Week three is traditionally the most important week of the NFL preseason, with teams playing their starters deep into the second half before resting them in week four.
That might change this year since the lockout left many teams behind the eight ball.
Either way, we learned a lot this week:
LIONS MANIA. The team that the entire universe thinks is going to have a big year dominated the New England Patriots this week. QB Matthew Stafford was sharp, and the defensive front was beastly once again.
The Giants are made of glass. Mathias Kiwanuka was the latest New York Giant to go down in the team’s underwhelming performance against the Jets.
Michael Vick needs some protection. Another poor showing from the Eagles offensive line against the Browns.
Eagles RB Lesean McCoy has been awesome. He looks poised for a big year after 7 catches for 69 yards this week.
Matt Ryan’s arm nearly fell off. He threw 42 passes in the first half this week as Atlanta continues to get its passing game in sync.
Cam Newton had some growing pains. He did enough to start the last preseason game, but was just 6-19 passing.
Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton showed signs of life. He has been awful this preseason, but he rebounded this week, going 11-17 for 130 yards and a TD against the Panthers.
The Cowboys released Pro Bowl C Andre Gurode. Philly seems to be a fit with its o-line issues, but that’s just speculation.
Arian Foster picked up a knock. The consensus No. 1 fantasy player got hurt in Houston’s game against the 49ers, but he expects to be OK for the regular season.
Chris Johnson is still holding out of Titans camp.
Tim Tebow is back in the mix. After being declared the fourth-string QB by an unnamed Broncos higher-up, Tebow took nearly all of the second-team snaps against Seattle. He was a so-so 6-11 for 93 yards.
Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald hooked up. Impressive stuff from the Arizona Cardinals new QB-WR pair.