The preseason is all about evaluating players and getting ready to play real football once September rolls around. There is no bigger position in sports than the quarterback position of an NFL squad, and as such, our winners of week 1 list is largely shaped by a variety of quarterbacks.
Robert Griffin III took a little while to warm up in his first NFL action, but once he did, he looked poised and in control of the Redskins' offense. The Redskins paid a huge price tag to move up in the draft, and it already looks like Griffin will be able to adjust to the speed of the pro game just fine.
When the Broncos abandoned the Tim Tebow project in favor of a quarterback that didn't play a down in 2011, many fans were ready to riot. In his one drive and only drive of week 1, Manning was in control of the offense, and his arm looked ready to go. He was intercepted near the goal line, but it wasn't a bad decision, just an unlucky deflection. I'd say the Broncos have finally found their trigger man.
The Colts won their preseason opener by an astounding score of 38-3. More importantly, Andrew Luck looked like he owned the Colts' offense from the first snap, which resulted in a 63 yard touchdown pass (although the ball only traveled 4 yards through the air). On a day all about Luck's debut, the young quarterback delivered in a big way.
The Jaguars have often been cited as being one of the worst teams in the NFL, but if their Friday night game against the Giants is any indication, they're a long way from being at the bottom of the barrel. Blaine Gabbert looked more comfortable than I can recall in the pocket, especially on the Jaguars' opening drive, and their defense is every bit as good as they have claimed. The Jaguars should be solid if they keep it up.
After what was likely the toughest week of his life, head coach Andy Reid led his team to a victory against one of the best all around football teams in the league. It was a game that the Eagles managed well, especially in the second half. I know that most preseason games really are meaningless, but I got the feeling that getting the "W" meant something to those players, those coaches, and especially Andy Reid.
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