NFL Preseason Week 2: Position Battles and Other Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

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bill-swift - August 18, 2012

Another week down and we have another slate of preseason games. In last week's action we began to see how a lot of teams are shaping up and how much work some need to do. We also saw the first real fight for a lot of guys as they do battle for a starting job in the NFL.

With another slate of preseason games ready to go this weekend many of the position battles could make a decisive turn by time the action is over. Here are some of the big ones that warrant paying attention to:

Matt Moore vs. Ryan Tannehill: Moore has his back up against the wall Friday night when the Dolphins take on the Panthers. First round draft picks typically sit in their first year if it is decided they are not quite ready to step into the starter's role. Last week against Tampa Bay Tannehill looked like he was on track to do just that. Should Moore falter and Tannehill have a solid night against a weak Panthers defense Moore might as well pick up the clipboard.

Jake Locker vs. Matt Hasselbeck: The word coming out of Tennessee is that if Locker does well he will be the starter. That makes sense since he is the QB of the future for the Titans and Hasselbeck his tutor. Hasselbeck has not played up to snuff so far either, not in last week's game or in camp. He'll need to shine and Locker will need to stumble if he is going to have a chance to start again.

John Skelton vs. Kevin Kolb vs. a new guy to be named later: This one is just depressing. Kolb was brought in—and paid well—because he was a gunslinger in college and looked like he could do it in the NFL when he started two games for Michael Vick in 2010. Instead he has been a total flop. The problem is that Skelton has not been much better. If neither is able to step up and play like a person that deserves to start watch the Cardinals trade for either Colt McCoy or Tarvaris Jackson.

Russell Wilson vs. Matt Flynn: This has to be the closest race of the bunch. Both played well last week, enough so that head coach Pete Carroll wants to see each play a half again (effectively cutting Tarvaris Jackson out of the race). They might be paying Matt Flynn to start, but if Wilson plays better it would be shock to see Flynn get the nod over him come September. Will the presence of Terrell Owens (in his first game since 2010) help one of the young QBs shine a little bit brighter than the other?

The following are not position battles, but a few things that might make you go hmmm…

-          Could LaGarrette Blount and Doug Martin be the next dynamic running duo of the league? If so, will they be enough to get fans in the seats so home games will quite being blacked out?

-          If Rashad Jennings has another solid running day will Maurice Jones-Drew find his way to practice sometime next week?

-          Super Bowl preview: San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans?

-          If Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez both flop again will Rex Ryan consider giving Greg McElroy some time with the first string?

-          Dallas looked awful on offense on Monday night. Is that what fans should expect or is there something worth watching in Big D?

-          Was last week a fluke or will Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III do even better now that they have gotten their feet wet? Both will have much tougher match-ups this week (Luck- Steelers; RG3- Da Bears).

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