NFL Preseason Week 1 results, highlights, updates, schedule: Bill’s rookie Matt Araiza starts 82-yard punt

The NFL preseason is officially underway, and Week 1 of the 2022 exhibition season has been pretty eventful up to this point. Atlanta Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder threw a game-winning touchdown against the Detroit Lions with less than two minutes left, Jordan Love and Trey Lance traded long touchdowns at the bay, and Cincinnati Bengals star kicker Evan McPherson scored 3 of 3 with his field goals, including two from at least 56 yards.

There were also a few injuries, the most notable being New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson – who tore his meniscus. However, he is expected to be fine and not miss any time in the regular season.

This Saturday sees eight games total, starting with the Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Commanders and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears at 1:00 p.m. ET and ending with a battle for LA between the Super Bowl champions Rams and Chargers.

Below we’ll follow up on all the must-see highlights of Saturday’s action. Get ready for a full day of soccer.

Schedule

Thursday

Giants 23, Patriots 21 (snack)
Ravens 23, Titans 10 (recap)

Friday

Falcons 27, Lions 23 (recap)
Browns 24, Jaguars 13 (Recap)
Cardinals 36, Bengals 23 (recap)
Jets 24, Eagles 21 (snack)
49ers 28, Packers 21 (Recap)

Saturday

Bears 19, Chiefs 14 (Recap)
Panther 23, Commanders 21 (Retrospective)
Colts at Bills, 4 p.m. ET (Game Tracker)
Seahawks at Steelers, 7 p.m. ET (Game Tracker)
Dolphins at Buccaneers, 7:30 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Saints at Texans, 8 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Cowboys at Broncos, 9 p.m. ET (Game Tracker)
Rams at Chargers, 10 p.m. ET (Game Tracker)

Sunday

Vikings at Raiders, 4:25 p.m. ET (Game Tracker)

‘Punt God’ boots 82-yarder

They don’t call him “Punt God” for nothing. In the final minute of the first half of the Bills and Colts preseason opener, rookie punter Matt Araiza launched a thunderous 82-yard punt. It rebounded deep into Indy territory before going into the end zone for a touchback. Araiza’s punt was 4.23 seconds, according to an unofficial hangtime the athlete.

The San Diego State product made a name for himself in college for similar punts, and that led to his sixth-round pick for Buffalo in the 2022 NFL Draft. If he can continue to have punts like that and force teams to travel the length of the field against a defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL’s DVOA last year, Buffalo will be even more dangerous than initially thought.

Sales festival in Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts are the current betting favorites from their respective divisions and are among the most popular bets on winning the AFC in 2022. However, they didn’t exactly look like juggernauts from Opener in the first half of their preseason. This exhibition quickly became a sales festival. There were a total of six turnovers in the first two quarters, including a back-and-fourth from a four-straight in the second quarter.

After stopping a fourh-and-4 attempt by the Colts, quarterback Case Keenum was stripped near midfield. Just six games later, Indy signal caller Nick Foles was stripped while Buffalo’s Terrel Bernard recaptured loose ball and returned it 69 yards for the touchdown.

The next drive after this result, Foles’ throw was intercepted. A play later, the turnover train chugged on when Keenum was picked in the red zone.

Sam Howell’s stunning late rally

Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke haven’t done much as quarterbacks for the Commanders, but their third QB in rookie Sam Howell impressed. It took him just five passing completions to become Washington’s leading passer against his hometown Panthers, and then he recorded that impressive 17-yard rushing touchdown.

Don’t let Howell’s legs surprise you. He ran in 11 points for the Tar Heels last year.

After Carolina went three-and-out on the next possession, Howell took over again — trying to level the game at least midway through the fourth quarter. The Rook led a 13-play, 67-yard drive that capped off his second rushing touchdown of the game. Howell then met Alex Erickson for the two-point conversion to take the lead and fans at FedEx Field went wild.

Siemic splash games

Justin Fields’ new mentor leads a comeback in Chicago. From a 14-0 deficit, the Bears have 16 unanswered goals thanks to backup quarterback Trevor Siemian. Chicago isn’t acting like this is a preseason game, as offense went fourth and second and Siemian found a grazing Dante Pettis on the field.

Three games later, Siemian Dazz hit Newsome with a nice shot in the corner of the end zone to draw the Chiefs within a point.

Safety Justin Reid kicks XP for Chiefs

Harrison Butker isn’t the only good kicker in the Chiefs’ roster, as one of their safeties also has a talented leg. Reid entered 65-yard field goal in training camp last week and got a chance to score an extra point in week 1 of preseason. It was perfect.

Rookie RB Brian Robinson shines for Commanders

It looks like the Alabama rookie is poised to take some touches off Antonio Gibson in 2022. Robinson rushed 26 yards on his first six carries and also caught two passes for 15 yards early. Robinson also made commander history when he scored the first touchdown of the new era in Washington.

Tajae Sharpe is a Preseason Catch contestant

Sharpe is fighting for game time among the Bears’ wide receivers and this catch will surely help him. He used his athleticism, focus and awareness of the touchline to win this one. As a new member of the Bears, Sharpe spent last year with the Falcons. He caught 25 passes for 230 yards in 15 games played.

Sam Darnold with an impressive TD throw

The Panthers are early with the commanders, and Antonio Gibson helped his opponent by fumbling with his own 28-yard line. Darnold replaced Baker Mayfield as quarterback for Carolina’s second series, and after three plays in the drive, connected with Rashard Higgins for an eight-yard touchdown.

This is quite an impressive throw as Darnold Montez had sweat on his face but perfectly guided his wideout while throwing off his back foot.

The NFL world is a bit nervous for sophomore Fields as he has been tasked with finding success behind a questionable offensive line and with a wide receiving corps that not many are high on. However, Fields still has Mooney, who is coming off a career campaign in which he caught 81 passes for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns.

Check out this throw and catch that went 26 yards:

The Chiefs waste no time scoring TD on the first Saturday

OK, that’s enough. We can take Patrick Mahomes out of the game. He’s still good at football. The former NFL MVP led an 11-play, 72-yard drive that included a few highlight reel plays and was crowned with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Blake Bell.

Watson is awaiting a possible increase in the NFL’s punishment – which is expected to increase her six-game suspension to something more significant – but he picked up the field for the Browns’ first preseason game of the new year against the Jaguars . Watson certainly looked like someone playing their first game in 568 dayswhen he finished on 1 of 5 passing with only seven passing yards.

On the upside for the Browns, backup QB Joshua Dobbs was looking good, completing 10 of 13 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

From Friday: Ridders Kupplungssiegerpass

The Lions Falcons preseason game had nothing to do with being that entertaining. New ATL QB Marcus Mariota looked great, as did rookie Desmond Ridder. Fourth and ninth, three points behind, and with less than two minutes to go, Ridder faced Jared Bernhardt for the crucial score.

Not only was this play well watched by a rookie quarterback, but the player on the receiving end of the touchdown deserves some credit. Bernhardt is a former Maryland lacrosse star and winner of the 2021 Tewaaraton Award – given to the top player in college lacrosse. In addition to being a loose legend at an elite school, Bernhardt then transferred to Ferris State to play football and led the program to an unbeaten record and their first Division II national championship as a quarterback. Now he has caught a game-winning touchdown in the NFL. What a story.

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