Written by Cody Manning, @Blitzalytics
The second week of preseason action has come and gone as we are slowly inching towards the regular season opener. The second preseason game can be hard to fully engage because some teams are playing starters a little more and some are keeping their stars safe on the sideline. But, luckily that typically doesn’t mean rookies are held back in anyway. This is a good week to see if there is any progress going on and if the game is coming to them. If you missed out on some notable performances, then don’t worry because I got you covered once again!
Just like last week, I am going to continue to follow the first-round quarterbacks and see if any of them will be fighting to be opening day starters. Baker Mayfield continued to show off his skills and impressed once again. Mayfield went 7/13 for 75 yards and no touchdowns. He did lead the team on a scoring drive. Tyrod Taylor seems to have a stronghold on the QB1 spot on the depth chart. With Mayfield not expected to get any reps with the starters in the upcoming dress rehearsal game, it seems that the #1 pick will open his rookie year on the sideline.
Sam Darnold got the start and looked like he was in command of the Jets offense. Darnold went 8/11 for 62 yards but tried to force a throw which resulted in an interception. By getting the start it does appear the team feels comfortable grooming him to be their opening day starter. But, Teddy Bridgewater has been great in preseason so far, so he may have the coaching staff wondering if they should let the rookie develop even more if they are unable to find a trade partner for Bridgewater. If Darnold gets the start again for the dress rehearsal game, then expect to see the rookie on the field Week 1 if he doesn't play terribly in the upcoming preseason game.
Josh Allen continued to prove his naysayers wrong and has pushed his way further up the depth chart after his latest performance. Allen was 9/13 for 60 yards and a touchdown. After leading both 2s and 3s to scoring drives over the past couple weeks it appears the Bills are ready to see how he looks with the starters. Allen has received the nod for the dress rehearsal game, so if he goes out and shows his development while continuing to impress, then don’t be surprised if Buffalo pulls the trigger on Allen starting opening day.
Josh Rosen was much more impressive in his second appearance then after having an up and down performance during Week 1. Rosen went 10/16 for 106 yards and a touchdown. He showed his accuracy off and his ability to put some zip on the ball to deliver the throw. Barring a setback, it does appear the Cardinals are set to open the season with Sam Bradford. Rosen may have to continue his development watching Bradford to open the 2018 season.
Lamar Jackson has been the least impressive out of the first-round quarterbacks thus far in the preseason. He was underwhelming in his last performance, he looked like he was trying to force things and was inaccurate on a lot of his throws. He did put together a nice touchdown drive with his legs then capped it off with a great touchdown throw. Jackson finished 7/15 for 49 yards and a touchdown. Joe Flacco is the starter, so barring an injury or significant setback, we more than likely will hardly see Jackson unless he is on the field in certain packages.
Dallas Goedert continued to impress for the Philadelphia Eagles by making 3 receptions for 57 yards.
Washington Redskins first-round selection, Da’Ron Payne, showed how disruptive he can be to an offensive line when he made a big sack in their game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to find themselves receivers in the draft as their 2nd round pick, James Washington, had 5 catches for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Calvin Ridley got to showcase what made him the Atlanta Falcons 1st round pick. Ridley had 3 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Ian Thomas could potentially be Greg Olsen’s replacement when he retires down the road. The Carolina Panthers rookie had 2 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Christian Kirk showed off his chemistry with fellow rookie, Rosen, he caught 4 balls for 49 yards and a touchdown.
UDFA rookie Chris Warren III is making a case to make the Oakland Raiders 53-man roster. Warren ran the ball for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Buffalo Bills saw Kyle Williams and AJ McCarron go down with an injury. Both should be back and shouldn’t miss any significant time.
The Dallas Cowboys saw their guard, Zach Martin, suffer a knee injury and the team hopes he will be back by the opening week.
Green Bay Packers running back, Jamaal Williams, suffered an ankle injury and is week-to-week.
New England Patriots 1st round pick, Isaiah Wynn, tore his Achilles which cut his rookie season short.
Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Nick Foles, suffered a shoulder sprain so he is on a week-to-week status.
Minnesota Vikings third cornerback, Mackensie Alexander, suffered an ankle injury and could miss some time with it.
Other Notable Performances
Tom Brady looked like he was in midseason form as he went 19/26 for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Graham teased their chemistry with a redzone touchdown connection.
Matt Ryan also appears ready for the season as he went 5/7 for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Patrick Mahomes showed off his cannon with a 69-yard bomb to connect on a touchdown with Tyreek Hill. He finished 8/12 for 138 yards but also had an interception.
Christian McCaffery seems to be ready to take the next step in his second season. He had 120 total yards and a touchdown.