The preseason comes to a close Thursday with almost every NFL team in action. Two teams that won't be playing: the Cowboys and Texans, who were scheduled to meet in Houston before Hurricane Harvey pushed the matchup first to Dallas, . The Cowboys raised Thursday night, giving fans a chance to talk to their favorite players.
Here's the entire slate of games. Check back in throughout the day for updates on all the action.
Schedule and results
Colts 7, Bengals 6 (GameTracker)
Bills 27, Lions 17 (GameTracker)
Jaguars 13, Falcons 7 (GameTracker)
Packers 24, Rams 10 (GameTracker)
Jets 16, Eagles 10 (GameTracker)
Giants 40, Patriots 38 (GameTracker)
Steelers 17, Panthers 14 (GameTracker)
Redskins 13, Buccaneers 10 (GameTracker)
Ravens 14, Saints 13 (GameTracker)
Browns 25, Bears 0 (GameTracker)
Dolphins 30, Vikings 9 (GameTracker)
Chiefs 30, Titans 6 (GameTracker)
Broncos 30, Cardinals 2 (GameTracker)
49ers 23, Chargers 13 (GameTracker)
Seahawks 17, Raiders 13 (GameTracker)
Cowboys at Texans, canceled
Mahomes can play
Like Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes won't be starting Week 1. But like Trubisky, Mahomes has a bright future.
On Thursday, the Chiefs' first-round pick showed (again) why he was worth the selection. Unlike Alex Smith, Mahomes actually features clear upside. He's not afraid to take a risk. Due to his unbelievable arm talent, he can make throws that are typically reserved for Aaron Rodgers.
In his final preseason game against the Titans, Mahomes went 9 of 16 for 183 yards (11.4 YPA) with one touchdown, zero picks, and a 117.4 passer rating. He added 13 yards on the ground on three rushes.
A look at his touchdown:
This is just an incredible throw. On the run and in the face of pressure, he dropped in an absolute dime to his receiver 50 yards downfield:
Smith will never make a play like that, which is why it won't be all that surprising to see Mahomes on the field this season. The Chiefs, a perennial playoff team, win despite Smith -- not because of him. At some point, the Chiefs might want to go with the quarterback with more upside, because they sure as heck aren't beating the Patriots with a quarterback like Smith.
A quarterback like this, though, gives them a chance:
Those are just the highlights, of course, and it's worth noting that Mahomes should've been picked off on a couple different occasions. He's still a rookie and a gunslinger, so he's going to make mistakes.
Chris B. Brown put it perfectly:
He can do things like this which only a handful of people ever could do. But has to learn to do the little, routine things that win games— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 1, 2017
He can do things that help you win championships, but he still has to learn to do the things that get you to the playoffs— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 1, 2017
But he's in the perfect situation. His coach, Andy Reid, knows how to run an offense (when clock management isn't a factor). His team features a top defense. Mahomes could get on the field at some point this season, especially if Smith struggles. Don't rule it out.
Josh McCown survives a scare
The Jets' quarterback situation is undoubtedly the saddest in the league. And it nearly got worse on Thursday night.
In the first quarter of the Jets' final preseason game against the Eagles, McCown went down with an injury to his midsection when he took a hit to the ribs. He was tended to by doctors on the field.
Was the Christian Hackenberg era finally here due to the fact that the Jets decided to play their starting quarterback in their fourth and final preseason game?
Fortunately for the Jets (and reporters on the sideline who don't want to be hit by Hackenberg's errant passes), McCown was able to shake off the hit. Strangely, after almost losing their starter to an injury in a meaningless preseason game, the Jets sent him back in for another series.
Todd Bowles smiling as McCown tells him he's fine. And McCown comes back in. Playing with 🔥 now.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 31, 2017
McCown, 38, won the starting job over Hackenberg and Bryce Petty despite the fact that he has a career 78.2 passer rating and is 2-20 in his last 22 starts.
It's really not a great sign that an injury to McCown can cause this much panic for a football team, but this is the Jets we're talking about. Anyway, McCown exited the game after his second drive and Hackenberg finally took over.
McCown went 7 of 9 for 57 yards on the night.
John Ross leaves with knee injury
The Bengals' first-round pick, receiver John Ross, got off to a nice start against the Colts. He caught a pass for six yards and added 25 yards on a reverse. That's where the good part of his night ended, though.
