College football is still a week away, and that means Saturday belongs to the NFL preseason. While Week 1 of the exhibition season was marred by the absence of superstars, this weekend’s action holds the promise of seeing some of the league’s top players earn between 10-12 snaps before ceding ground to a smattering of undrafted free agents.
That’s not much, but it’s a start. The NFL season is fast approaching, and this weekend’s action could wind up being the deciding factor between a fringe player earning a roster spot and ascending to a starting role and winding up back on the free agent list. The fourth quarters of Saturday’s games will provide some familiar faces for college football fans and NFL diehards who can recite team rosters down to 53 places, but won’t be nearly as engaging for Cowboys fans hoping to see Dak Prescott for more than a cameo.
A handful of big games dot the day’s schedule. The Patriots will travel south to Houston to meet the Texans in a rematch of a hard-fought Divisional playoff game from earlier this year. Tom Brady and the starters are even supposed to make an appearance.
Blaine Gabbert threw a touchdown pass with nine seconds remaining to Jeremy Ross, but they couldn’t convert on the two point conversion, giving the Bears the victory.
Watson tried a couple of long throws to set up more points, but the Texans’ last first-half drive didn’t amount to anything.
In the final game of the evening, the rebuilding 49ers face the Chiefs, who are shaking off a turbulent offseason that included general manager John Dorsey surprisingly getting fired despite two straight playoff appearances. The other big story in K.C. is Patrick Mahomes, the first-round QB who could overtake Alex Smith if he has a strong preseason. Look for Mahomes to get plenty of snaps here as the Chiefs break him in.