Yesterday's game against the Minnesota Vikings was one of the more exciting games this preseason. Neither team could put the other away until the final seconds. In the end, it was Teddy Bridgewater driving the Vikings down the field for the winning score. There were several battles heading into this weeks match, and a few players went ahead and distinguished themselves. So without further ado, let us examine five battles that seem to be coming to a close.
Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro have each had their chances kicking the ball off. The battle is tied in terms of field goals. Neither has missed one yet, although Feely came close to missing an extra point. However, Catanzaro has ran away with the kickoffs. In Saturday's game against the Vikings, Feely kicked off five times. All five of his kicks were returned for 141 yards. He managed to get four of his kickoffs inside the endzone, but managed no touchbacks.
Compare that to Catanzaro's debut last Saturday where he managed seven kickoffs, two of which were touchbacks. The Texans returned five of them, from eight yards deep, for 109 yards. The difference between the two, is that Feely managed to get only one of his kickoffs eight yards deep in the endzone, the others were just over the goal line. Catanzaro has depth and puts air under his kicks, allowing the coverage team time to get down field. Arians says he wants to get Feely kicking indoors as well, so expect the two to kick the ball in separate halves next weekend.
Fourth Tight End:
Darren Fells made his presence felt this weekend. After dropping a would be touchdown pass last weekend, he made sure he caught a Drew Stanton fourth down pass this weekend. What was most impressive is that Fells made the catch against one of the better cover linebacker's in the league, in Chad Greenway. Andre Hardy made a few nice plays, and stuck out, but it appears that Fells is the superior blocker and his hands were on display on Saturday.
Now this one should be taken with a grain of salt, but for now it appears that John Brown is the third receiver. ROTB and Bleacher Report analyst, Shaun Church, predicted that it would happen, and it appears that it is coming to fruition. Despite Ginn being healthy for today's game, I did not see him until the second team offense found the field. Brown made a nice grab in the second half, shortly after a drop that if he had caught it, could have very well gone for six.
This is a legitimate battle now. Earl Watford has been playing in place of the injured Jonathan Cooper and has been doing very well. Cooper, who has been out with a toe injury, needs to find the field before next weeks match if he has any chance of starting at left guard. Watford did make a few mental errors, which allowed a sack and which allowed the defense to stuff a potential rushing touchdown, but other than those two errors, he was rock solid. If Cooper can return soon, and stay healthy, Watford could very well be licking his chops at the right guard job.
This really is not a battle, but after Logan Thomas shined in his debut last weekend, it was Ryan Lindley's turn yesterday. I personally expected more than what I saw. After three years in the league, you can determine if someone is going to develop or just stay stagnant. It appears that Lindley is not developing anymore than what we witnessed last year. Two years under Bruce Arians, you would expect a little more accuracy. That was not on display yesterday, as Lindley through it several times to a ghost receiver, or under threw, or just threw it behind a player. He made the right reads, but could not deliver the ball accurately.
So what do you think? Were there any other battles you watched that interested you? If so let us know in the comments.