NGSC Sports

AFC North: Players to Watch in the Final Preseason Game

As preseason football winds down, many teams will finalize their rosters and depth charts to prepare for a championship run. Below are a few key names in the AFC North who may be trying to earn some extra playing time or a roster spot.

 

Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bryant is a fourth round pick from Clemson who was expected to be a big boost to the Steelers’ receiving core, but looked a lot more raw than expected in his three preseason games. While the team still has high hopes for him, they understand he is a work in progress. Many fans should not be surprised if they use him a great deal in their final preseason game to give him much needed seasoning and a bode of confidence.

 

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Taliaferro has shined as the leading rusher during the Ravens preseason games so far. With fellow rusher Bernard Pierce recovering from a minor concussion, I expect Taliaferro to shoulder the load again in the preseason finale. His production and powerful running style may also demand a significant amount of carries during Ray Rice’s suspension.

 

Connor Shaw, QB, Cleveland Browns

Just a week ago, seemingly all of football nation tuned in to Monday Night Football to see Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer falter against the Washington Redskins, only so Shaw could enter the game and steal the show. Shaw completed eight of nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and helped the Browns pull off a stunning victory. Despite that memorable showing,  the signing of Rex Grossman could lead to Shaw being pushed into the practice squad. Shaw should take a fair amount of snaps during this game and his every move will be crucial.

 

Terrence West, RB, Cleveland Browns

Terrance West is another rookie who has played his way into receiving more carries during the preseason. Because starting half back Ben Tate has played a mediocre preseason, West will see a decent share of the regular season carries. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns use this game to experiment and  to observe what it’s like playing him in a variety of formations. While West may be asked to do a lot, I don’t expect him to play deep into this game because of how crucial his regular season role will be.

 

Hopefully everyone is excited to see that NFL regular season is just 10 days away. The fourth preseason game is usually considered to be the most unpopular, but I encourage fans to tune in this week to get a good feel for how deep their team is.

 

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