Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence make NFL debuts, Bridgewater returns to Minnesota as a Bronco

Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence made their NFL debuts on Thursday night, while former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl champion Deshaun Watson was traded to the Houston Texans.

The trevor lawrence draft is a story about the two quarterbacks drafted in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence made their debuts for their respective teams, while Josh Allen was traded to the Bills.

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While the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off the 2021 NFL preseason last week with their Hall of Fame game, the preseason really begins this week, with all 32 teams competing in Week 1.

It began with two games on Thursday night, with first-round quarterback Mac Jones leading the New England Patriots to a win against the Washington Football Team in his NFL debut, and former first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Friday, three additional games were played, including Jared Goff’s first start as the Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback after being acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in a deal that featured two first-round selections.

This week’s big day is Saturday, with ten games scheduled. The Denver Broncos defeated the Minnesota Vikings in a homecoming game for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the afternoon. Bridgewater, a first-round selection of the Vikings in 2014, played with Minnesota from 2014 to 2017 and is battling with Drew Lock for the starting quarterback spot with the Broncos. The Raiders will meet the Seahawks at Allegiant Stadium, while the Chargers will face the Rams at SoFi Stadium.

The schedule comes to a close on Sunday in Indianapolis, when the Colts take on the Carolina Panthers. We’ll see how the Colts intend to replace injured quarterback Carson Wentz and how Sam Darnold appears in a Panthers jersey for the first time.

Full schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter | Quick links



Week 1 of the NFL preseason schedule

The games on Saturday

Bears QB Justin Fields (142 passing yards, one touchdown, 33 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown) was a standout performance.


Before rookie quarterback Justin Fields infused life into Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears’ offense was burn-the-tape awful in the first half, with Miami outgaining Chicago 215 yards to 79. When Fields replaced Andy Dalton in the second quarter, he looked like a rookie (14-of-20 for 142 yards, one score, 33 running yards, one rushing touchdown), but the first-round selection finally got into a rhythm and caught fire after halftime. Fields’ pocket command improved as the game progressed, and when he scrambled, he frequently froze Miami defenders, who were uncertain whether he would throw or take off. Fields’ lightning speed will be a major advantage if he is named the starting quarterback. Fields’ 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter demonstrated his speed, as he skillfully evaded a Miami defender who grabbed at him before sprinting for the score. Is it simply the start of the season? Yes. But did Fields show enough potential to make his NFL debut? Absolutely. Dickerson, Jeff

The Bills are the team’s next opponent (1 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Tua Tagovailoa just committed one error, but it cost him a lot of money. The Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback had a solid preseason game until he tried to thread the needle on a pass to Adam Shaheen in the end zone, which Chicago Bears cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson intercepted. That one blunder, which came on Tagovailoa’s last play of the day, was the one blemish on an otherwise promising performance. Until rookie quarterback Fields got hot after halftime, the former first-round pick was 8-of-11 for 99 yards as Miami’s offense completely overwhelmed the Bears. Tagovailoa’s finest play was a 50-yard touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki on a wonderfully placed downfield pass. Although the Dolphins’ quarterback situation remains a problem, Tagovailoa made a step in the right way on Saturday. — Dickerson, Jeff

The Falcons are the team’s next opponent (7 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)

Drew Lock completed 5-of-7 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns; Teddy Bridgewater completed 7-of-8 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.


In order to make a choice on a starting quarterback, the Denver Broncos needed to see some pace, production, and great decisions from quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason opener. Coach Vic Fangio has said repeatedly that he hopes the two make it “as difficult a choice as possible.”

Although it was just one preseason game, Lock and Bridgewater both contributed to the Broncos’ 33-6 victory on Saturday. The Broncos did not punt while the two were in the game, thus they combined for four touchdowns in five drives.

The Broncos’ lone drive without a touchdown when Lock or Bridgewater were at the helm was the first of the game, when Denver marched to the Vikings’ 4-yard line and turned the ball over on downs after Lock and Jerry Jeudy failed to connect on fourth down.

