Friday's slate of games was about exciting as preseason football gets, with offensive fireworks in Eagles-Patriots, several dominant quarterback performances and a moment of controversy in Chargers-Seahawks.
After only one game on Thursday, Week 2 of the NFL preseason continued on Friday, highlighted by a crazy game in Foxboro. Here is the full recap of the four-game schedule:
Nothing serious appears to have happened for any of the teams. Philadelphia Eagles corner Cary Williams went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter, leaving under his own power. Brandon Boykin replaced him in the first quarter. In New Orleans, Saints starting corner Keenan Lewis left in the first half with an apparent foot injury and did not return.
The Chargers lost nose tackle Sean Lissemore to an ankle injury. He'll get an MRI to determine the extent of it.
Charlie Whitehurst hurt his hand, but it turned out to be relatively minor. The injury gives Zach Mettenberger some time to make his case for the backup job. Shonn Greene hyperextended his knee. It's something to keep an eye on since he's had knee surgery in the past.
Derek Carr took the worst of it, suffering a concussion when he was hit during a fourth quarter scramble. He'll have to pass the league's concussion protocol before he can be allowed to practice or play again.
Patriots 42, Eagles 35
Tom Brady saw his first preseason action of 2014 and played well, going 8-of-10 for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception. On the pick, reserve tight end Steve Maneri appeared to run the incorrect route, leading to an easy pick-six for Cary Williams. Running back Stevan Ridley had nine carries for 45 yards. Second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo came in for Brady and went 6-for-12 with two touchdowns.
Nick Foles posted the exact statistics of Brady, sans the interception. He was under pressure much of the night, sacked only once, but pressured on numerous occasions. Mark Sanchez put on a show in relief, hitting on 11-of-12 for 117 yards with two scores and a pick.
Eagles rookie receiver Jordan Matthews shined bright, catching nine passes for 104 yards.
Saints 31, Titans 24
Tennessee lost, but had plenty to be excited about. Fourth-year quarterback Jake Locker starred, completing his first seven passes and with ending up with a final line of 8-of-11 for 75 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Zach Mettenberger relieved Locker and showcased his potential, throwing for 269 yards on 19-of-24 with two scores and an interception. Second-year receiver Justin Hunter broke out for 111 and a pair of touchdowns.
Drew Brees took the night off, but the Saints still rolled behind Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin, who combined to throw four touchdowns and no interceptions on 12-of-19 and 13-of-20 passing ,respectively.
The two teams combined for 29 penalties and 255 yards.
The Seahawks showed why they are defending champions. Russell Wilson went a tidy 11-of-13 for 121 yards, and running back Robert Turbin enjoyed a big game with 81 yards on 12 carries. Seattle dominated the first half, outgaining the Chargers, 260-122 for a 24-7 advantage on the scoreboard.
San Diego played most of its starters through the first half, except for Philip Rivers. Rivers stayed in for the initial drive before giving way to backup Kellen Clemens. Rivers went 2-of-4 for 20 yards. Keenan Allen had the lone Chargers touchdown, catching a 13-yard strike.
Seattle continued its domination in the second half. Terrelle Pryor got in the game, and contributed to scoreboard with a 44-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. There was a moment of controversy when a Tharold Simon pick-six was called back due to an iffy illegal contact call. You be the judge:
The Raiders pulled off the thriller of the night, beating the Lion on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Matt McGloin to Brice Butler with six seconds left in the fourth quarter. McGloin went just 7-for-15 passing, but made the most of his completions, piling up a team-high 114 yards passing.
The one point difference is notable. Lions kicker Nate Freese missed an extra point in the first quarter, in another bit of evidence that the NFL's experiment with longer point-after tries is having an effect. It was an odd night for Freese, who later made up for his gaffe with 55-yard field goal. It was a weird night for the kicker:
So to recap, Nate Freese booted the opening kickoff through the uprights but then missed an extra point.
— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) August 16, 2014
There is little question that the Lions' first teamers beat the Raiders' first teamers. Matthew Stafford was a sparkling 9-for-10 passing for 88 yards, and discovered depth in the receiving corps with touchdown passes to Golden Tate and Kris Durham. Matt Schaub was a paltry 8-for-13 for 87 yards and an ugly interception, and the Raiders carried a 16-10 deficit into halftime.
The second half was more encouraging for the Raiders, however. Rookie Derek Carr managed the offense well at quarterback. He completed all seven of his passes on a third quarter touchdown drive, eventually finding tight end Jake Murphy for a 3-yard score. For the game, Carr went 9-for-16 for 109 yards and a score.