By gambling on himself and refusing to sign his franchise tender, Jadaveon Clowney stifled a possible trade to Miami. He wanted to play for a contender, and with Clowney coming off the edge, he’s on one. After the Miami trade talks dissolved, the Seahawks swept in with a third-round pick and a few players. Houston didn’t get anything close to Clowney’s value in return, but they might make up for it in other ways. More on that in a second.
2.Melvin Gordon isn’t getting paid (this season, anyway) by the Chargers
Gordon still hasn’t reported, and no one is sure if or when he will. What we do know after this week is that the Chargers aren’t going to talk about it anymore. The brass in L.A. aren’t willing to go into the season discussing their running back’s contract. So, for Gordon, it’s “take it or leave it” time. (Note: this management tactic is exactly the one I employ when my three-year-old daughter is attempting to hold out for ice cream for breakfast) Gordon and his rep are free to pursue trades (Not an option that I allow in negotiations with my daughter), and that right there tells you everything you need to know about Gordon’s chances of getting a big payday out of the Chargers.
3. The Texans are the team to beat in the AFC South
While it’s absurd to say the Texans got better by letting Clowney go, they did improve their team in another important way. Houston mortgaged the future, giving up two first rounders, a second rounder and two other players to bring in Laremy Tunsil to protect Deshaun Watson. Improvement on the offensive line was the single biggest need for these Texans, and Tunsil is a VAST improvement over anyone on that Texans O-Line. Coupled with the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck from the Colts and the Texans should be in the driver’s seat this season.
4. Postseason games are (again) unnecessarily risky
There are any number of injuries that I could point to here, I’m going to use New England’s Julian Edelman as an example. Why? Because he sat out almost all of the preseason rehabbing a broken thumb. He then caught one pass (a nice-looking twenty yarder from Jarrett Stidham) and landed on his theoretically healed left hand. Edelman then left the game after the single completion. Rumors are that Edelman should be fine, but the question is: Why? Why do we play meaningless football? The regular season can’t come soon enough.
5.The Bears have a kicker
After what seems like an eternity of uncertainty, the Bears are rolling with Eddie Pineiro come week one against the Packers on Thursday. The former Raiders kicker was on IR after going undrafted in 2018. He’s been solid this preseason, but just to make Chicago fans a little uncomfortable, he shanked the living hell out of an extra point attempt this week against the Titans. Get your popcorn, girls and boys.
Image Source: AP Images