It was obvious that the Broncos can succeed on offense with either quarterback, but particularly Lock, when they utilize some of their larger personnel groupings, run play action, and keep the run game in play. Lock was composed in the pocket and, out of a two-back set, found the big play — an 80-yard touchdown pass to KJ Hamler.

Lock, in particular, shown that if he can keep the ball out of harm’s way, he can make passes down the field afterwards. Legwold, Jeff

The Seahawks are the team’s next opponent (10 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


This is probably how a game would look if 31 players were absent, including 21 starters and many important backups. The Minnesota Vikings’ 33-6 defeat to the Denver Broncos mirrored what the fourth preseason game has traditionally been like, with long-shot players having their best and last opportunity to make the squad, but the third- and fourth-teamers’ performances left a lot to be desired.

Coach Mike Zimmer stated, “Some of the same things occurred in practice with a bunch of the players who played.” “It gets lost in the shuffle because you’re so focused on the excellent guys, you know?”

The Vikings’ depth problems were highlighted more than anything else in Saturday’s defeat. Dakota Dozier, who seemed to be a solid match as a backup guard, was replaced four drives into the game by freshman Wyatt Davis, who was immediately shoved back into quarterback Jake Browning. Minnesota’s linebacker depth, which attracted Zimmer’s ire last week, remains deficient. Browning and Kellen Mond, the two quarterbacks that participated, combined for 79 passing yards. The secondary’s backups are still unproven, so the Vikings should be pleased to have signed veterans Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Woods to start. Saturday’s defeat was dreadful. The bright lining is that the Vikings now know where they are in terms of depth and may make changes when the roster gets trimmed down on Tuesday. — Cronin, Courtney

The Colts are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)

Browns QB Kyle Lauletta threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns.


The Cleveland Browns rookies stole the show in their preseason opener against Jacksonville, winning 23-13. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a sack, four receptions by Demetric Felton, and an interception by Richard LeCounte III. JOK and Felton, in particular, as well as first-round selection Greg Newsome II, seem to be important players for the Browns this season. Jake Trotter’s remark

The next game is against the Giants (1 p.m. ET, Aug. 22)


Trevor Lawrence had a lackluster debut in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 23-13 defeat to Cleveland at TIAA Bank Field. Lawrence was sacked and fumbled on his first play, failed to lead the offense to any scores in two drives, and sometimes held the ball too long. He did, however, make a few nice passes, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones on third down. Despite being under significant pressure due to poor performances by veteran offensive linemen Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, Lawrence completed 3 of 4 passes in tight windows, which was the highest completion % on narrow-window throws among Jaguars QBs in 2020, according to NFL NextGen Stats. Despite this, Lawrence’s first-team offense was more effective than Gardner Minshew’s. Lawrence accounted for 74 of the Jaguars’ 120 first-half yards and directed the lone drive inside Cleveland territory. — Mike DiRocco is an actor who has been in many films.

The next game is against the Saints (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 23)


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Jets QB Zach Wilson (6-of-9 passing, 63 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT) was a standout performance.


In his preseason debut, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson gave the New York Jets precisely what they wanted. He made sound choices, had composure in the pocket, and put up a strong effort (6-for-9, 63 yards).

There were no jaw-dropping, off-balance passes like those that impressed the Jets brass at his BYU pro day. He just stuck to the script and ran the plays as they were called — small steps for the presumed starter. In his only two series, he demonstrated the ability to organize lengthy drives, with 10 and 11 plays respectively. The caveat: he was up against the Giants’ reserve defense, so don’t get too excited. Nonetheless, this was a huge step forward for their franchise quarterback. Cimini, Rich

The next game will be against the Packers (4:25 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


The preseason opener shouldn’t alleviate any worries about the offensive line of the New York Giants, who are in Year 8 of their reconstruction. Their three drives had considerable difficulties, particularly at the start. On the first drive, left guard Kenny Wiggins fumbled, right tackle Matt Peart gave up a sack, and left tackle Andrew Thomas couldn’t get Carl Lawson out of the backfield.

