Preseason battles: Week 2
Last week, I presented some of some training camp battles to watch during the preseason. Here's an update on where we stand with those situations as the preseason's second week gets underway. At the end of each graph, you will see who I thought was the leader in each competition in the previous article followed by whom I consider to be the leader now.
Eagles Starting QB: Michael Vick and Nick Foles
The standout highlight from last week's game was Vick's 47-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, deep down the right side. It was pretty. Both Vick and Foles were accurate against New England, throwing just one incompletion each. But it is clear that Vick has more ability to make the big play in this offense. Foles started the Eagles' second preseason game Thursday, but I think Vick has gained a little more separation in this battle.
Week 1 Leader: Vick, barely
Week 2 Leader: Vick
Denver Broncos Starting RB: Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman
Both players didn't show much in Denver's preseason opener, although I guess some of that can be attributed to the 49ers' strong run defense and/or bad blocking. Ball got two more carries than Hillman – five to three – but each gained just nine yards. If anything has changed in this battle, it is the increased likelihood that Hillman and Ball will split carries evenly this season. Hillman remains atop the depth chart.
Week 1 Leader: Hillman, barely
Week 2 Leader: Hillman, barely
Giants Starting RB: David Wilson and Andre Brown
Wilson and Brown made glaring errors last week against the Steelers. Wilson, who started, had opportunities to run through some lanes, but he was indecisive too often. He also didn't look great in pass protection, which is an all-important factor in this battle. Brown had a very ugly lost fumble, but he looked more assertive when he got his carries. Wilson remains the leader to get the starting job, but he has a lot of improving to do.
Week 1 Leader: Wilson
Week 2 Leader: Wilson
Packers Starting RB: Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, James Starks, Alex Green and DuJuan Harris
Lacy and Harris didn't play due to injury. Starks got the start against the Cardinals and carried the ball 13 times, a pretty substantial workload for a preseason opener. However, he, Franklin and Green didn't do anything special as a runner; all of them averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry. Franklin did catch a couple of passes, displaying the reasons why he is the popular choice to be the team's third-down back. There wasn't much else to talk about in the Packers' offense as a whole as they were shut out. Lacy's injured hamstring was well enough to let him return to practice this week, but he may not play Saturday versus St. Louis. He is still the leader here despite his inactivity.
Week 1 Leader: Lacy
Week 2 Leader: Lacy
Rams Starting RB: Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy
St. Louis' running game might frustrate us during the season as a three-man committee still seems realistic. But this article is about which players have the best chance to be on the field for their team's first snap of the season. To that end, Richardson really helped his cause last week, averaging six yards per carry on four attempts, catching two passes and looking extremely elusive overall. Meanwhile, Pead lost a fumble, and Stacy couldn't do much while working with the second and third-string offenses.
Week 1 Leader: Richardson
Week 2 Leader: Richardson, definitely