The Runner Sports

NFL Rookies That Impressed During Preseason Week 2

Week 2 of the preseason was an interesting affair full of exciting plays and surprising moments. While many of these plays came courtesy of veterans, more than a few were provided by rookies. However, Leonard Fournette was inactive, and Deshaun Watson was more average against the Patriots. The biggest plays actually came from some more surprising names.

Here are some of the biggest performers from the ranks of the rookies.

Alvin Kamara

The Saints’ backfield is obviously loaded with Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram, but the rookie from Tennessee could be pushing for some work. Alvin Kamara started off Sunday’s game by breaking a 50-yard touchdown run against the Chargers’ starting defense. Granted, Denzel Perryman wasn’t on the field, but the play was still impressive nonetheless. Kamara followed the touchdown run up by carrying four more times for 11 yards and catching one pass for 22 yards. While he didn’t total many touches, Kamara still scored a crucial touchdown that helped the Saints defeat the Chargers.

D’Onta Foreman

Did you hear? The Texans defeated the Patriots. Sure, the victory came during the preseason and doesn’t matter, but you know that Houston’s coaching staff was happy to finally defeat Bill Belichick. There were many players that contributed to this victory, including Bruce Ellington and Tom Savage, but one of the biggest performers was rookie D’Onta Foreman. The former Texas running back didn’t pile up many rushing yards (17 yards on seven attempts), but he made an impression with a key touchdown run where he beat the Patriots defenders to the edge and dove for the end zone.

Of course, the biggest play of Foreman’s day was when he caught a short dump pass and made magic happen. The rookie running back broke four tackles en route to a 63-yard gain and set up the Texans offense deep in the red zone.

This long play showed off solid hands, power, speed, and elusiveness. If he continues to make plays like this, Foreman could turn into a solid backup to Lamar Miller.

Christian McCaffrey

No Cam Newton, no problem. It didn’t seem to matter that a backup in Derek Anderson was leading the Panthers’ offense on Sunday; Christian McCaffrey shouldered the load and provided big plays. No offense to Anderson, but he just doesn’t scare defenses in the same way that Newton does. It’s like facing a house cat instead of a Panther. But I digress. What really matters is that McCaffrey took only five touches and turned them into 72 combined yards and a touchdown. One of these plays was a 38-yard catch-and-run while another was a 17-yard touchdown run where McCaffrey ran untouched. It sure looks like the Panthers have found yet another stellar running back.

Victor Bolden Jr.

The preseason is generally a time when multiple kickoffs are returned for touchdowns by players just trying to earn a job. These plays are fairly common and generally don’t result in a roster spot, but Victor Bolden Jr. is in a different situation. The San Francisco 49ers struggled greatly on Saturday, barely managing to move the ball beyond one touchdown pass from CJ Beathard to tight end George Kittle. None of the three quarterbacks were very effective, to the point where Brian Hoyer fumbled one attempted pass and threw an interception. Beathard, on the other hand, missed a few targets with wild throws and struggled to produce against the Broncos.

Luckily, the 49ers found another way to score when Bolden took a kickoff back 104 yards while eluding the entire Broncos special teams. The former Oregon State receiver was known for these returns during his college career, and it looks like he could continue that trend as a professional. Even the announcers were going wild and making proclamations that Bolden deserves a roster spot.

https://twitter.com/49ers/status/899133682497183745?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ninersnation.com%2F2017%2F8%2F19%2F16175160%2Fvideo-victor-bolden-kickoff-return-touchdown-video

 

 

Week 3 of the preseason starts Thursday with two games involving the Dolphins, Eagles, Panthers, and Jaguars. Will Christian McCaffrey impress once again?

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John Newby

A Minnesota Vikings fan from Oregon who writes about the Houston Texans and discusses nerdy topics.
Quite fond of my wife, video games, and Blue Heelers.
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