The Giants’ offensive line improved as the season went, which may offer some hope, even if it was against weaker opposition. Right guard Will Hernandez, in particular, showed some encouraging repetitions as a puller on power runs. However, with the season less than a month away, the unit remains a major question mark. Jordan Raanan is a writer.

The Browns are the team’s next opponent (1 p.m. ET, Aug. 22)

Ravens QB Tyler Huntley (77 yards passing, 43 yards running, 1 touchdown) was a standout performance.


Tyler Huntley grabbed an early lead in the Baltimore Ravens’ backup quarterback competition, sparking a fourth-quarter rally to earn the team’s 18th preseason win. Huntley scored the game’s clinching touchdown on a 7-yard run and finished 12-of-16 for 77 yards. Beyond the numbers, Huntley’s athleticism is a better match for the Ravens’ system than Trace McSorley, who started in place of Lamar Jackson and was hampered by a back spasm. In his first four drives, McSorley (11-of-18 for 86 yards and one interception) failed to register a first down, and Baltimore only managed three long-field goals with him.

After employing a total of four quarterbacks last season, the Ravens may retain all three on the 53-man roster. On a difficult night for Baltimore’s patchwork offensive line, which was dealing with another injury, Huntley’s scrambling abilities shone. Bradley Bozeman, the starting center, exited the game in the first half with a right ankle injury. As a result, right tackle Alejandro Villanueva is the offensive line’s sole healthy expected starter. However, Bozeman’s return to the bench after halftime with a bandaged right ankle was a positive sign.

Coach John Harbaugh stated after the game that Bozeman had a “mild ankle strain.” ‘Jamison Hensley’ is a fictional character.

Next game: Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers, at Panthers (7 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Taysom Hill was the first to take the field. The most spectacular drive came from Jameis Winston, who finished it off with a gorgeous 8-yard touchdown throw to WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey. In a 17-14 defeat to Baltimore, none of the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback candidates really distinguished themselves in the fight to replace Drew Brees, with each of them tossing an interception as part of the team’s total of six turnovers. Hill and receiver Ty Montgomery were anticipating two different routes on a quick read, while Winston’s slightly underthrown long ball to Humphrey bounced out of Humphrey’s hands. But both quarterbacks produced enough great passes to keep the game tight going into the second round, with Winston set to start against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. Mike Triplett (Mike Triplett) (Mike Triplett) (Mike

The Jaguars are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 23)

Texans RB RB RB RB RB RB RB RB RB RB Scottie Phillips rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown on 13 attempts.


Deshaun Watson did not go with the club to Green Bay, and all eyes were on the Texans’ quarterback situation for their preseason opener against the Packers. After Tyrod Taylor (4-of-4 for 40 yards) completed one series, rookie Davis Mills took over and completed 11-of-22 throws for 112 yards. Mills had a few of spectacular third-down passes, but he also threw an interception in the red zone and was erratic.

Head coach David Culley has stressed the significance of the rookie quarterback learning from his errors and being more consistent during training camp. The game against the Dallas Cowboys next week will provide a clearer indication of Mills’ development.

While Taylor seems to be the Texans’ clear-cut starting quarterback to begin the 2021 season, the real issue is how long he will stay there. Taylor is in Houston on a one-year contract, and the Texans need to know what they have in their 2021 third-round selection before the draft next year. Sarah Barshop (Sarah Barshop)

Next game: Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys, at Cowboys (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Jordan Love’s first NFL start, in any capacity, was just that. It’s not a very good one. It’s not a bad one. But it’s a good place to start. The 2020 first-round draft selection produced one efficient touchdown drive in which he went 6-for-6 for 89 yards, including a 22-yard scoring throw on a screen. He didn’t see any preseason action last year and never even put on a game uniform as a season-long inactive. He didn’t get much more done, earning just one first down on his six subsequent drives, which totaled only 26 total net yards and 18 plays. Despite this, he went away from Lambeau Field for the first time with a passer rating of 110.4 after just playing the first half. Because Aaron Rodgers isn’t scheduled to participate in either of the next two preseason games, Love should get plenty of action. Demovsky, Rob

