Week 2 of the 2019 NFL Preseason kicked off on Thursday night, and quite a few former NC State players shined over the past two nights.
Quarterback Ryan Finley was exceptional on Thursday night, completing 20 of his 26 pass attempts for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Bengals 23-13 victory over the Redskins. His QB Rating on the night was an impressive 115.9.
.@PackFootball should be proud of how Ryan Finley is playing for the Bengals tonight! Only a preseason game, but he's solving every problem w good decisions, pocket presence, and accurate throws. #CINvsWAS
— Trevor Matich (@TMatich) August 16, 2019
Watching #Bengals rookie QB Ryan Finley (4th Round Pick) makes it evident why team moved Jeff Driskel to WR. 8-8 on TD drive. Kid is 100% ready to backup Dalton. No need for 3 QBs on roster. Finley will be starting and potentially successful at some point this season.
— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) August 16, 2019
Ryan Finley notes:
-Excellent poise in pocket
-Two outstanding dig routes. Perfect touch/ball location around multiple defenders
-Still struggles w/velocity on outside lane throws. Needs to be perfect there from timing standpoint
-Ran the offense well, consistent good decisions
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 16, 2019
At this point, it looks like Finley has established himself as Andy Dalton’s backup.
Linebacker Germaine Pratt had 3 tackles, 1 Pass Deflection, and 1 QB Hit in Cincinnati’s 23-13 victory over Washington.
Nice high tackle by Germaine Pratt pic.twitter.com/So11aeKYoD
— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) August 16, 2019
Wide Receiver Kelvin Harmon was targeted twice in the Redskins 23-13 loss to the Bengals, and insanely called for offensive pass interference on both plays.
We are all DOOMED!!
1. Possibly the worst offensive pass interference call in history.
2. Theismann‘s reaction is 😂😂🤣
3. Jay Gruden challenges it.
4. The call was upheld and the ruling on the field stands (??) 😶😶 pic.twitter.com/ZAuU5Ccuwf
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 16, 2019
And YES, this insane catch by Harmon was challenged by the Bengals, and flipped to offensive pass interference.
Kelvin Harmon just made an ABSURD catch. pic.twitter.com/lU4tYcYsZ8
— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) August 16, 2019
Harmon reminded the Twitterverse that there are no 50/50 balls thrown his direction. They are 90/10 balls.
— Kelvin Harmon (@Wide_Receiver3) August 16, 2019
Harmon’s coach Jay Gruden doesn’t want him to change a thing.
Jay Gruden STRONG in his defense of Kelvin Harmon on the penalties.
“I’ll continue to coach Kelvin Harmon to go get the football. That’s why we drafted him. If he can’t do what he did tonight, I don’t know what he can do.”
— Craig Hoffman (@CraigHoffman) August 16, 2019
Quarterback Jalan McClendon was 2-2 for 12 yards in Washington’s 23-13 loss to Cincinnati.
It was cool to see 4 former Wolfpack players chatting it up on Thursday.
A little NC State huddle: Germaine Pratt, Ryan Finley, Kelvin Harmon and Jalan McClendon. pic.twitter.com/iz20pEpVf8
— Jordan Dajani (@JordanDajani) August 16, 2019
Quarterback Mike Glennon was dang near perfect on Thursday night, completing 11 of 14 for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the Raiders 33-26 victory over the Cardinals.
Glennon is solidifying himself as Derek Carr’s backup.
Punter AJ Cole had a boot on Thursday, averaging 49.4 yards per punt (5 punts) in Oakland’s 33-26 win over Arizona. Cole dropped 3 of his 5 punts inside the 20.
Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka made 1 of his 2 field goal attempts in the Bills 27-14 victory over the Panthers on Friday night, and was 3-3 on extra points. He made a 30-yard field goal, and missed a 48-yarder.
Defensive End B.J. Hill had 2 tackles in the Giants 32-13 victory over the Bears last night.
Future with Chargers ‘unclear’ for Philip Rivers after move
NC State legend, Philip Rivers has been a lifelong Charger. He was drafted in 2004 and has spent his entire 15-year career with the same NFL team (which in today’s game is insane). However, it is no secret that his career is winding down and now with the news that Adam Schefter just broke, could it be curtains for this future Hall of Famer?
Philip Rivers and his family “permanently” have moved out of San Diego, the QB confirmed to ESPN this morning.https://t.co/Aj2BZ1H11X
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2020
According to multiple sources, Philip Rivers and his family have permanently moved from San Diego to Florida, but he tells ESPN that he isn’t planning retirement at this point.
“I plan to play football, so yes,” Rivers said on Dec. 29. “Where that is going to be will get sorted out over the next few months. I’ve never been in this position. … I’m very thankful for the 16 years, and if there is another, I’ll be thankful for that.” (ESPN)
Rivers is a free agent and there were questions on what the Chargers were planning to do. He is now 38 years old, coming off a sub-par season and now letting it be known that he and his family have moved. So was the writing on the wall, did Rivers make the Chargers decision for them, or could he come back to the Chargers on a one year deal?
