The end of the preseason and the last checkpoint before the regular season begins next week has finally arrived. On Thursday night, all 32 teams will be in action as the preseason comes to a close.
We’ll be bringing you live updates and analysis throughout the evening as the likes of Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, other notable rookies, and roster bubble players take center stage. And of course, since the Bears‘ kicking situation has provided some of the best drama of the summer, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Eddy Pineiro as he seeks to pass his final test of the preseason and enter the regular season as the Bears’ solution to their kicking problem.
Below you can relive all the top action, highlights and headlines from Thursday’s Week 4 action (be sure to keep coming back for the latest updates). In addition, you can view the entire schedule for Week 4 of the preseason below. Check your local listings for local games. The rest of the games will be available for streaming on fuboTV (try for free) or NFL Game Pass (out of market).
Scores and schedule
Falcons 31, Jaguars 12 (box score)
Colts 13, Bengals 6 (box score)
Bills 27, Vikings 23 (box score)
Jets 6, Eagles 0 (box score)
Panthers 25, Steelers 19 (box score)
Browns 20, Lions 16 (box score)
Giants 31, Patriots 29 (box score)
Ravens 20, Redskins 7 (box score)
Titans 19, Bears 15 (box score)
Packers 27, Chiefs 20 (box score)
Dolphins 16, Saints 13 (box score)
Rams 22, Texans 10 (box score)
Buccaneers 17, Cowboys 15 (box score)
Cardinals at Broncos (GameTracker)
Raiders at Seahawks (GameTracker)
Chargers at 49ers (GameTracker)
Daniel Jones wraps up impressive preseason
It’s only preseason. It doesn’t mean that much. But the fact remains that oft-maligned No. 6 pick Daniel Jones submitted an impressive preseason that surpassed our expectations for him.
Entering Thursday night, Jones had gone 25 of 30 (83.3%) for 369 yards (12.3 yards per attempt), two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 140.1 passer rating. Drawing the start against the Patriots on Thursday night, Jones proceeded to complete all four of his passes for 47 yards (11.8 average) and a 115.6 passer rating.
Check out the touch on this downfield pass to Golden Tate, because it was sweet:
All together, Jones went 29 of 34 (85.2%) for 416 yards (12.1 average), two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 137.3 passer rating this preseason. Now, he heads to the bench with Eli Manning still positioned ahead of him on the depth chart.
Jones did all that he could to emerge with the starting job entering the regular season, but he’s going to be forced to wait a little while longer to become the Giants’ new starting quarterback. Given just how poorly Manning has played in recent years and just how sharp Jones looked in the preseason, don’t be surprised if Jones replaces Manning during the first half of the regular season.
At this point, it feels inevitable.
Josh Gordon immediately impresses
almost two weeks ago, Gordon made his return to the field on Thursday night. It didn’t take him long to remind everyone just how good of a receiver he’s capable of being if he can stay on the field.
On the third play of the Patriots’ opening series, Gordon hauled in a 19-yard pass from rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
Evidently, the Patriots wanted Gordon to shake off the rust, because Gordon ended up getting four total targets on the opening series. He didn’t come down with another catch, but as the catch above indicates, Gordon will likely be the Patriots’ best downfield threat during the upcoming season — assuming, of course, he remains eligible to play.
With Gordon and a healthy Demaryius Thomas joining Julian Edelman (all of them started on Thursday night), the Patriots’ receiving group is actually slightly deeper than usual, which should help them overcome the loss of Rob Gronkowski.
Demaryius Thomas catches two touchdowns
Speaking of Thomas — the former Broncos and Texans receiver who is coming off an Achilles injury at the age of 31 — the veteran wideout looked even more impressive than Gordon. Not long ago, we weren’t entirely sure if Thomas would be on the final regular season roster. After Thursday night, it looks like Thomas could become a major part of the Patriots’ passing attack.
Catching passes from Stidham, Thomas hauled in seven of his eight targets for 87 yards and two scores.
Reminder: He. He already looks ready for the regular season.
Dwayne Haskins flashes more potential
Like Jones, Haskins won’t be on the field when the regular season begins. The Redskins’ starting jobUnlike Jones, Haskins wasn’t nearly flawless in the preseason. But Haskins did flash plenty of potential throughout the preseason — and it continued against the Ravens on Thursday night.
Drawing the start, Haskins completed 10 of his 17 passes (58.8%) for 104 yards (6.1 average), one touchdown, no interceptions, no sacks, and a 96.2 passer rating. Late in the first quarter, he led an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included a 25-yard completion and culminated with a touchdown pass from outside the pocket.
Haskins’ final preseason numbers aren’t overly impressive — 32 of 58 (55.2%) for 409 yards (7.1 average), two touchdowns, two picks, and a 74.6 passer rating — but in every game, he demonstrated the kind of talent that made him a first-round pick. Now it’s about becoming more consistent and eliminating some of the negative plays we also saw on display this summer.
The good news for Haskins is that he’ll have time to develop before the Redskins insert him into the fray. The bad news for Haskins is that when he does become the starter, which should happen at some point during the upcoming season, he’ll be joining an offense that might beand a team that appears to be likely to miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. And if that happens, there’s a good chance Jay Gruden will be a goner and Haskins will be learning a brand new offense next offseason.
But at the very least, Haskins appears to have the necessary skills to succeed at the next level. At this stage in his development, that’s all we’re able to conclude. Even still, Haskins has already given the Redskins plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their long-term future, even if their short-term future remains depressingly bleak.
Cowboys’ Olumba pushes for roster spot
As the Cowboys work to figure out who deserves to contribute to the depth of their increasingly talented secondary, second-year cornerback Donovan Olumba has continued to make a case for himself. He’s had another strong training camp and impressed at nearly every turn in August, and having spent time on the team’s practice squad in 2018 gives him an added edge.
Landing a pick-six in the preseason finale against the Buccaneers only serves to sharpen that edge.
Dan Bailey secures Vikings kicking job
The Vikings put Bailey under pressure whenin exchange for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik, but Bailey seems to have won the kicking job heading into the regular season.
The veteran, who made only 75% of his field goals with the Vikings last season after making 88.2% of his field goals with the Cowboys for seven seasons, experienced a successful outing against the Bills on Thursday night while Vedvik delivered another disappointing outing. Bailey connected on both of his field goals, including a 54-yarder, while Vedvik went 1 of 2 on his field goals, with his miss coming from only 37 yards away. Vedvik made only one of his four field goal attempts with the Vikings this offseason.
“Dan (Bailey) is a big-time pro — treats everything professionally,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said after the game, per the team’s Twitter account.
As for Vedvik’s chances of winning the punting job in Minnesota …
It turns out, trading a fifth-round pick for an unproven kicker/punter might not be a good idea. Who knew?