The Jets are the team’s next opponent (4:25 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)

7:30 p.m. ET, Cincinnati at Tampa Bay

8:30 p.m. ET, Kansas City at San Francisco

9 p.m. ET, Seattle vs. Las Vegas

NFL Network, 10 p.m. ET, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Los Angeles Rams


The game on Sunday

Carolina vs. Indianapolis, NFL Network, 1 p.m. ET

The games on Friday

Devin Singletary of the Bills was a standout performer with 48 total yards and a touchdown.


This season, the Bills will experiment with their defensive line personnel. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, two veteran defensive ends, did not participate, allowing youngsters Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham to receive plenty of playing time. Buffalo’s most intriguing lineup had Rousseau and 2020 second-round selection AJ Epenesa on the edge, with Basham and Efe Obada at defensive tackle, causing havoc in Detroit’s backfield right away. The defensive line was the Bills’ main focus this summer, and the early results are promising. — Louis-Jacques Marcel

The next game will be against the Bears (1 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Despite a tough opening drive for new quarterback Jared Goff, he was able to finish the first quarter strong. In limited action, Goff completed 7 of 9 passes for 56 yards with Tyrell Williams and rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown emerging as his primary targets, both catching two passes in the opening quarter. Goff helped engineer an 18-play drive to five different receivers, which is something he’s never done in his regular-season or playoff career with the Los Angeles Rams, per ESPN Stats & Information. He completed 7 of 8 passes on that particular drive to five different receivers, capped by a Lions field goal. — Eric Woodyard

The Steelers are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)

Matt Prater of the Cardinals was the standout performance, making 4-of-4 field goals, including the game-winning field goal from 47 yards.


Connor Williams did not help himself against the Cardinals if the Cowboys are having a center battle and aren’t telling anybody. He started at center over Tyler Biadasz and had two bad shotgun snaps in the first two drives, which may have led to a delay of game penalty. Williams had some problems with his snaps early in camp, but with more experience, he was able to overcome them. The Cowboys may go with their “best five” up front, with Williams or Biadasz at center, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. At left guard, it might be a battle between Williams and Connor McGovern right now. Todd Archer is a writer.

The Texans are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Despite the fact that it was a preseason game against a mediocre defense, Cardinals second-round selection Rondale Moore played up to his hype. Throughout his 21 plays, he demonstrated his speed, quickness, and ability to catch and run. Moore was used in a variety of situations, including jet sweeps, short passes, and deep balls. He was able to create under any circumstance. If this is any indication of what to expect from him this season, he might be one of the Cardinals’ most explosive offensive players. Josh Weinfuss (@JoshWeinfuss)

The Chiefs are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Aug. 20)

Titans linebacker Rashad Weaver was a standout performance with 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits, and 1 PD.


The Titans needed to increase their sack total after finishing with just 19 last season. Rashad Weaver, a rookie outside linebacker, was one of the guys brought in to assist in that area. Coach Mike Vrabel said Weaver was one of the guys he was most looking forward to watching, and the Titans’ first preseason game saw Weaver finish with a tackle for a loss and a half-sack in limited action. The Titans’ pass rush dominated the Falcons’ backfield, resulting in four sacks. Next week, a much improved unit will put the pass rush to the test during joint practices with the Buccaneers, followed by the second preseason game on Saturday. Turron Davenport (Turron Davenport)

Buccaneers’ next game is on the road (7:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Since before training camp, the Falcons’ greatest question mark has been at left guard. Josh Andrews, who joined the club from the Jets in the summer, seemed to have the upper hand throughout the duration of camp. The Falcons must now find a solution at the position. Andrews had a difficult game, and as one of the few possible starters to see action, Atlanta must keep up the pressure. Perhaps Drew Dalman, who started at center against Tennessee after working at guard, will re-enter the battle, or the club may turn to Jalen Mayfield, who has spent camp at right tackle. Next to left tackle Jake Matthews and center Matt Hennessy, whomever plays left guard will always look superior (neither played Friday). Michael Rothstein is a writer and producer.

