It is just the preseason. I haven't watched many full games so far, but I'm sure that very few teams look, um, sharp. That certainly applies to the NFC West, where things might best be described as sloppy. Hopefully, the St. Louis Rams look more polished tonight, so we don't have to withstand the humiliation of opposing fans laughing at us. We've been down that road once or twice before, you know. A quick round up of some notable preseason action so far.
New Orleans 24, San Francisco 3
Any preseason report should start with a caveat about the final score; it means nothing. However, scoring just three points over an entire sixty minutes, against second and third team players for most of the game, would be a little troubling. Alex Smith looked awful (shocking, I know). He went 2 for 7 for ten yards. The real story here was that Smith and rookie Colin Kaepernick were almost killed by New Orleans' fearsome pass rush.
Seattle 24, Los Angeles/San Diego 17
Your thoughts on the Seahags aside, I do sort of feel for them on losing Russell Okung, again, to an ankle injury. There's no telling how long he'll be on the sidelines, but it is the same injury he suffered last year. As a football fan, I appreciate talent, and Okung has plenty of that. However, talent means nothing if you can't stay on the field to use it. As with the 49ers, Seattle didn't have great pass protection. Tavaris Jackson and the offense looked very rough. Chalk it up to preseason jitters, to some extent. Charlie Whitehurst played a much better game against SD's second team.
Arizona 24, Oakland 18
Oakland's sloppy play sent the chattering classes into a frenzy. New Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb has a ton of preseason playing time to his credit, and he didn't look half bad in Thursday night's action. He does have Larry Fitzgerald to work with, and was able to make quick throws to avoid pressure. That alone could make them a competitive team on occasion this year.
Philadelphia 13, Baltimore 6
Yeah, so it's only the preseason, but the Eagles look pretty good. They'll either run the table this season or melt down. I'll be most interested to see how they handle a little adversity with that much ego in one room. I've thought for a long time that the Ravens might be on the decline, at least temporarily. The Rams play the Eagles to open the season, and they face Baltimore in week 3.