NFL preseason Week 3 takeaways: 49ers show off two-quarterback system, Joe Burrow makes brief appearance

Written by on August 30, 2021

Week 3 of the NFL preseason is in full swing as four games went down on Friday night — along with six on Saturday and five more Sunday — to make up Week 3 of the 2021 NFL preseason, so there are plenty of highlights to go around. We’ll be adding our takeaways here as the games end:


Eagles 31, Jets 31 (takeaways)

Panthers 34, Steelers 9 (takeaways)


Bills 19, Packers 0 (takeaways)

Bears at Titans (takeaways)


Jaguars at Cowboys (takeaways)

Patriots at Giants (takeaways)

And here’s a look at what stood out from each game of the final preseason weekend below:


Indianapolis trailed 17-9 through three quarters before rallying to defeat the Lions in Detroit, 27-17. Deon Jackson scored two fourth quarter touchdowns that included a 42-yard run serving as the game’s final touchdown. Jackson’s first touchdown plus his two-point conversion run tied the score with 11:32 remaining. Curtis Bolton’s interception interception moments later set up Rodrigo Blankenship’s go-ahead field goal. Colts quarterback Jacob Eason went 10-of-14 for 74 yards, while Lions quarterback David Blough went 13-of-21 for 117 yards with an interception. Indy also lost QB Sam Ehlinger, who showcased play-making ability on a scramble and deep ball, to a potentially serious knee injury.

The Chiefs made light work of the Vikings’ defense early on, with Patrick Mahomes suiting up and hitting No. 1 wideout Tyreek Hill for a 35-yard score to help Kansas City go up 14-0 in the first. Undrafted reserve QB Shane Buechele got most of the work under center, though, finishing the night 20 of 33 for 233 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. Former undrafted running back Derrick Gore was the real star for K.C., totaling 106 yards and scoring on a 56-yard catch-and-run to make his case for a roster spot. Rookie QB Kellen Mond helped Minnesota move the ball on the ground, gaining 40 yards himself and watching as Asim Rose ran for two TDs to narrow the score in the fourth. Fifteen points by Minnesota in the final frame couldn’t stop the Chiefs from claiming a 28-25 victory and solidifying a perfect 2021 preseason.


Ravens 37, Washington 3

A spectacular performance from second-year quarterback Tyler Huntley led the Ravens in this one. Huntley accounted for all five Baltimore touchdowns, completing 24 of 33 passes for 285 yards and four scores through the air and carrying the ball six times for 14 yards and an additional end zone trip. Huntley’s exploits were overshadowed, though, by the first-quarter injury sustained by running back J.K. Dobbins. After catching a screen pass from Lamar Jackson, Dobbins got his leg bent backwards while being tackled. He had to be helped off the field by trainers and later carted to the locker room. Dobbins was set to play the lead role in Baltimore’s backfield this season. If he has to miss time, Gus Edwards would presumably play a much larger role, while Justice Hill and/or Ty’Son Williams would see increased snaps as well. And of course, Baltimore could elect to trade for an additional back or sign one after roster cut-downs. But all of that is secondary to the obvious concern regarding Dobbins. 

Tom Brady looks to be ready for the season as he went 11 of 14 for 154 yards and a touchdown to lead Tampa Bay to a preseason win over Houston. Rookie Kyle Trask also had a great night for the Bucs as he completed 12 of 14 passes for 146 yards and a score. Texans rookie quarterback Davis Mills threw three interceptions, but did connect on two touchdowns. 

Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock each threw a touchdown pass as Denver closed out the preseason with a win over Los Angeles. Bryce Perkins played the entire game at quarterback for the Rams and accounted for 251 yards, but couldn’t find the end zone as Matt Gay connected on four field goals. 

Seahawks 27, Chargers 0

Reserve quarterbacks Geno Smith and Sean Mannion were a combined 24 of 30 for Seattle in a blowout win.  


Nine months after tearing both the ACL and MCL in his left knee, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow took his first snaps Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Burrow’s first and only pass attempt was dropped by former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who has had issues with drops this preseason. Burrow took three snaps before the Bengals were forced to punt.

Reid Sinnett started at quarterback for the Dolphins, who rested most of their starters on Sunday, including Tua Tagovailoa. Stinnett was 22 of 33 for 343 yards with two TDs and an interception.

49ers 34, Raiders 10

The San Francisco 49ers showed off coach Kyle Shanahan’s two-quarterback system by getting rushing touchdowns from both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance in a victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Shanahan rotated his two quarterbacks on the first two drives against the Raiders backups as a tune-up for the regular season when he plans to use both Garoppolo and the rookie Lance.

Analysis to come

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