John Ross doesn't have a helmet with him, so his night is done. AJ McCarron has been pulled for Jeff Driskel.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) August 31, 2017
The Bengals then ruled him out. That injury might not be serious, but it will derail Ross' plan to get as many snaps as possible before the regular season:
The Bengals took Ross with the ninth pick in the draft, so he's expected to become Andy Dalton's No. 2 target behind A.J. Green. If that knee injury ends his preseason, he'll finish with one catch for six yards and two carries for 33 yards during August.
Hackenberg, Geno make their cases
Both New York teams are trying to figure out who their backup quarterbacks will be. For the Jets, the decision will come down to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. For the Giants, the battle is between ex-Jets quarterback Geno Smith, rookie Davis Webb, and Josh Johnson.
This might come as a surprise, but Hackenberg and Geno both got off to nice starts on Thursday.
Hackenberg displayed the ability to actually put some touch on a pass when he hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 12-yard score:
Meanwhile, Smith threw a dart to Matt LaCosse for a 25-yard touchdown:
Smith went 10 of 11 for 111 yards. That should wrap up the Giants' backup quarterback competition. Then again, Johnson was also impressive. He started 8 of 10 for 99 yards and a touchdown. Webb completed 8 of 14 passes for 103 yards.
Meanwhile, Hackenberg went 10 of 22 and averaged 4.8 yards per attempt. So no, despite that one touchdown, he wasn't good.
Weird plan for Trubisky
No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky, the best quarterback on the Bears' roster, likely won't be starting Week 1 considering Mike Glennon was held out of Thursday night's game. But by getting the starting nod against the Browns, Trubisky was given a chance to submit one final argument.
Just kidding. Though Trubisky started, he didn't really get a chance to do much of anything. The Bears' coaching staff called nine straight running plays to start the game. Unsurprisingly, the Bears went three-and-out three times. Even when facing third-and-long, Trubisky handed the ball off.
For a while, the box score looked like this:
Finally, on their fourth series, they let Trubisky drop back to pass. It didn't go well.
Trubisky wound up going 2 of 4 for 10 yards before getting yanked for Connor Shaw. That'll end his preseason.
At least, that's what we thought. The Bears decided it was a good idea to put Trubisky back into the game with just a few minutes remaining on the clock when Shaw was forced to leave with an injury.
Bears coach John Fox said that Mark Sanchez was not available in the fourth quarter, so Mitchell Trubisky re-entered for Connor Shaw.— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) September 1, 2017
For some reason, they let him drop back to pass. He threw one more pass, which fell incomplete. He got sacked on his final play.
Anyway, here's Trubisky's final preseason stats: 36 of 53 (68 percent) for 364 yards (6.9 YPA), three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Patriots lose key special teams contributor
Since Cyrus Jones entered the league as a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2016, he hasn't done much as a member of the secondary. He has, however, been an important special teams player. Last year, he returned 11 punts for 46 yards and eight kickoffs for 180 yards.
He left Thursday's game with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots fear Jones will miss the entire season.
This isn't a devastating blow for the Patriots, but keep in mind that the Patriots also lost Julian Edelman for the year. They're lacking depth at punt returner.
Patriots other than Julian Edelman and Cyrus Jones who have returned an NFL punt:— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) September 1, 2017
Amendola: 147 returns
49ers rookie QB has wheels
C.J. Beathard isn't a running quarterback, but that doesn't mean he can't run. Against the Chargers, he went full Matt Saracen on a 62-yard touchdown run:
Lions ship first-round bust to San Francisco
The Lions and 49ers got together for a trade on Thursday, with guard Laken Tomlinson heading to San Francisco in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Tomlinson was selected No. 28 overall in 2015 by the Lions but never lived up to that billing, failing to establish himself as a quality starter in his two years in Detroit. He'll serve as a depth piece in the interior of the 49ers line as they look to tap into the potential that the Lions obviously saw in Tomlinson as a prospect.
- Jacksonville and San Antonio have
should flood conditions prevent Houston from being able to safely host the game.
- There's reportedly Ezekiel Elliott will have his suspension reduced multiple games. His appeal hearing wrapped up Thursday. that
- Joe Haden officially after being a surprise cut by the Browns earlier this week.
- Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert celebrated the Haden signing by inking his own two-year extension with the team.
- The Panthers added $2 million in incentives to the contract of tight end Greg Olsen, reports the Charlotte Observer.
- The Chiefs cleared more than $2 million in cap space by releasing offensive lineman Jah Reid.
- Titans coach Mike Mularkey says rookie receiver Corey Davis will be ready to play Week 1 against the Raiders.
- Colts owner Jim Irsay wouldn't rule out Andrew Luck for Week 1, but admitted it's unlikely he plays