NFL Preseason Rolls Into Action

NFL PRESEASON ROLLS INTO ACTION

SAINTS FEND OFF CARDINALS 17-10 IN RAGGED HALL OF FAME GAME ...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES: CLEMSON'S WATKINS GETS SLAPPED WITH TWO-GAME SUSPENSION

By Jim Hurley:

Now, that's no way to win yourself a starting job at quarterback, Kevin Kolb!

Okay, so the National Football League's long-awaited 2012 preseason swung open its doors this past Sunday night in Canton (OH) and all eyes were on both the bounty-busted New Orleans Saints and the "simmering" quarterback controversy involving the Arizona Cardinals and -- while the Redbirds could soon have a starter at QB almost by default (we'll explain shortly) -- the Saints appear to be a league super-power once again even if head coach Sean Payton and defensive star LB Jonathan Vilma are gone for the year following suspensions by NFL commish/czar Roger Goodell.

First things first:

The Saints didn't miss a beat from the team that last year scored a gazillion points en route to an NFC South title as QB Drew Brees completed 4-of-5 passing attempts for 41 yards en route to his team's precision-like 10-play, 77-yard game-opening scoring drive that featured RBs Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. The Saints punched it into the end zone less than four full minutes into the Hall of Fame Game and never trailed in a 17-10 win that had chalk players and "under" guys/gals in a good mood afterwards (the Saints went off a 3-point betting favorite with a total price of 37 points) but it took an end zone interception in the game's waning moments to ensure victory for N'Orleans.

No doubt the Saints had reason to smile as interim head coach Joe Vitt earned the preseason win while Brees did his damage early and than exited stage left while gutsy second-string QB Chase Daniel finished 15-of-20 passing for 203 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT and the former Mizzou star sure looks ready to back up Brees this year.

The flip side wasn't too pretty for Arizona as recently named starter Kolb threw a pick on his first pass try of the night and later suffered a rib injury while getting tossed to the Fawcett Stadium field following an incomplete pass on the Cardinals' third offensive possession.

For those folks questioning Kolb's toughness -even the NFL Network folks reminded us with an in-game graphic that claimed Kolb has never started more than nine games in an NFL season -the former Philadelphia Eagles' backup was gone after completing just 1-of-4 passes for 4 yards and it didn't take long for "co-No.1" QB John Skelton to show major signs of life while completing 4-of-6 aerial strikes for 32 yards.

Hey, toss out the work of third-stringer QB Richard Bartel (3-of-7 passing for 61 yards) and long-shot QB Ryan Lindley (10-of-21 for 118 yards with one pick) because it means nothing in the general scheme of things for Ken Whisenhunt's Cards.

All you need to know is that Kolb looked lost in the brief time he played and than -from the what-else-is-new files -suffered yet another nagging injury that could well slow his course in trying to land the team's starting signal-caller spot. Got the feeling that Whisenhunt -who more-or-less has reached the end of his rope with Kolb -wants the 6-foot-5 Skelton to wrest the job free in the coming preseason weeks. Keep in mind the Cardinals will play in Kansas City this Friday night while the Saints are up next with a Thursday tilt at New England.

In all, the upcoming NFL Week One preseason sked includes Six (6) Thursday games including Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, Baltimore at Atlanta and Denver at Chicago while there are Six (6) more NFL preseason tilts on the Friday night card featuring the New York Jets at Cincinnati, the New York Giants at Jacksonville and Minnesota at San Francisco while this Saturday there's a pair of preseason pops (that's Houston at Carolina and Tennessee at Seattle) and lone games come Sunday (St. Louis at Indianapolis) and next Monday (that's Dallas at Oakland) and be sure of this one thing ...

Kolb ain't gonna be the only NFL quarterback to go down and go down hard this summer. Let's just say this end-zone injury could wind up costing him minutes/snaps this summer and a shot at being No. 1 come early September.

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run all summer long and we'll keep in rollin' this Thursday and Friday nights with those aforementioned busy cards -- get all the NFL Preseason Sides & Totals Winners and so don't miss out on all the profits this weekend and beyond. Do yourself a favor and Sign up today and get all the discount rates from America's #1 Handicapper! Make sure to check in with us on game days either right here online at or else at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Come in for our Season Of A Century Football program, and get the Preseason and the resat of the baseball season FREE! .

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES

Memo to Clemson sophomore wide receiver and return specialist Sammy Watkins: Say bye-bye to this year's Heisman Trophy!

Heck, we must admit that heading into the upcoming 2012 NCAA Football Season we would have pegged this do-it-all star as one of the top three or four choices to cop this year's Heisman Trophy but forget about that now that he's been suspended for the Tigers' first two games this year -including that much-ballyhooed season-opening tilt inside the Georgia Dome against Auburn.

Watkins was arrested this past May for having some prescription drugs and marijuana in his car on the school campus and -while everyone assumed that the super soph would miss a game or two -the reality of it now has doused cold water on Clemson's hopes for possibly playing for an unbeaten season while Watkins now likely will only get to this year's Heisman Trophy ceremony with a ticket. No doubt that Watkins will be a central character in Clemson's all-important ACC road tilt at Florida State come September 22nd but the $64,000 question is will Watkins than have to "fit in" to what Clemson is doing on offense then or will he be able to jump right into the mix and not miss a beat? Stay tuned ...

News from the Big East where Cincinnati says junior slinger Munchie Legaux has the "inside track" to start at quarterback over senior Brendon Kay -but this is no by means a "lock" as head coach Butch Jones has some trepidation regarding Legaux's accuracy and so this could wind up being a "who's hot at the time" deal as to whom plays more minutes under center for these '12 Bearcats ...

Finally, in case you were wondering, long-time NFL superstar wide receiver Chris Carter's -Duron -finally has landed at Florida Atlantic. The younger Carter played his freshman season in 2009 at Ohio State (his dad's alma mater, of course) before heading to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas for the 2010 season and than he transferred to Alabama last year but never was declared eligible to play.

Carter now enters his fourth school in as many years but -this just in -at the moment he's still not been cleared yet to play for the FAU Owls. Wonder what the elder Carter really thinks about his son's rather circuitous route to the NFL -if that's where he indeed concludes this pigskin odyssey of sorts.

NOTE: There's lots of NFL Preseason Week 1 News in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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