Preseason Lessons that Appear to be Bogus (So Far)

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bill-swift - September 11, 2012

Every football fan knows that the preseason is just the preseason. Countless times there have been teams that have looked unstoppable in the preseason that go on to blow chunks once it matters. However, when we have gone without football for so long it is kind of hard not to watch it and believe that what we are seeing might actually be real.

Like any other off-season, this past one made us believe in a few things. After the first full slate of games on Sunday many of those so-called truths were exposed for the bitter lies that they are!

Lie #1: The Saints are fine without Sean Payton

The New Orleans Saints have led most of the headlines this past off-season as the Saints prepared for life this season without their fearless leader, head coach Sean Payton. All the talk and every indicator pointed towards Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer being able to fill his shoes. Wow, was that one wrong!

New Orleans was simply outclassed in every way by the Washington Redskins at home, a place the Payton-lead Saints never lost at last season. Drew Brees took forever to get started and the defense didn't really have an answer for Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense the entire day.

Lie #2: Russell Wilson is Ready to be a Starter

I will admit; I was really impressed with this guy and thought that he was the real deal. I thought he looked sharp, poised, and ready to get the job done on Sundays. With an easy game against the woeful Arizona Cardinals to make his debut I was certain he was going to light it up.

Instead, Wilson looked just like the greenest of green rookies throughout the first half and for much of the second. His scrambling ability was absent and he seemed to always be checking down to short, safe (boring) passes that barely moved the offense if at all. There were moments where the preseason Wilson appeared present, but not enough against a bad Arizona team.

Lie #3: John Skelton and Kevin Kolb Suck

The Arizona Cardinals were the last team to name a starting QB because both of the candidates looked absolutely awful in all four preseason games. Skelton got the nod (possibly because he did a good job towards the end of last season) likely because he was deemed the lesser of two evils when compared to the over-priced Kolb.

Both QBs got a chance at redemption against the Seahawks. Skelton completed just 14 of 28 passes for 149 yards with a TD and an interception, but what the stats didn't show was his ability to manage the game. When he went down with a high ankle sprain late in the game Kevin Kolb came on and looked like the accurate, capable QB that the Cardinals had hoped for going 6-8 for 66 yards and a TD on his only drive of the game.

Lie #4: Mark Sanchez Needs to be Benched

Sanchez looked like a guy that should be backing up someone rather than starting at QB in the NFL during the preseason. His passing was below average and he couldn't lead the team through a McDonald's drive-thru let alone on a scoring drive. The only way he kept the job was because Rex Ryan is too stubborn to admit Sanchez is a mistake.

Well, after completing 19 of 27 passes for three TDs with just one pick en route to leading the Jets to the most points in a season opener in franchise history I think it is safe to say that his job is safe.

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