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Sport NFL preseason Week 1: Josh Allen's wild ride begins; Michael Gallup hits stride with Cowboys

19:35  10 august  2018
19:35  10 august  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Baker Mayfeld and Saquon Barkley headlined the NFL preseason Week 1 debuts of 2018. But while they shared the marquee, No. 1-No. 2 punch in the Browns-Giants game, several other intriguing rookies made debuts around the league Thursday night.

While many eyes were on players taking the field in new or unfamiliar uniforms, some intrigue also stemmed from one familiar player coming back from injury.

WATCH: Best moments from preseason Week 1

Here's the obligatory roundup of such understated overreactions.

Josh Allen Coming

The Bills knew before their game against Panthers that Allen, the former Wyoming quarterback they drafted No. 7 overall, was a raw prospect and a clear No. 3 behind (in some order) AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman for now. No wonder the Bills did everything they could to get the rookie cooking with gas — in the form of his sizzling deep arm.

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After Peterman started and McCarron mirrored his solid stats in second-quarter relief, Allen played the entire second half. Buffalo did not hold back with him from the get-go, as Allen let it rip deep on his first pass attempt, a pretty sideline incompletion to wide receiver Robert Foster.​​

Although Allen displayed some of the expected issues with his accuracy and holding the ball too long, the positives outweighed the negatives in a strong debut (9-of-19, 116 yards, TD, sack, 84.5 passer rating). Allen threw well on the run and used his mighty frame (6-5, 237 pounds) to hang tough in the pocket. He showed precision on shorter passes, including his scoring strike to wide receiver Ray Ray McCloud.

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WATCH: Every Allen pass vs. Panthers

As much as Peterman has improved from his dreadful 2017 season, and even with McCarron starting to look more like high-upside backup he was with the Bengals, the Bills should think more about rolling with Allen — big plays, big lumps and all — come Week 1. Buffalo will not be a returning playoff team with the either of the two "veteran" options.

Allen looks like he can handle trial by fire. The Bills just need to accept being burned in order to accelerate his learning.

Michael Gallup Polling

"How will the Cowboys replace Dez Bryant at wide receiver" has been the theme of Dallas' offseason. Really, it was answered as soon as Dallas used a third-round draft pick on Gallup.

The rookie had only one reception from Dak Prescott against the 49ers, but he took full advantage of it, streaking past Jimmie Ward for a 30-yard touchdown and showing shades of a younger Dez with his speed and nose for the end zone. With it, Gaullup built on the strong offseason he's had through training camp.

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The Cowboys moved on from Bryant because they needed the down-field giddyap back in order to open those short-to-intermediate routes and make teams pay for crowding the line to contain Ezekiel Elliott. So far, so great with the Gallup-Prescott chemistry.

Lamar Jackson Shining

Jackson did improve upon his performance in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Bears, even though the passing numbers (7-of-18, 119 yards, two sacks, 62.0 rating) against the Rams didn't look good on paper.

He looked more comfortable with his legs and figured out how to better incorporate them with his passing. Baltimore's rookie quarterback weaved beautifully through Los Angeles' defense on his 9-yard TD run.

WATCH: Every Jackson touch vs. Rams

The Ravens need to keep giving Jackson as much preseason action as possible. With no pressure to compete for a job, he can focus on just getting a little better each time out.

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NFL Nation Cowboys reporter Todd Archer joined The Morning Roast to discuss Cowboys training camp. Haven't talked about who' s playing and when they're playing in preseason games yet but suffice it to say we're doing everything we can to get him ready for Week 1 .” Michael Gallup .

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Andrew Luck Changing

Yes, really, that was Luck back on the field for the Colts against the Seahawks. The fact that Indianapolis' quarterback had a modest night (6-of-9, 64 yards passing) in his first game in the offense of Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni was a good sign.

WATCH: Colts-Seahawks highlights

Not only did the performance confirm Luck's health, but it proved the new coaching staff is making strides to keep him that way by emphasizing his getting the ball out quickly and staying out of harm's way. The ceiling is sky-high for the Colts when Luck puts it all together physically and mentally.

Mason Rudolph Awakening

Rudolph has not officially been tabbed as a successor to Ben Roethlisberger, but the Steelers' rookie quarterback got his feet wet nicely (7-of-12, 101 yards, two sacks) against the Eagles. His highlight was hitting his former Oklahoma State target, James Washington, for a 35-yard deep ball to the right sideline.

Rudolph has a long way to go before he can handle the pressure he'll see from NFL defenses more consistently than he faced in the wide-open Big 12. His goal for now is trying to show he can displace Josh Dobbs as the No. 3, because he's far from the No. 2. Landry Jones (4-for-4, 83 yards TD in the start) remains one of the league's best backups.

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Benjamin-Moore Painting

Cam Newton got in Kelvin Benjamin's face before the game; a reaction to the receiver's ripping the quarterback earlier in the week. But as the Panthers QB had a short, uneventful and efficient night, his ex go-to receiver showed he is the Bills' No. 1 by more than default. With Zay Jones recovering from injury and not much else at the position for Buffalo, Benjamin producing 4 catches for 59 yards and a TD without Allen was key.

Meanwhile, the Panthers had reason to bury their past with Benjamin for good and embrace the future with their latest rookie first-rounder, D.J Moore (4 catches, 76 yards). He will be a special player with his quickness and ability to turn any catch into a big play. His volume at Maryland no doubt helped make the pro transition look seamless.

Derrius Guice Breaking

The Redskins' second-round rookie running back had to leave the game against the Patriots with a knee injury after getting 6 carries for 19 yards, working in the early series with Rob Kelley and ahead of Samaje Perine. Guice gave Washington hints of the powerful, physical running style that Jay Gruden wants on early downs.

Pending the results of an MRI, Guice should be fine, and the Redskins can resume featuring him as the complement to terrific (and now healthy) passing-game back Chris Thompson.

MORE: Best Week 1 preseason plays from rookies

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

J'Mon Moore has gotten attention in training camp as the highest-drafted of the Packers' top three rookie wide receivers. Equanimeous St. Brown got early buzz because he has the name fans and evaluators recognize from Notre Dame.

But the race to be Green Bay's No. 3 wideout behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb is wide open, and Valdes-Scanting made the biggest first preseason impression. The fifth-round pick from South Florida used his size (6-4, 206 pounds) to go up tough and grab a 14-yard pass for his first NFL touchdown. It capped a great debut (5 catches, 101 yards on 7 targets) that also included his streaking to catch a 51-yard bomb from DeShone Kizer.

St. Brown and Moore had their moments, too, but Valdez-Scantling threw down most all-around in the battle to displace Geronimo Allison as a key target for Aaron Rodgers.

Zack Martin injury update: Cowboys guard expected to be healthy for Week 1, report says .
Martin hyperextended his knee Saturday in the Cowboys' preseason loss to the Bengals. Martin is expected to miss the rest of the preseason because of the injury. But, the Cowboys believe he will return when they face the Panthers in Week 1, according to a report from the Athletic. Source tells @TheAthleticDFW Zack Martin will miss the rest of preseason with hyperextended knee. Source expects him to be ready for Week 1 at Carolina.

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