The NFL preseason has reached the halfway level with Week 2, which serves because the de facto “costume rehearsal” for starters to organize for the start of the common season — which is simply three weeks away. For groups that do not have joint practices this week, Week 2 of the preseason is essential.
The Saturday slate options eight video games, with three within the afternoon, 4 going down concurrently in prime time, and the Cowboys and Chargers squaring off within the late window. The Broncos will not play most of their starters in one of many two early video games, however the Bills are set to present theirs — together with Josh Allen — no less than just a little little bit of run. Andy Reid indicated that the Chiefs’ starters will play the primary half of their recreation towards the Commanders, so we’ll get to see Patrick Mahomes and the new-look offense take the sphere once more.
We’re more likely to see no less than a few of Trey Lance towards the Vikings later within the day, however San Francisco’s starters are usually not anticipated to see that a lot motion. Tom Brady stays absent from Buccaneers camp, so he will not seem within the recreation towards the Titans, however we must always get one other take a look at Malik Willis. Dallas and Los Angeles are two of the groups most aggressive about resting starters throughout preseason, so we must always count on that recreation to be a battle of down-roster gamers preventing for spots on the workforce or within the rotation.
Beneath, we unveil all of the must-see highlights from Friday’s motion, the appetizer for the principle course of video games this weekend.
Payments 42, Broncos 15 (Recap)
Lions 27, Colts 26 (Recap)
Chiefs 24, Commanders 14 (Recap)
Steelers 16, Jaguars 15 (Recap)
Raiders 15, Dolphins 13 (Recap)
49ers 17, Vikings 7 (Recap)
Titans 13, Buccaneers 3 (Recap)
Cowboys at Chargers, 10 p.m. ET (Gametracker)
Kenny Pickett continues robust preseason
The Kenny Pickett hype practice continues to chug alongside. After tossing the game-winning landing in Pittsburgh’s preseason opener final week, the first-round rookie is popping heads but once more. This time, Pickett is seeing work with the first-team offense and appears like a man able to being the Week 1 starter. Within the second quarter, he led a landing drive in simply 42 seconds.
On prime of the scoring toss to operating again Benny Snell Jr., Pickett additionally confirmed good contact on a 24-yard acquire to tight finish Pat Freiermuth. Within the first half, Pickett went 6-of-7 passing for 76 yards and that landing.
Malik Willis reveals off escapability
Malik Willis is flashing his upside. The rookie out of Liberty bought the beginning in Tennessee’s preseason matchup towards Tampa Bay, and his capability to weave across the pocket has been on full show. Whereas main the Titans on a area aim drive within the second quarter, Willis threw a aspect arm move as he escaped a would-be sack to maneuver the chains.
He then ripped off a 25-yard scramble to get Tennessee into the pink zone, the place they’d ultimately kick a area aim. Willis remains to be a uncooked prospect and desires to enhance as a passer, however the instruments are there for him to be a legit candidate to be a long-term choice for the Titans with some growth.
Titans rookie wideout Kyle Phillips has made a reputation for himself this summer season. He is drawn reward from head coach Mike Vrabel, who additionally famous that quarterback Ryan Tannehill trusts throwing to him. Whereas he is opened eyes as a move catcher, the fifth-round pick of UCLA can also be making performs within the return recreation.
In Tennessee’s exhibition with the Bucs on Saturday, Phillips fielded a punt simply exterior the Tennessee 20-yard line and returned in 35 yards. He was in a position to make his preliminary tackler miss, discovered a gap and fought via a few tackles to flip the sphere for the Titans.
Whereas rookie George Pickens has garnered a ton of consideration in Pittsburgh this summer season, do not sleep on Chase Claypool’s expertise. On the Steelers opening drive of their exhibition with the Jaguars, Mitchell Trubisky took a third-and-6 snap and related with Claypool, who ran a fade out of the slot and rose as much as make a contested catch for 29-yards. Claypool is seeking to construct off a 2021 season the place he logged a career-high 956 yards from scrimmage and 13.1 yards per contact.
Mahomes double dips with Fortson
In case you have been questioning, Patrick Mahomes appears like Patrick Mahomes. In Kansas Metropolis’s second preseason game of the summer season towards Washington, the previous league MVP bought the beginning and regarded like he was in midseason kind. He opened the sport with back-to-back landing drives, each culminating with a move to tight finish Jody Fortson.
The primary catch capped off an 87-yard drive for the Chiefs. Mahomes threw it as much as Fortson and he was in a position to show robust footwork to stay in bounds for the rating. That wasn’t even Mahomes’ finest throw on the drive as he accomplished a 39-yard move to Justin Watson as properly.