The Dolphins are the team’s next opponent (7 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)

The games on Thursday

Dwayne Haskins of the Steelers was a standout performance, completing 16 of 22 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown.


In the Steelers’ victory against the Eagles, Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph won this round of the preseason backup quarterback battle. Haskins threw for 161 yards and a score on 16 of 22 passing attempts. Two additional touchdown drives and a field goal drive were organized by him. Haskins had times when he looked like the Washington Football Team’s first-round quarterback, such as when he threaded the needle to Cody White for an 18-yard gain just before the two-minute warning, but he also threw shaky passes, flew shots, and seemed sluggish in his decision-making. Rudolph completed 8 of 9 passes for 77 yards, but two holding penalties against Pat Freiermuth and Trai Turner, as well as a 10-yard sack, stymied potential drives. The backup quarterback competition is far from finished, but Haskins accomplished something Rudolph hasn’t: he got the ball into the end zone on Thursday. — Brooke Pryor is an actress who plays Brooke Pryor.

The Lions are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 21)


Jalen Hurts completed 3-of-7 passes for 54 yards (7.7 yards per attempt) and a 69.9 quarterback rating in two series. The most important thing for coach Nick Sirianni to see was an improvement in Hurts’ rhythm throws, which he did, mostly getting the ball out on time and with precision, especially on the opening series. Hurts had a couple of drops and missed a long pass to Quez Watkins that might have been a touchdown, but it was a solid preseason start for him, and he’ll try to improve on it when the Eagles face the Patriots next Thursday. Watkins, meanwhile, continues to press for a bigger position in the offense. On a throw from Joe Flacco late in the first quarter, he showed off his jets with a 79-yard catch-and-run. Watkins has been the Eagles’ offensive star this summer, and if he keeps it up, he may wind up in the starting lineup. — McManus, Tim

The Patriots are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 19)

Patriots K is a standout performer. Quinn Nordin was 3-for-3 from the field with a 50-footer.

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Cam Newton began the first two series and led one field goal drive before being replaced by Mac Jones, who played the next five series (two FG drives). Newton went 4-of-7 for 49 yards and didn’t have any assistance on the first drive when LT got injured. On third down, Isaiah Wynn fumbled against DE Chase Young, putting Newton in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Jones’ finest pass was an incompletion, a lovely long ball to WR Kristian Wilkerson in the end zone that slipped through Wilkerson’s fingertips. Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards while generally commanding the line of scrimmage. Newton remains the starter, according to Bill Belichick, but Jones has a chance to fight for the position if he proves he’s ready. It’s possible that the distance between them is shrinking quicker than Belichick expected. — Reiss, Mike

The Eagles are the team’s next opponent (7:30 p.m. ET, Aug. 19)


End of the defense Chase Young had a great year in 2020, and he’s off to a great start this year. When he rounded the corner and pressed Cam Newton in what seemed to be a sack, he forced an incompletion. Young also earned a holding penalty on a run and was in a fantastic position to defend a screen due to his fast diagnosis. Young also used his speed to make a great stop on a second-and-20 run; he was stopped inside by the tight end on the play, but Young swiftly got past him when the play moved to the outside. Young dropped the back for a 3-yard gain when he cut up. He demonstrated a wide range of abilities, including the ability to win on the edge, awareness on the screen, and hustle to limit the gain to a minimum. He creates flash plays as well as a slew of little ones that add up to a huge difference. ‘John Keim’

The Bengals are the team’s next opponent (8 p.m. ET, Friday)

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