On Tuesday all teams will be required to cut their roster down to 75 players. In most cases each team will release 15 hopefuls. Most of these guys don’t see much action, and if they do its only because the team is undecided.
Game 3 is also the most season like confrontation; the intensity, as we saw in Philly last night, will be at a different level than it has been so far.
The Snoopy Bowl as it is called, has been an annual event for many years. Jets Defense faces a Giants team that was as anemic as they were a year ago, and appear worst this year, as they try to learn a new system,. But we will concentrate on the boys in green.
Geno (the unnamed) starter will play the first half and one drive in the third. Michael Vick will probably play the rest of the game, as Simms and Boyd will split game 4. I expect Geno to test the Giants deep a few times to make sure the Raiders spend some time preparing for it. Geno will scramble, and spread the ball to his new toys. Eric Decker will be back in action after taking last week off. Jace Amaro has grown in each of the previous games, and should continue to do so. Chris Johnson will continue to get into game shape and test his knee a little more.
Defensively, all eyes will be on Calvin Pryor. The young bull was delayed by is first concussion, returned and played the majority of snaps last week. This week he will be punishing Giants receivers and running backs, NFL take notice, the mad bull is coming to see you soon.
Patriots, contrary to what we are led to believe, will play starters into the third quarter.
Good test for Mayo, Wilfork and co. to see how well they do against the run, especially with a mobile QB like Cam Newtown. Defensively, I will be interested to see if rookie Malcolm Butler continues to do well and play opposite Revis.
Offensively, Vollmer will not play, giving us an opportunity to see the depth. Brady and his young toys should be a interesting watch as well, however, I am most interested to see the running game. BB will not expose Tom too much, and I expect the Patriots to run a lot against a good run defense.
Among the players not expected to play: Vollmer, Hoomanawanui, Gronkowski, Stork, Slick’s favorite (Easley), Dobson and Silica.
I hope the players still have a little bit of the extra energy we have seen all week, during civil war like fights. This is an interesting game for the Bills, it is #4 but they will treat it as their third. In the previous three, the run defense, a huge problem last year, has been excellent. However, the record setting blitzing pass rush seems to have moved to Cleveland, as a result, the Steelers moved the ball at will and scored rather quickly. Tomorrow we will se if this area has been addressed. One has to wonder if the loss of Byrd is a lot more catastrophic than advertised. LB, remains an issue as injuries continue to accumulate.
Offensively, all eyes on EJ Manuel; no prized WR Sammy Watkins, EJ will have to quiet critics with a stellar performance. So far he has not lived up to Bills Nation and their Mafia expectations. CJ Spiller will be called on to carry the ball often, as we will see during the season as well. Offensive Line has not been good enough, Glenn’s return should help.
Bills will be at home, they will need to have a good performance so that next week key starters can be rested for what has been billed (no un indented) as the re-birth season.
Dolphins have had a good pre-season so far, game 3 should give us a better indication of what we will expect week 1, as they host the best team in the division.
The much-anticipated OL has performed well in these games; week 3 should be an even better barometer, although still not the level of play that the regular season offers. Ryan Tannehill must continue to impress, and although his chemistry has been great with all his weapons, it would be nice to see a deep pass to Wallace that had all the right things in it. Most interesting will be the running game, as Moreno is going to play.
Defensively, they have also had a good camp, although the LB position seems a bit thin at the moment. This is the area I’m sure the coaching staff will want to evaluate all game long.
Note: For the sake of great games, I truly hope no team comes away with any significant injury, enjoy!