Later, Mahomes was flushed out of the pocket and compelled to make an off-balance throw to the entrance left nook of the top zone the place he’d discover Fortson once more.
By means of two drives, Mahomes is 12 of 19 passing for 162 yards and people two scores.
Lions and touchdowns and grabs, oh my
Not many starters noticed the sphere within the Lions vs. Colts recreation, however that does not imply there wasn’t something price taking note of. Lions wideout Tom Kennedy discovered himself in the long run zone on back-to-back Detroit possessions. The primary landing seize got here on the ultimate play of the primary half:
To open the scoring after halftime, Kennedy as soon as once more reached up over a Colts defender to haul in a move for six factors.
Josh Allen and the first-team Buffalo Payments offense marched proper down the sphere towards the Denver Broncos, protecting 70 yards on six performs. The drive ended with Allen scrambling across the pocket, setting his ft, and whipping the ball to Gabriel Davis within the entrance of the top zone.
Allen went 3-for-3 for 49 yards and a rating, finishing passes to Davis, Stefon Diggs, and Isaiah McKenzie. Devin Singletary was the lead again for Buffalo, with Zack Moss getting into for drive No. 2 forward of rookie James Cook. Oh, and Buffalo adopted up the Davis landing catch by reaching the top zone on every of its subsequent 5 possessions. Moss ran in a pair of quick scores, O.J. Howard caught a landing from Case Keenum (who completed 16 of 18 for 192 yards), and Duke Johnson hit pay grime twice on the bottom as properly.
Catch of the (Friday) evening!
The Houston Texans performed their starters for the primary half of this preseason contest towards the Los Angeles Rams, and have been in a position to take a 7-6 halftime lead due to this pinpoint catch by Nico Collins in the long run zone. Collins simply upstaged Derion Kendrick for the ball and got here away with the rating.
Collins goes to play a task within the Texans offense in 2022. Performs like this can get him extra targets.
What makes this Etling landing run particular? The play occurredon the Packers broadcast. Rodgers’ pleasure with Etling scoring makes this play much more thrilling.
Love regarded the a part of a NFL quarterback on Friday evening, ending with 113 yards and a landing move. He additionally showcased his operating capability with this 11-yard run for a primary down.
Chris Olave scores his first landing
Olave is giving Saints followers a preview of what is to come back when he traces up alongside Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry this fall. The primary-round choose related with Ian E-book on a 20-yard landing with 12 seconds left within the first half — his first in a Saints uniform.
Olave had only one catch for 4 yards final week, however had two within the first half of this one.
Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe made a harmful throw rolling to his left, and Hayes learn the move to take the ball the opposite approach and tie the sport. Zappe hasn’t been as sharp in his second outing this preseason, one through which Matt Patricia is asking performs.
Romeo Doubs landing
There is a spot for Doubs to earn snaps with the primary workforce this yr, and this landing catch from Jordan Love demonstrates why. Doubs got here up with this spectacular four-yard landing reception over Brian Allen to place the Packers up, 10-3, over the Saints within the second quarter. Love is beginning to present belief within the fourth-round rookie.
59-yard area aim from Wil Lutz
Lutz missed all of 2021 with a core muscle harm, because the Saints missed his reliability within the kicking division. He actually regarded like his previous self with this 59-yard area aim to shut out the primary quarter.
Simply 13 of 23 on 50-plus yard area targets in his profession, Lutz hitting this kick may be very encouraging.
Romeo Doubs making his case to maneuver up the depth chart
Doubs was one of many younger vast receivers Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticized in the course of the week, so he was within the highlight with the second teamers taking part within the majority of this one. A 17-yard catch on the opening drive on a Jordan Love throw makes a powerful impression, even when Doubs didn’t corral a third-down move earlier.
Not a quarterback for the Saints, Hill has shifted his focus to tight finish for the 2022 season. The No. 2 tight finish in New Orleans, Hill made an early impression by catching a 10-yard move from Ian Book. Hill provides an additional dimension to the Saints offense in his new function, and might nonetheless play vast receiver and operating again in short-yardage conditions.
The Patriots averaged simply 1.9 yards per play within the first quarter with simply 21 yards of offense, however Nelson Agholor modified that with this 45-yard catch on a powerful throw from Mac Jones. Going towards a second-team protection or not, that is what Patriots followers wish to see from their new-look offense.
New England scored a landing — a two-yard run from Ty Montgomery — three performs later.