Posted on August 10, 2019, by Travis Pulver

The NFL preseason rolled on Friday night with just a pair of games; one between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the other between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. But it is only the preseason, so the stars were not out for long if they were out at all.

However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have any good football. We just didn’t know the names of the guys who were playing it!

Via @NFLonSP

However, some good things did happen, and there were several things worth noting in each game. Of course, like every preseason game, observations have to be taken with a grain of salt—but they are still worth making.

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The Observations

1.      There may be hope for Jameis Winston (5-6 for 40 yards and a touchdown) after all. He only played for one series, but it was a good series (12 plays, 81 yards) that resulted in a touchdown. But at the same time, you could also say he played it safe.

2.      Tampa Bay still can’t run the ball as their two primary running backs, Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, combined for 36 yards on seven carries. If they can’t do better, it is going to be hard for the Bucs to win games this season.

3.      Could James Washington be the No. 2 guy the Steelers need? If his performance Friday night is an indication, he could be. Washington had four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown, including a 43-yard reception and a 22-yard catch on a 3rd and 21 play.

4.      Devin Bush is going to be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year. In one half, he had ten tackles including seven solo ones and was a disruptive force throughout the night.

“I was just feeling it,” Bush said after the game, via ESPN. “I was just having fun. [I think] that’s the biggest thing, I was having fun and playing football.”     

5. Minnesota’s offense looked nice! All four quarterbacks looked good (although Jake Browning didn’t play for long). Kirk Cousins looked sharp (4-4 for 65 yards and a touchdown), Sean Mannion looked good (7-13 for 102 yards and a touchdown), and Kyle Sloter had a solid night as well (6-7 or 62 yards and a touchdown).

6.      However, it is that the Vikings managed to gain 213 yards on the ground in 27 total carries (although 102 yards came on two carries), they need to do it again (and again…). Because a better running game will take a lot of pressure of Cousins during the regular season.

7.      The Saints need someone to step up and be the No. 2 guy next to Michael Thomas in the passing game. If his 33-yard catch and run for a touchdown is any indication rookie Lil’Jordan Humphrey may be the guy.

8.      Keep an eye on Cyril Grayson. Why? Because the rookie had a solid night for the Saints with a beauty of a 32-yard catch from Teddy Bridgewater in the first half and a 40-yard return on a kickoff. The Saints will want to see more of the former LSU speedster during the preseason for sure.

Next Week

Tampa Bay will try to get on the right side of the scoreboard next week when they host the Miami Dolphins Friday night. The Steelers will see the Kansas City Chiefs come to town on Saturday. But the Vikings and Saints will not play again until Sunday. Minnesota will host the Seahawks while the Saints will head out west to take on the Chargers.

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