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Winners and losers from NFL preseason week one

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Michael Vick

34-year old Vick still showed he has some gas left in the tank against the Indianapolis Colts. While his numbers were not overly impressive (3 of 6 for 17 yards), he made some key plays with his legs and led the Jets on a 14-play touchdown drive. Vick is still behind Geno Smith on the depth chart, but definitely turned some heads with a solid outing.

DeMarcus Ware

Amidst lightning delays and a slew of penalty flags in Denver, Ware stepped onto the field with a purpose Thursday night. The 32-year old looked to be back at full-strength after suffering several disappointing, injury-plagued seasons.

He recorded one sack and was tormenting the quarterback with pressure during his one quarter of action. If he can stay healthy, Ware looks to be a disruptive force for the Denver Broncos this season.

Brandin Cooks. The 2014 first-round pick made his debut for the New Orleans Saints Friday night, showcasing his speed and versatility on the field.

Cooks caught five balls for 55 yards against the Rams, including a nifty 25-yard touchdown that left defenders in his wake. It’s only one game, but so far, the rookie seems to be living up to the pre-season hype and looks to be a valuable weapon for the Saints offense.

Chicago QBs

Jay Cutler, Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clauson each threw touchdown passes, capping an impressive night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Cutler completed 9 of 13 passes for 85 yards in his two series.

Palmer was next up and went 8 of 11 for 104 yards. Clausen then started the third quarter, throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, a solid performance from the Chicago quarterbacks.

Andy Dalton

Dalton only attempted five passes against the Kansas City Chiefs, but proved he can still throw the long ball, connecting with A.J. Green on a beautiful 53-yard strike. Dalton recently signed a mega six-year contract extension, making him the undeniable franchise quarterback of the Bengals.

Colt McCoy

Yes, there was a Colt McCoy sighting at FedEx Field Thursday night. McCoy took over for Kirk Cousins, completing 8 of 9 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was a staggering 150.9.

Granted, New England sat some of its key defensive players, including Darrelle Revis, but McCoy proved he’s still a playmaker and a viable back-up in the league.


Ryan Mallet

Mallet got the start for New England against the Washington Redskins, but did little to impress. With Tom Brady sitting this one out, Mallet played the entire first half, completing 5 of 12 passes for 55 yards.

He failed to lead the Patriots on a scoring drive and threw inaccurate, often erratic passes to open receivers. With Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo also vying for the back-up role, Mallet needs to step up his game this pre-season.

Blaine Gabbert

In March, the Jaguars traded Gabbert to the 49ers for a sixth-round pick and, after his debut performance with his new team, the move is looking unbalanced in Jacksonville’s favor.

After relieving Colin Kaepernick against the Baltimore Ravens, Gabbert went 3-of-11 for 20 yards, including an interception. Gabbert was the tenth overall pick in the 2011 draft, but has never lived up to his first-round expectations. He’ll now be competing with Josh Johnson for the number two role in San Francisco.

Matt Schaub

The Oakland Raiders continue their revolving carousel at quarterback and are hoping newly acquired Schaub will “just win baby.” Schaub’s debut performance against the Minnesota Vikings, though, was anything but spectacular. Schaub played three series, all three-and-outs, finishing 3 of 7 for 21 yards. The 33-year old is looking for new life in Oakland after a rough 2013 season in Houston.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bottom line, the quarterback situation in Houston is not good. And Fitzpatrick did nothing against the Arizona Cardinals to prove he’s the clear-cut choice for the starting role.

Fitz played the entire first half, finishing 6 of 14 for 55 yards and two interceptions. If Saturday night is any indication of what’s to come, it’s going to be another long season for the Texans.

Tharold Simon

Who? Being ejected from a game is no way to make a name for yourself in this league, but that’s exactly what the Seahawks cornerback did Thursday night. Second-year player Simon was disqualified after striking a Broncos player in the helmet following a scoring play. This is definitely not the kind of attention he is looking for from coach Pete Carroll.

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