On Thursday night, the NFL finally made its return with a real football game – a preseason game, but still, we’ll take what we can get – with the 2019 Hall of Fame game between the Broncos and Falcons.
As is the case with every preseason game – remember, the 2017 Browns went 4-0 in the preseason before going 0-16 in the regular season – the final result matters far less than the individual performances throughout the affair.
It was a game that featured the debut of notable rookies like Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, Broncos tight end Noah Fant, Broncos guard Dalton Risner, and Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom.
Matt Schaub – yes, he’s still around – got the start at quarterback for the Falcons before Kurt Benkert replaced and outshined him, while Kevin Hogan got things going for the Broncos before it was Lock’s turn under center.
The first touchdown of the 2019 preseason belonged to Cal product and backup Broncos running back Khalfani Muhammad. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the players who made impressions during the first preseason game of the year, which also happens to mark the beginning of the final phase of the offseason.
Schaub started the game and is favored to retain his position backing up Ryan, but he was quickly replaced in the game by Benkert, who looks like he has a legitimate shot at replacing Schaub on the depth chart.
At the very least, if the Falcons don’t feel comfortable proceeding with Benkert as their backup, they might have to consider keeping three quarterbacks if Benkert continues to play this well the rest of the preseason, which is obviously a big if.