Newly-signed Vick, Raiders RBs among preseason Week 3 winners
One word of caution seems entirely appropriate: Vick's play before 2010 at times left us breathless as well, but he has been a 16-game starter just once in his first eight NFL seasons. At 31, he may be better than ever, but he's not an indestructible quarterbacking machine. He can't keep getting hit like he did against Cleveland last Thursday night. The Eagles had best protect their big investment, in any number of ways, on any number of fronts.
Patience really isn't part of the equation any more for first-round QBs, and Newton won't be allowed to have too many regular season games that look like his ugly and inaccurate Week 3 showing at Cincinnati (6 of 19 for 75 yards, with four rushes for 49 yards) without setting off alarm bells far and wide. In other words, Newton can't afford to get anywhere near Tebow territory in terms of the tone and tenor of his early-career critiques.
The Saints demolished the Raiders 40-20 in Oakland Sunday night, and the New Orleans offense was machine-like at all times, rolling up 514 yards and 29 first downs. I don't care if it's preseason or Pop Warner, that's a boatload of production. A trip to powerful Green Bay looms in next week's Thursday night opener, and Atlanta and Tampa Bay are going to be formidable in the NFC South, but look out for these Saints. I think their mojo is back.
Against the visiting Texans Saturday night, the 49ers in the first half scored no points on offense, rolling up just 50 yards and three first downs. They followed that up in the second half with zero points, 55 yards of offense and three more first downs. At this point, Seattle getting to open the season at San Francisco next month seems like the league handing the Seahawks an extra bye week.
The kid from Virginia Tech is a playmaker, and I liked the moxie he showed in leading Baltimore to that late touchdown in its entertaining, come-from-behind 34-31 win over Washington Thursday night. Taylor threw for 125 yards and a touchdown on 11 of 18 passing, and ran twice for 31 yards. The Ravens seem to have growing confidence in him, and even though they have Super Bowl aspirations, I'm not sure an injury of any sort to starting quarterback Joe Flacco would be the season-ruining disaster many of us assumed.