The 10 Most Important Things We've Learned From The NFL Preseason So Far

tim tebow jets warm up

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Yeah, we know, you shouldn’t make too much out of preseason games, and they have little to do with what will actually happen in the regular season.BUT, there’s a difference between reading too much into preseason win-loss results, and drawing conclusions from individual performance in summer action.

So far, a bunch of rookie QBs have impressed, two AFC East teams have underwhelmed, and one legend has given Broncos fans a reason to miss Tim Tebow.

1. Andrew Luck is as good as advertised

The Colts took a legitimate gamble by dumping Peyton Manning and committing 100% to Andrew Luck.

In limited preseason action, it looks like they made a solid bet. Luck will certainly struggle in his rookie season, but he has showed he has all the poise, arm strength, and football IQ that made NFL scouts drool all over him.

2. The Jets' offence has problems beyond the quarterback position

The Jets' first unit hasn't score yet in the preseason, and it's not all Mark Sanchez's fault.

The offensive line has allowed Sanchez to get sacked five times in limited action, the running game has looked inept, and there is simply not a lot of quality at the skill positions.

3. Tim Tebow, not great

4. The wave of rookie QB competence continues

Last year, Cam Newton subverted all of our assumptions about what a rookie QB is capable of, and it looks like this year's rookie crop will follow in his footsteps.

You already know about Luck and RGIII, but even guys like Seattle rookie Russell Wilson are impressing people.

Luck, RGIII, Wilson, Cleveland's Brandon Weedon and Miami's Ryan Tannehill all have a chance of starting Week 1.

5. Peyton Manning doesn't look like the Peyton of old

We all knew Manning would be rusty, but he's doing some really un-Peyton type of things so far.

He has thrown two red zone interceptions. He's getting passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage. And he's been trying to stuff the ball into double- and triple-covered receivers.

6. The Dolphins are not exactly inspiring confidence on 'Hard Knocks'

You can only learn so much from preseason games, but you can learn a lot from HBO's 'Hard Knocks' (we think).

After watching a few episodes our impression is that the Dolphins will struggle this year. The defence seems half-decent, but every skill position player that the show profiles seems to be having a really hard time.

Maybe it's just creative editing, but Miami seems bad.

7. BUT, Ryan Tannehill is a little better than advertised

Everyone (us included) panned the Dolphins for taking Tannehill so high, but it looks like Miami made a good pick.

Tannehill is raw, but he has protected the ball well so far, even though Miami is running a limited offensive package for him.

8. Shawne Merriman might be toast

It seems like it was only a few seasons ago that Merriman was the most feared man in the NFL.

But now he's searching for a team after getting cut from the Bills.

The worst sign: the Bills had already paid Merriman $1 million, meaning he was so bad that they were willing to lose money on cutting him.

9. The Cardinals are giving up on Kevin Kolb

Kevin Kolb was hailed at the franchise QB when Arizona traded for him last summer.

But now, all indications are that he'll be a highly paid back-up, and John Skelton will start.

Kolb started just nine games with the team last year before getting injured and then benched.

10. The replacement refs need to be replaced

The labour dispute between the league and the referees has led to the use of replacement refs. The results have not been good. Here's one of the most obvious gaffes, when the refs ruled that a punt downed at the 5-yard line was a touch back.

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