The Dallas Cowboys used their running game to take a 10-3 halftime lead, but the San Francisco 49ers reserves made the most of their opportunity in the second half. San Francisco outscored Dallas 17-3 after the break to win the NFL preseason contest by a 20-13 final score. The victory improved the Niners NFL preseason mark to a perfect 3-0.
The NFL couldn’t have scripted a better ending to the first nationally televised Monday Night Football contest of the preseason. New York Giants rookie Tommie Hill returned a fumble 18 yards for a touchdown with 0:00 on the clock to break a deadlocked game and give his team a 24-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers in NFL preseason action at The Meadowlands.
Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was played in an unusual venue, but produced the expected result. In the NFL’s third regular season game in London, England the Patriots showed the Wembley Stadium crowd why they’re among the league’s best as they methodically dismantled the Bucs en route to a 35-7 victory. Oddly, it took a trans-Atlantic trip for the Pats to get their first road win of the season-the Bucs were ‘officially’ the home team in the contest. New England QB Tom Brady threw for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns, though was picked off twice in the workmanlike victory. Tampa Bay remained winless, slipping to 0-7 while New England improved to 5-2.
The Pittsburgh Steelers used a 17 point fourth quarter outburst to break open a close game and send the Arizona Cardinals to defeat by a 20-10 score in a NFL preseason rematch of this years Superbowl. The two teams traded first half field goals and played a scoreless third quarter before Pittsburgh turned up the offense late in the game.
Despite losing to the New Orleans Saints in their NFL preseason opener 17-7, the Cincinnati Bengals had a lot to be happy about. Most significantly, they were elated over the return of QB Carson Palmer after he’d missed most of the last NFL season with an elbow injury. Palmer’s play–133 yards on 7 of 11 passing–gave them even more to be happy about despite being on the wrong end of the final score. Of course Cincinnati has had very low standards for success lately, and it was more of a ‘silver lining in a dark cloud’ situation than anything else.
Despite the fact that neither their starting QB Carson Palmer nor his Indy counterpart Peyton Manning saw action, the Cincinnati Bengals will take their wins however and whenever they can get them. For that reason, they had to be heartened by their NFL preseason ending 38-7 home rout of the Indianapolis Colts. The Bengals evened their NFL preseason record at 2-2, while the Colts dropped to 1-3.
Even when the games don’t count and the starters play little, if at all, the Baltimore Ravens hate to lose. Despite the Atlanta Falcons starting QB Matt Ryan playing only one series and with the Ravens third string signal caller John Beck playing the entire game it was apparent that Baltimore wanted the victory more. The former BYU standout threw for 232 yards and a pair of touchdown passes as the Ravens easily beat the Atlanta Falcons 20-3 at the Georgia Dome. The victory gave the Ravens an undefeated NFL preseason mark at 4-0, while the Falcons finished the exhibition campaign with a 2-2 record.
The Detroit Lions nineteen game losing streak is over. On Sunday afternoon at Ford Field in Detroit the Lions held on for a 19-14 win over the Washington Redskins. The Lions hadn’t won a game since December 23, 2007 and had already tied the second longest losing streak in NFL history. It may not have been pretty, but the streak is now over and the Lions wont have to worry about comparisons to the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who lost a record 26 games in their first two seasons as an NFL expansion team.
In a NFL preseason game characterized by rainy weather, sloppy field conditions and a quick exit for both teams starters, the Miami Dolphins outlasted their in-state rivals the Jacksonville Jaguars by a 12-9 score. Only one touchdown was scored in the game, which was a battle of field goal kickers until the third quarter. Miamis game winning score came on a 33 yard touchdown strike from Chad Henne to tight end Ernest Wilford.
The New York Giants have made quarterback Eli Manning the NFLs highest paid player by offering him a six year, $97.5 million contract extension. Manning will earn just over $15 million a year, and $35 million of the contract is guaranteed. Should Manning play through the end of his contract hell be a Giant until 2015, meaning there’s a decent chance hell play his entire career with the team.