Before we get to last night's preseason action, a programming note. I'll be blogging off TV tonight while watching the Eagles' first preseason game against the Steelers so check back for updates.
There were five preseason games on Thursday. Here's a roundup of the action:
Former Eagles assistant John Harbaugh made his debut as the Ravens' head coach, and Harbaugh's specialty in Philadelphia -- special teams -- got off to a great start. Baltimore return man Yamon Figurs took a punt 52 yards for a touchdown and later ran a kickoff back 48 yards. Kyle Boller got the start at quarterback, completing 11 of 15 passes for 102 yards, but he did turn the ball over twice. Troy Smith will get the start in the second preseason game.
Meanwhile, the Patriots got to see what life would be like without Tom Brady, who didn't play, and the results were not very encouraging. The Patriots' backup quarterbacks turned the ball over a total of five times.
In Cleveland, Brett Favre was on the sidelines, but not in uniform, for the Jets. As for the Browns, Braylon Edwards made a spectacular one-handed catch (pay attention fantasy owners), and Brady Quinn looked like he could start for a lot of NFL teams, according to cleveland.com's Bill Livingston.
The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants (I really can't stand typing that) dropped their preseason opener to the Lions. Tom Rock of Newsday writes:
Eli Manning was unspectacular in guiding the team through the first quarter, completing only two of his six passes for 19 yards while missing open receivers and having a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.
The Bears are not off to a good start. Forget the 24-20 loss to the Chiefs. Chicago's top draft pick, offensive lineman Chris Williams, had surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back, and there's no timetable for his return, according to Chicagosports.com. Not good news for Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton, or whoever is going to be playing quarterback in Chicago.
And finally, in a game that was televised on ESPN, the Saints beat the Cardinals, 24-10. New Orleans wide receiver Robert Meachem, a first-round pick who missed last season because of injuries, caught four balls for 129 yards. Matt Leinart, meanwhile, completed seven of eight passes for 91 yards. Coaches held Kurt Warner out of the game because they didn't want him playing behind the second-team offensive line, according to azcentral.com. Bizarre interview with Warner during the game. If I heard him correctly, Warner said his heart's in Arizona, but he wouldn't mind going somewhere else to start. He sounded like a guy who was trying to be as uncontroversial as possible while still telling the truth. Warner completed over 62 percent of his passes last year and threw 27 touchdowns. He's 37-years-old.