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Preseason usually goes the same way for pretty much every NFL team. The starters play somewhere between a series and a quarter during the first two preseason games, then play into the second half in the third game before sitting out the fourth game entirely. There are some exceptions, of course, but that’s a pretty rough sketch for how things usually go.

This year was anything but usual for the New England Patriots . Tom Brady is, of course, suspended for the first four games of the regular season, so he did not follow the typical starters’ schedule. In the Pats’ fourth preseason game on Thursday night, Brady wound up playing the entire first half.

Even as it was happening, people were … perplexed.

Brady’s No. 1 wideout, Julian Edelman , was out there, too. They connected on 3 of 5 pass attempts for 28 yards, which was nice, but still weird.

They weren’t the only notable players sticking around in their team’s preseason finales far later than expected:

And those are just a handful of guys that beat writers tweeted about.

Needless to say, things got a bit weird on Thursday night. Here are three more takeaways from around the league on the final day of the preseason.

1. The shape of things to come for Tennessee Titans ?

Derrick Henry does not look like a typical running back. The Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama Crimson Tide stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 247 pounds. In post-merger NFL history (i.e. since 1970), only three players that checked in 6-3/240 or larger have recorded at least 100 career carries: Brandon Jacobs, Barty Smith, and Marcel Reece .

If Henry’s play this preseason is any indication, we’ll be adding a fourth name to that list in short order.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has gotten a ton of attention for his huge preseason, but Henry has basically given an equivalent performance at his position, with less fanfare. He’s not just using his size to run defenders over, either. He’s got some wiggle in his game:

The Titans are committed to their exotic smashmouth offense, and it’s possible (likely?) DeMarco Murray will still be the lead ball-carrier, but Henry has surely earned himself a sizable role with his play.

2. The New York Giants ‘ King for a day

Back in 2010, an undrafted wide receiver that signed with the New York Giants started off the preseason with a bang, catching six passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Victor Cruz eventually became one of the NFL’s best receivers, and on Thursday he made his return to game action after more than a year and a half away. While he didn’t catch any passes, one of his teammates had a breakout performance.

Tavarres King , who has bounced around the NFL over the last few years, notched four catches (on five targets) for 80 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots, giving him all three of the Giants’ air scores during the preseason.

At least one Giants beat reporter thinks Big Blue needs to reward him with a roster spot:

Odell Beckham is one of the NFL’s best weapons, Sterling Shepard is going to be a big part of the New York offense, and Cruz should have a role if he can stay healthy, but maybe King has worked his way into some snaps.

3. Things did not go great for the Los Angeles Rams ‘ top pick

Jared Goff was the No. 1 pick in the draft, and the Rams will presumably give him plenty of time to develop. But he’s not going to begin the season as the starter (the first No. 1 overall pick quarterback since JaMarcus Russell for whom that’s true) and the preseason did not exactly inspire confidence. Goff went 16 of 33 for 165 yards, a touchdown and an interception through the Rams’ first three preseason contests, then stunk it up something good in their warmup season finale.

By the time the game hit halftime, Goff was 6 of 16 for 67 yards (a truly ugly 4.2 per attempt), a touchdown (on a pretty nice throw, admittedly) and an interception. The Rams don’t have the best weapons to begin with, and this game was played without both Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin , but it would have been nice if Goff showed some signs of life against the Minnesota Vikings ‘ backups.


Source: CBS Sports / Brady plays a half, Henry turns heads again: 3 preseason takeaways