The first week of the NFL preseason 2023 began on Thursday night, with New England Patriots hosting the Houston Texans and the Seattle Seahawks receiving the Minnesota Vikings.
C.J. Stroud the No.2 overall pick got his first NFL reps starting for Houston. He went 2-for-4 for 13 yards and an interception before coach DeMeco Ryans looked to incumbent starter Davis Mills.
Mills went 9-of-12 for 99 yards and a touchdown before Case Keenum took over under centre. While the Carolina Panthers named No.1 overall pick Bryce Young the starter to open training camp, Ryans still has not picked a starter between Stroud and Mills.
On the other side of the pitch, New England fans will have to wait another week to observe how quarterback Mac Jones is adjusting to Bill O’Brien’s new offense.
Seattle’s Pro Bowl quarterback Geno Smith watched Drew Lock take the start. Jaxon Smith-Njiba, the second of the Seahawk’s first-round picks, got his first NFL action Thursday night, along with Vikings first-rounder Jordan Addison.
These are the biggest takeaways from Thursday’s games, including the link to the rest of the Week 1 NFL preseason 2023 schedule.
More from the NFL: 2023 NFL preseason, Week 1: What experts learned from Thursday’s preseason doubleheader.
NFL preseason games on Thursday, August 10
Houston Texans 20, New England Patriots 9
Texans: “C.J. Stroud struggled in his first preseason start, which could allow the quarterback competition with Davis Mills to linger. Stroud played two series and went 2-for-4 for 13 yards with an interception. Mills went 9-for-12 for 99 yards with a touchdown.
Stroud appeared to be separating in the competition as coach DeMeco Ryans gave Stroud all the first-team offensive reps in practice as he showed better command of the offense. But in his first NFL action, he was tentative, took a sack and threw an interception that led to a Patriots’ field goal. He didn’t have excellent protection, as he was under pressure on 60% of his dropbacks.
On the other hand, Mills led the Texans to their only points of the first half with a touchdown throw to rookie receiver Tank Dell”. – DJ Bien-Aime.
Next game: vs. Dolphins (4 p.m. ET, Saturday, August 19).
Patriots: “On a night that most starters didn’t play, second-round draft pick Keion White turned in an impressive debut. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive end out of Georgia Tech started on the edge and was consistently disruptive around the ball. He finished with three tackles, including smothering running back Dare Ogunbowale on a loose exchange with quarterback Davis Mills that linebacker Calvin Munson recovered for a turnover. White’s performance, combined with first-round pick Christian Gonzalez starting at cornerback, infuses youth into an already strong defense that returns every player except Devin McCourty. The Patriots lead the NFL in terms of defensive retention.” – Mike Reiss.
Next game: at Packers (8 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 19).
Seattle Seahawks 24, Minnesota Vikings 13
Seahawks: “Drew Lock has yet to put it all together over four NFL seasons, but he showed Thursday night why the Seahawks continue to believe that he’s a starting-calibre quarterback.
With Geno Smith and most of Seattle’s veteran first-teamers getting the night off, Lock started against Minnesota and played into the fourth quarter, in large part because the Seahawks want to get him as many reps as possible this preseason after he didn’t play a single snap in last year’s regular season.
At times, he looked like he was shaking off rust from almost a calendar year on the bench. But he mostly showed off the tools that made him a second-round pick and a player Seattle badly wanted to acquire in the Russell Wilson trade. Lock completed 17 of 24 passes for 191 yards, two touchdown passes and a tough-luck interception on a throw that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.” – Brady Henderson
Vikings: “Running back Ty Chandler took advantage of an extended look Thursday night as he competes for the No. 2 job behind starter Alexander Mattison.
Playing for almost the entire first half, Chandler rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries, while also catching four passes for another 29 yards. Along the way, he demonstrated his ability to make the first defender miss. And he did so, coach Kevin O’Connell said at halftime, on some poorly blocked plays. With Kene Nwangwu sidelined by injury for most of camp and rookie DeWayne McBride struggling, Chandler has a clear path to the No. 2 job at this point.” – Kevin Seifert
Next game: vs. Titans (8 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 19)
Next game: vs. Cowboys (10 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 19)
View the rest of the schedule for NFL preseason 2023 games for the month of August.
Story credit: ESPN.