LANDOVER, Md. – Adrian Peterson showed the Washington Redskins what they needed to see in his debut by rushing for 56 yards on 11 carries in a 29-17 loss to the Denver Broncos on Friday night in each team’s third preseason game.
Peterson carried the ball seven consecutive plays on one possession, and the 2012 MVP later picked up 15 yards on fourth-and-1. The Redskins (1-2) signed Peterson on Monday after injuries to three running backs and were eager to see what the 33-year-old had in the tank.
They got their answer: enough to likely earn the starting job Week 1 at the Arizona Cardinals. After only three practices, Peterson looked to have passed Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and injured backs Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall on the depth chart.
Peterson’s play was a bright spot for the Redskins as they were carved up by Case Keenum and Denver’s first-team offense, and Alex Smith was an unimpressive 3 of 8 for 33 yards in four series. Keenum was 12 of 18 for 148 yards before giving way to backup Chad Kelly for the Broncos (1-2).
The Broncos’ first-team offense scored two touchdowns and added a field goal in five series of work, led by dual-threat receiver Emmanuel Sanders. He was responsible for all 75 of Denver’s yards on its second touchdown drive, catching passes of 15 and 33 yards from Keenum and scoring on a 27-yard end-around.
Giants 22, Jets 16
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Sam Darnold led the Jets on two touchdown drives, moving closer to securing the starting quarterback job in a loss to the Giants.
The No. 3 overall draft pick made his second consecutive start, finishing 8 of 16 for 86 yards – including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor.
Darnold is competing with Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the Jets’ starting job, but the rookie is being given every chance to be under center when New York (1-2) opens the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 10.
Bridgewater came in on the Jets’ second offensive possession of the second half, while McCown never played. Bridgewater was 11 of 15 for 104 yards.
Darnold got off to a solid start, leading an 11-play, 75-yard drive on the Jets’ opening series that was capped by Bilal Powell’s 10-yard touchdown run.
The Giants’ starters played just the first two quarters, with Eli Manning going 17 of 23 for 188 yards in what was likely his final tuneup before the regular season. Sterling Shepard had seven catches for 78 yards for the Giants (2-1).
Panthers 25, Patriots 14
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Cam Newton gave the Panthers an early injury scare before returning to help Carolina defeat New England in a preseason game.
On the game’s opening drive, Newton scrambled out of the pocket on third-and-9 before recklessly diving head-first – this is the preseason, after all – and landing on his head after getting upended by cornerback Jonathan Jones.
Newton was forced to leave the game to be evaluated for a concussion, but returned four plays later to a loud ovation and played the remainder of the first half.
He finished 11 of 17 for 142 yards passing and led three scoring drives – all resulting in field goals – as the Panthers built a 9-3 lead at halftime.
Running back Christian McCaffrey continued to be a major player on offense, touching the ball 10 times for 51 yards on Carolina’s opening drive which lasted nearly 10 minutes.
The Panthers (3-0) had 203 yards in the first half, but couldn’t find the end zone.
It was a quiet night for Tom Brady, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 102 yards in the first half. The five-time Super Bowl champion didn’t get much help from his receivers, who dropped multiple passes. The Patriots (2-1) never did get in sync offensively and were limited to 130 yards in the first half.
Vikings 21, Seahawks 20
MINNEAPOLIS – Kirk Cousins helped Minnesota’s offense make some progress by passing for 182 yards in the first half, and third-stringer Kyle Sloter threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Vikings rallied for a victory over Seattle.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked field goals from 35 and 55 yards in the first half for the Seahawks (1-2), who kept their starters in past halftime. Russell Wilson led one scoring drive against the vaunted Vikings defense, finishing 11 for 21 for 118 yards.
Chris Carson carried seven times for 26 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 20 yards for the Seahawks, who are trying to regenerate the power running attack that helped them reach two straight Super Bowls.
For the Vikings (2-1), Sloter’s touchdowns went to Jake Weineke and Chad Beebe, before the go-ahead 2-point conversion completion to Weineke again.
Lions 33, Buccaneers 30
TAMPA, Fla. – Brandon Powell scored on an 80-yard punt return and Jake Rudock threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Lucas with 30 seconds remaining to give Detroit a preseason victory over Tampa Bay.
The Lions (1-2) rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit, long after most of the starters from both teams had left the game. Theo Riddick scored on a 10-yard run and Matt Cassel threw a 3-yard TD pass to Bradley Marquez to begin the comeback.
Adam Humphries returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown for Tampa Bay, which led 20-6 at halftime.
Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick was sharp in what may have been his final tuneup for the regular season, which the Bucs (2-1) will begin in two weeks without suspended quarterback Jameis Winston, who’s banned three games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Fitzpatrick, entering his 14th season, went 6 for 7 for 82 yards before he was replaced by Winston early in the second quarter.
Winston also worked one quarter, throwing a 10-yard TD pass to Chris Godwin and finishing 6 of 10 for 60 yards with no interceptions.
Matthew Stafford played into the third quarter for the Lions, producing a pair of field goals in his most extensive work of the preseason. Stafford completed 8 of 14 passes for 101 yards and was sacked three times.
Raiders 13, Packers 6
OAKLAND, Calif. – Derek Carr led a scoring drive on his only possession of a shorter-than-expected preseason appearance. Coach Jon Gruden had said earlier in the week that Carr and the offensive starters would likely play into the second quarter. But he pulled him after an opening drive that ended when Reggie Gilbert bull-rushed right tackle Donald Penn into Carr, leading to a sack and fumble that Carr recovered.
The Packers rested quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offensive starters as both teams appear eager for the regular season to start in just over two weeks.
The Raiders won when Chris Warren III scored on a 1-yard run with 5:07 to play.
Both Penn, making the move from left tackle to the right side, and rookie left tackle Kolton Miller struggled in protection, possibly leading to Gruden’s decision to pull Carr early.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review's sports newsletter
Get the day's top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.