There were two big storylines from Week 1 of the NFL preseason: How promising the four first-round rookie quarterbacks looked and a devastating injury suffered by a rookie running back.
Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson continues to say that veteran Tyrod Taylor will be his starting quarterback when the regular season begins, but No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield might be closing the gap. Mayfield should again play plenty Friday night when his Browns are 3-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
The Bills had the NFL’s longest playoff drought entering last season, but Taylor got them a wild-card spot. To thank him, Buffalo traded Taylor to Cleveland for a 2018 third-round pick. You know this game might be a bit personal to him even though it doesn’t count. Taylor played most of the first quarter in the 20-10 preseason opening win at the New York Giants, completing all five passes for 99 yards and a score. Mayfield, meanwhile, played a majority of the game and the former Heisman winner was 11-for-20 for 212 yards and two scores.
Buffalo coach Sean McDermott has essentially given his rookie QB, Josh Allen, no shot at starting when the regular season begins. That’s a battle between AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman. Allen had a solid debut in Buffalo’s 28-23 loss to Carolina, completing 9 of 19 for 116 yards and a score. He also rushed for 29 yards.
The rookie QB with the best shot of winning a starting job in the preseason is the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold. His team visits the Washington Redskins on Thursday with the Redskins as 2-point betting favorites. Darnold was 13-for-18 for 96 yards and a score in the opening 17-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Early indications from practice this week are that Darnold may start this game over Josh McCown, the presumed regular-season guy.
This should be the Washington debut of QB Alex Smith, acquired in trade from the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason. He didn’t play in last week’s 26-17 loss in New England. The Redskins lost rookie running back Derrius Guice to a torn ACL in that one so his season is over.
The other rookie QB is the Arizona Cardinals’ Josh Rosen. The Cardinals are 3-point betting underdogs on Friday at the New Orleans Saints. Rosen completed 6-for-13 for 41 yards in Arizona’s 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s likely to start the season as the No. 2 behind Sam Bradford.
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Source: Heavy Sports