Here are some of the initial reactions…
Philip Rivers has talked a lot about how important it is to him to be around his family. This would be an awfully strange decision if he expects to remain with the Chargers. https://t.co/aCFzBbo4mx
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 19, 2020
Philip Rivers leaving San Diego certainly clouds his future with the Chargers, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's over. Plenty of players make their home in places far from their team. Unless Rivers plays for the Bucs, Dolphins, or Jags next season, he'll have to do so too. https://t.co/covKKv0sWN
— Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) January 19, 2020
There had been rumors floating around throughout the season that Rivers may end up with the Dolphins and this move just adds fuel to that fire. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Torry Holt is a Finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame
Former NC State Wide Receiver Torry Holt has been named a Modern Era Finalist for the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame Class for the first time. Holt has been a Semi-Finalist the first 5 years he’s been eligible, but this is the first time he made it to the Final 15.
The Modern-Era Finalists for the Class of 2020 have been set! #PFHOF20
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 2, 2020
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 2, 2020
Five of the Fifteen players will make the final cut, who receive at least 80% of the votes.
Holt played 11 seasons, and was a Pro Bowler in 7 of them (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007). He also earned 1st Team All-Pro honors in 2003, and 2nd Team All-Pro honors in 2006.
He led the NFL in receiving yards twice (2000 & 2003) and receptions once (2003)
In 11 seasons, Holt ranked in the Top-10 in receiving yards 8 times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007), receptions 5 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006), and touchdown receptions 4 times (2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006).
He was also a part of “The Greatest Show on Turf” with Kurt Warner throwing the ball to him and Isaac Bruce. They went to 2 Super Bowls, and took home the trophy in 2001.
The only reason Holt hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame already is because his body didn’t hold on for a couple more seasons. What he did in a shortened career is remarkable, and shouldn’t be denied simply because his career numbers aren’t as high as others.
He was the youngest player to accumulate 10,000 receiving yards, as well as 11,000. Holt’s the only player in NFL history to have over 1,300 receiving yards in 6 straight seasons.
He averaged 77.4 receiving yards per game for his career, which ranks 7th all-time in NFL history.
You could make an argument that for a decade, there was no better receiver in the NFL than Torry Holt. If you are in the conversation for being the best at your position throughout the length of your career, you should be in the Hall of Fame.
Philip Rivers’ Status for Next Season is Up in the Air
Former NC State Quarterback Philip Rivers just wrapped up his 16th season in the NFL, which have all been played for the Chargers.
Rivers just wrapped up the final year of a 4-year $83.25 million contract, and it wasn’t the shining moment of his career to say the least. His QB Rating of 88.5 for the year marked his second lowest single season rating of his career. His 23 passing touchdowns were the third lowest of his career, with the other two seasons being his first two. Rivers threw 20 interceptions for the 3rd time in his career.
It wasn’t all bad for the former ACC Player of the Year, throwing for 4,615 yards, which ranked 4th in the NFL at a 66.0% clip, which ranked 10th.
Rivers has no plan to retire, but he doesn’t know for sure that he will be back with the Bolts in 2020.
“Yeah, I plan to play football, so yeah,” Rivers said. “Again, where that’s going to be, I think that’s going get sorted out over the next three months, I guess. I’ve never been in this position. I usually don’t even know when the league year starts and when all those things are. We’ll just kind of see. Again, I’m very thankful for 16 years, and if there’s another, I’ll be thankful for that one. But I think just with the uncertainty just comes that unknown.” (NBC)
Chargers GM Tom Telesco hasn’t ruled out the return of Rivers in 2020.
“In a perfect world, No. 17 is your quarterback forever,” Telesco says. “I hope that I’m not offending Dan Fouts when I say that. [Rivers] has meant everything to this organization. You work with different players differently. He has been here for a long time. When I talk with him, he’s a joy to work with. Nobody has a better perspective on what goes on — not only just with him, but with the football team — than he does.”
“I think Philip would say the same thing, there are some plays that he probably definitely wants back, but there are also some throws that he makes still that a lot of quarterbacks in this league can’t make,” Telesco says. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. I think he can still compete at a top-starter level.”
“We need to get removed from the season a little bit,” Telesco says. “Even, right now it’s just way too early. I’ve been out at a couple of games. We just finished the season. We need to take a step back for a little bit of time. We have time. The first day of the league year is March 18. Our players come in April 20. Camp starts in July. We’ll know before July, obviously, but you need some time to kind of let things decompress a little bit.” (SI)
Some NFL Executives speculate that Rivers could end up in Indianapolis, taking the job of another former Wolfpack Quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
NFL executives, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, believe that the Colts would explore the option of bringing in Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers if he and the Chargers part ways this offseason. The reasoning is based on Rivers’ past history with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach during the 2013 season. (CBS)
Wilson and Thuney make PFF’s 2019 All-Pro Teams
ProFootballFocus has released their 2019 All-Pro Teams, and 2 former NC State football players were honored.
Despite the fact that Lamar Jackson’s destined to win the 2019 NFL MVP Award, PFF put QB Russell Wilson on their 1st Team instead of Jackson.
Lamar Jackson is the presumptive league MVP, and his development this year has been phenomenal, but what Russell Wilson has been able to do while dragging a sub-par offense has been remarkable. Wilson’s grade and PFF WAR has been incredible all season long, and even when the offense cooled down the stretch, he was still making big plays only to be let down by his supporting cast. Wilson finished the year with six more big-time throws than any other quarterback, and he had just 11 turnover-worthy plays to balance those high-end plays. (PFF)
New England Patriots’ Offensive Guard Joe Thuney made the 2nd Team, after being snubbed of the Pro Bowl.
Joe Thuney has played his role in making sure that doesn’t happen. His pressure rate allowed of 2.5% trails only Marshal Yanda and Richie Incognito among all guards with 250 or more pass-blocking snaps this season. (PFF)