One of the thoughts when the Philadelphia Eagles signed quarterback Tim Tebow was that Chip Kelly could use him as a two-point conversion specialist.
It made sense. Tebow is a great goal-line option because he’s big and athletic. And if preseason is any indication, there will be many more two-point tries throughout the NFL with the new extra point rule. On Saturday night, Kelly rolled out that plan, sending Tebow in for the first two two-point conversions of the game.
It didn’t go well, though it was a very tiny sample. On the first attempt, Tebow was stuffed on a run. On the second, he fielded a low snap, tried to hit a quick slant to Nelson Agholor but Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward almost intercepted it. The pass fell incomplete. The Eagles kicked extra points after that. Tebow was 2-of-2 for 15 yards and rushed for 4 yards on three attempts in limited playing time late in the game.
The two-point conversions were about the only thing that didn’t go right for the Eagles, who are lighting up the scoreboard in the preseason. Preseason doesn’t matter, of course, but the Eagles look very good and did so again in a 39-26 win over the Packers.
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Sam Bradford completed 10-of-10 passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns. That shows the potential of what he can do in this fast-break offense. Thanks to Bradford’s play and a pick-six from Walter Thurmond, the Eagles led 25-0 after the first quarter at Lambeau Field. This was the Packers without Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, and receiver Randall Cobb (shoulder) and tackle Bryan Bulaga (angle) left early with injuries (the Packers, more than anyone, want this preseason to be over), but it was still another impressive performance by the Eagles.
After three preseason games, the only question the Eagles might have left is whether they want to rethink their plan for two-point conversions.
The Dallas Cowboys had some questions to answer in preseason, mostly at running back and cornerback. The answers aren’t so clear after three games.
In replacing reigning NFL offensive player of the year DeMarco Murray, Joseph Randle seemed to have the edge all offseason. But he has dealt with injuries and hasn’t run away with the job in the preseason. Randle had 30 yards on seven carries last week, then on Saturday night had 15 yards on six carries in the first half of a 28-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Darren McFadden, whose health is always a concern, looked pretty good. He had 37 yards on four carries in the first half, including a 15-yard run. McFadden might look like the best option now, but can the Cowboys depend on him?
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The Cowboys also have cornerback issues after Orlando Scandrick’s season-ending injuries. Brandon Carr, the much maligned free-agent addition in 2012, was beat deep by Mike Wallace on a nice sideline pass by Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, though Carr rebounded later with an interception. Morris Claiborne, who is working back from a torn patellar tendon, took a pass interference penalty. When Bridgewater left the game early in the second quarter, he was 7-of-7 for 76 yards.
The Cowboys’ defense isn’t great, but was helped last year when Murray sustained the offense through his tough running. The Cowboys still need a top running game to help the defense, but that’s not such a sure thing this season.
New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. has been the center of attention this offseason, and that probably played into the scrutiny of him not having a preseason catch through two games. It was better in a 28-18 loss against the New York Jets, though most of his catches were short and his best catch didn’t count.
Beckham had five catches for 31 yards. The Giants wanted to get him going early, so they flared him out on third down from the slot on the first series, though he was stopped short of the first down. Beckham didn’t get much going against the Jets’ talented cornerbacks, with a long catch of 9 yards, but at least he got something.
Beckham’s night was very close to being a lot better. He had a tremendous one-handed catch on the sideline, but landed out of bounds and ruined the highlight (it was still one heck of a catch). Later on he beat Darrelle Revis deep down the sideline but the pass was thrown too far to the outside and he couldn’t pull it in. If the throw was better he might have scored a long touchdown.
Beckham is going to get a lot more defensive attention this season, so replicating what he did as a rookie won’t be easy. But the Giants will find ways to get him the ball a lot, as they showed on Saturday night.
Bills 43, Steelers 19: The story of the Bills quarterbacks is a fun one, after Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel both stated a case to be the Week 1 starter. But there’s another side to the story. The Bills quarterbacks went 30-of-33 for 386 yards and we don’t think the Bills passers are very good … so is the Steelers defense really going to just be that bad this season?
Dolphins 13, Falcons 9: Another preseason game, another impressive day from Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was 15-of-19 for 145 yards and a touchdown. There hasn’t been a lot of reason to believe Tannehill has made great strides as a deep passer, but he’s very good in running the Eagles-style offense of coordinator Bill Lazor.
