7:02 pm | August 17, 2018 | Go to Source | Author:
It’s Week 2 of the NFL’s preseason as we inch ever closer to the games that count. But there’s plenty to glean: How did the rookies look? Who’s making a push to be a starter? Who’s carving out a spot on the final 53? Here’s the biggest takeaway for each team.
Late in the first half, Patrick Mahomes showed why the Chiefs are so excited about his potential. He uncorked a throw not many NFL QBs could make with an over-the-top pass to Tyreek Hill that traveled about 70 yards in the air. The 69-yard TD was Mahomes’ first of the preseason. But Mahomes also showed some growing pains. He threw an interception into double coverage on the previous possession. — Adam Teicher
Matt Ryan has more than enough weapons to help the Falcons overcome last year’s shaky offensive output if his line holds up. In Friday’s second preseason game vs. the Chiefs, Ryan found maturing TE Austin Hooper for a 4-yard TD and hooked up with electrifying rookie Calvin Ridley on a 36-yard deep ball, all with Julio Jones & Devonta Freeman sitting out. Ridley also scored a TD from backup Matt Schaub. Once Ryan has his full arsenal, it could be a 30-point explosion any given gameday.. — Vaughn McClure
Josh Allen finds Rod Streater for a two-yard touchdown and a Bills’ lead.
The Bills’ three-way competition at quarterback could quickly become a two-man race after AJ McCarron suffered a right shoulder injury in Friday’s game. McCarron started and failed to gain a first down in four offensive possessions, taking one first-quarter sack behind a problematic offensive line. Coach Sean McDermott could have a looming decision to make between Josh Allen (18 of 32 for 176 yards and two touchdowns this preseason) and Nathan Peterman (17 of 20 for 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception). — Mike Rodak
The Browns’ early success in the running game, gaining 73 yards in the first quarter, overshadowed what was an unspectacular night from quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield. Taylor played four possessions, completing 4 of 7 passes for 22 yards, while Mayfield played from late in the second quarter until early in the fourth quarter, completing 7 of 13 passes for 75 yards. — Mike Rodak
Wayne Gallman fills in for Saquon Barkley nicely by catching a touchdown pass from Davis Webb, then scoring another on the ground.
It was an evening of redemption for Davis Webb. After a shaky outing last week, he bounced back in a big way. Webb completed 14 of 20 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown and played the entire first half. He showed a strong command of the offense and an ability to fit throws into tight windows. He had a QB rating of 106.3 after a 49.4 last week. This was much needed. Webb didn’t play last year and likely won’t play much next week in preseason game No. 3, when Eli Manning will get his opportunity to get ready for the season. Manning didn’t play against the Lions. Webb gave the Giants hope that they have a trustworthy backup this year and potential for more in the future. — Jordan Raanan
More of the same issues that plagued the Lions last season. Detroit, for the second straight game, got no real pass rush despite the Giants sitting top playmakers Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. The offensive line (minus right guard T.J. Lang) was also 2017-level bad. Matthew Stafford was sacked twice in three series and almost every starting lineman appeared to struggle with the Giants’ front. Yes, it is only preseason, but considering the Lions knew these were problem areas and they still look like problems should be concerning. The third preseason game against Tampa will be very telling. — Michael Rothstein
Tom Brady’s first drive of the preseason ends with a touchdown to Chris Hogan. His last pass of the day is a TD to James White.
The health of quarterback Nick Foles is the No. 1 issue for the Eagles coming off their preseason game against the Patriots. He left in the second quarter with what the team described as a shoulder strain. He grabbed his throwing arm after defensive end Adrian Clayborn hit him midthrow from his blindside. With Carson Wentz‘s status still up in the air for Week 1, the Eagles need Foles to be available. — Tim McMananus
Tom Brady, at 41, looks like he picked up where he left off. Playing six drives in the first half, he led an opening touchdown drive and finished 19-of-26 for 172 yards, with two TDs and no interceptions. Meanwhile, perhaps more promising for the Patriots was the way they won one-on-one matchups in the pass rush, specifically with Adrian Clayborn (free-agent signing) and Derek Rivers (2017 third-round pick) picking up sacks. Rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (fifth round, Purdue) continues to make a charge for more playing time. — Mike Reiss
Ja’Whaun Bentley picks up Nick Foles’ fumble and returns it for a touchdown. Foles strains his shoulder on the play and does not return.
James Conner and James Washington look like the playmakers the Steelers need. Conner, who entered his second training camp in much better shape, showed off his conditioning with runs of 24 and 26 yards on back-to-back carries through the teeth of the Packers’ defense and into the end zone. He has solidified his role as Le’Veon Bell‘s backup. Washington has a knack for the contested catches, winning twice over the top of Packers defenders for scores and finishing with 114 yards. He’ll get game passes from Ben Roethlisberger soon enough. — Jeremy Fowler
On a night when a couple of veterans made big plays — Tramon Williams‘ pick-six and Jimmy Graham‘s touchdown catch — just as encouraging was the emergence of a couple of young playmakers. Outside linebacker Reggie Gilbert, who spent most of his first two NFL seasons on the Packers’ practice squad, recorded 2.5 sacks — an indication that his late-season promotion to the roster was the start of something big. Rookie second-round pick Josh Jackson flashed his athleticism on a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown. For a defense in need of playmakers, Thursday’s win was a move in that direction. — Rob Demovsky
Jason Witten breaks down Sam Darnold’s nice start, until his first NFL interception puts a damper on his night.
Their quarterback situation is as unsettled as ever. Did someone say controversy? It was a mixed bag from Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, setting up a fascinating decision for coach Todd Bowles at the end of the preseason. Frankly, Bridgewater looks like the best QB on the roster, but you can bet Darnold will get another chance to win the starting job. The rookie threw a red zone interception in an otherwise solid performance, but his inexperience jumped out on a few plays. Could the Jets trade Bridgewater? Anything is possible. — Rich Cimini
The Redskins have focused hard on the defensive line the past two years and it should pay off this season. Rookie nose tackle Daron Payne, who has drawn rave reviews in training camp, showed his power in taking on double-teams and an ability to win a one-on-one matchup for a sack. Second-year lineman Jonathan Allen also made his presence felt with inside rushes. If these two stay healthy, they will make a big difference with the Redskins’ defense. — John Keim
Daron Payne breaks through the Jets offensive line and brings down Sam Darnold to halt New York’s opening drive.
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