Browns 31, Buccaneers 7: Jameis Winston’s line: 6-of-15 for 90 yards and an interception. He was also under constant pressure. Not the warmup the Buccaneers wanted for him with just one preseason game remaining before it counts.
Redskins 31, Ravens 13: If there was a Steve Smith hat trick, it would be scoring a long touchdown, getting ejected in a fight and then going to watch the rest of the game in a suite with his kid. He pulled it off on Saturday night, scoring on a 63-yard touchdown before getting the boot and getting in some family time. With rookie Breshad Perriman being unavailable all month with a knee injury, Smith should get the ball early and often from Joe Flacco this season.
Bengals 21, Bears 10: Because it has become so easy to rip Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, the next conversation is always if AJ McCarron will get a shot. The former Alabama star looked as good as he has on an NFL field against the Bears. His 31-yard touchdown to Marvin Jones was the highlight of a very nice night for him. He was 12-of-17 for 149 yards.
Seahawks 16, Chargers 15: Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka nailed a 60-yard field goal with 12 seconds left for the Seattle win. Even if the game doesn’t count, that’s pretty great.
Colts 24, Rams 14: A couple players in new places did well. Andre Johnson caught a 32-yard touchdown from Andrew Luck (and yes, it’s still really weird to see him wearing No. 81 in Colts colors). New Rams quarterback Nick Foles was efficient, going 10-of-11 for 128 yards and a touchdown.
49ers at Broncos: NaVorro Bowman is back. The 49ers star linebacker, who missed all last season with a knee injury suffered in the NFC championship game two seasons ago, had a couple sacks and was all over the field. He had a phenomenal play on an outside C.J. Anderson run, scraping to the ball and blasting Anderson down with a big hit. He looks like he’s back to his old self. What a great story.
• The big story on Saturday night was injuries. Read Eric Edholm’s rundown of who left the games early. The Packers really, really want this preseason to be over.
• Peyton Manning got hit way too much against the 49ers. On a third down near the goal line, he was hit hard and low as he released the ball. The Broncos’ line is a weakness, and the team better figure out a way to protect Manning or this season isn’t going to go well in Denver.
The transition to Gary Kubiak’s offense is still ongoing. The first-team offense played the first half, didn’t score a touchdown, and Manning finished 14-of-21 for 124 yards and an interception.
• In better Broncos news, DeMarcus Ware got a safety after running past right tackle Erik Pears and sacking 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Even at age 33 Ware is still one of the best edge rushers in the game.
• Melvin Gordon’s transition to the NFL hasn’t been easy. The Chargers rookie running back and first-round pick had 11 yards on six carries in the preseason opener, sat out the second game, then didn’t look confident against Seattle. Struggling to find and hit the hole, Gordon had just 34 yards on 14 carries with a long run of 8 yards.
• On a third down deep in Falcons territory, Ndamukong Suh beat the guard like he wasn’t there, forced Matt Ryan into a quick incompletion and then rag-dolled Ryan to the ground. From all camp reports and preseason action, Suh has been worth all of the hype for the Dolphins defense.
• Ryan Fitzpatrick had a nice 18-yard touchdown toss to Eric Decker, had an easy 24-yard touchdown to Zac Stacy coming out of the backfield wide open, and generally looked pretty good for the Jets. Fitzpatrick was 9-fo-14 for 127 yards. Fitzpatrick really shouldn’t be a downgrade over Geno Smith and in the short term, he might be a better option for this offense.
• Duke Johnson’s concussion for the Browns might set the backfield battle back to square one. The Browns had wanted to get a look at Johnson, the rookie from Miami who has been hurt and was making his preseason debut Saturday, but now it appears his entire preseason resume will be a single run for 4 yards and one catch for a yard. That probably puts the onus back on Isaiah Crowell, at least early in the season.
• At the end of the first half, the 49ers’ offense had zero passing yards, three first downs and a field goal. Kaepernick needed to make two completions late just to get the passing yardage out of the negative column. The Broncos’ defense is tough, but that’s not a good look for the 49ers.
• Rookie running back Tevin Coleman, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, made his preseason debut for the Falcons. He had 2 yards on four attempts. Coleman had a chance this month to gain ground because Devonta Freeman has been hurt too, but it wouldn’t appear he’s earned a big early-season role.
• Minnesota Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (remember him?) had a 107-yard kickoff return touchdown. The chances of the former first-round pick becoming a viable NFL receiver are getting slimmer and slimmer, but maybe he can be a top return man.
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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter!