Week two of the preseason is here and we have plenty to watch for as fantasy football owners and enthusiasts. In the early slate of games we got to see rookie signal callers Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen try to expand on their debuts last week, young running backs Nick Chubb, Kerryon Johnson and Kalen Ballage try to impress and earn an expanded role in their respective offenses and see how DJ Moore, James Washington and Calvin Ridley fared in the second game of preseason action for their squads. Let’s take a look around the league and see how each game has gone to this point in week two of the preseason.
EAGLES 20, PATRIOTS 37
Carson Wentz didn’t play as he is still working his way back from an ACL injury that ended his season last year. Nick Foles got the start for the Eagles but unfortunately didn’t last long. Foles was under constant pressure and after going 3-9 for 44 yards, Foles left the game with a shoulder injury. It’s said to not be a serious re-injury of the shoulder and is only a strain. Foles is not expected to miss any significant time.
On the other side, Tom Brady saw significant action and looked fantastic. Brady played on the first six Patriots drives and led them to scores on four of those drives. The first of his two touchdown passes was a 4 yard connection with Chris Hogan. In the second quarter Brady would toss his second touchdown to James White for a 20 yard score.
James White also had a very nice game. With Rex Burkhead missing time due to a slight tear in his knee, and first round pick Sony Michel dealing with his own knee issues. White took full advantage of his extended opportunity, posting a very nice line of 4 carries for 31 rushing yards, 6 receptions 61 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. Later in the game, Cordarrelle Patterson would catch a pass from backup signal caller Brian Hoyer and put an ankle breaking move on the defender on his way to the endzone.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles started slowly but began to find some success with Nate Sudfeld. Sudfeld passed for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, hitting Shelton Gibson (Sudfelds favorite target in this one), Rashard Davis and tight end Richard Rodgers for the Eagles scoring plays. The running game showed little for the Eagles in this one as Jay Ajayi, Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones combined for 43 yards rushing on 16 carries (2.69 YPC average).
STEELERS 34, PACKERS 51
The first offensive play of the game for the Steelers was an interception thrown by third round pick Mason Rudolph. Tramon Williams jumped to comeback route and was off to the races with a first play pick six. This was one of two pick sixes on the night for the Packers defense as rookie Josh Jackson would add one later in the game with an interception of Joshua Dobbs. Rudolph would eventually settle down and find JuJu Smith-Schuster for a four yard touchdown pass. This was JuJu’s second touchdown reception in as many weeks.
Aaron Rodgers didn’t play long, but his presence was still felt. Rodgers led the Packers on a touchdown drive where he hit Davante Adams on a slant route for a catch and run of 27 yards, and ended in an eight yard touchdown pass to newly acquired red zone target Jimmy Graham. The Packers rushing attack is an intriguing position to monitor and it didn’t clarify itself any after this one. Jamaal Williams left this one after two carries for two yards and didn’t return with an ankle injury. Early word is that the injury is not considered serious. Aaron Jones didn’t play in this one with a hamstring injury and Ty Montgomery did little to separate himself from the pack.
The Steelers have an interesting running back situation of their own to monitor as Le’Veon Bell missed his second preseason game while holding out for a new contract. James Conner stepped up in his absence, running hard and gaining good yardage along the way. Conner finished the night with 5 carries for 57 yards including a 26 yard touchdown run. Jaylen Samuels would also add a score on the ground plowing in a one yard touchdown run later in this one. The story of the night for the Steelers however may have been James Washington. The rookie Wideout hauled in 2 touchdown passes from third string quarterback Joshua Dobbs and finished the game with an impressive 5 catch 114 receiving yards 2 touchdown stat line.
JETS 13, REDSKINS 15
Rookie Sam Darnold made his first career start for the Jets. The rookie remained composed against the Redskins starters but also did little to stand out. Darnold finished 8-11 with 62 passing yards and one interception. The interception was just outside of the red zone on a fourth down. Teddy Bridgewater would relieve Darnold in the second quarter and had his second straight impressive outing. Bridgewater looked comfortable running the offense and finished with a very nice 10 of 15 for 127 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception. Bridgewater’s touchdown pass was a 16 yard pass to Charone Peake capping an impressive 7 play, 71 yard drive.
Alex Smith saw limited action. Smith looked good, finishing 4-6 for 48 yards and looking comfortable in the Washington offense. Colt McCoy and Kevin Hogan saw some action later, with McCoy looking more impressive of the two. With Derrius Guice now out for the season, it was interesting to monitor the running back rotation. Rob Kelly got the start but did little, finishing with only 17 yards on 7 carries. Samaje Perine left this one with an ankle injury after just one carry, but it was an impressive 20 yard scamper.
The Jets rushing attack was not a factor. Isaiah Crowell missed the game with a head injury suffered in last weeks preseason game. Atkinson, Powell and Rawls combined for 60 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Both teams continue to have major question marks th the WR position, as neither receiving corps stood out, and no receiver garnered more than three receptions on the evening.
GIANTS 30, LIONS 17
Eli Manning sat out this game so Davis Webb started for the Giants. He looked much better than his disappointing showing from last week. Webb showed better ball placement and overall accuracy, and finished 14 for 20 with 140 receiving yards and one touchdown. His only touchdown pass went to running back Wayne Gallman from 8 yards out in the second quarter finishing off an exhausting 17 play 79 yard drive.
Kyle Lauletta was unable to build off his impressive showing in week one, and Alex Taney did little with his opportunity. Saquon Barkley missed this game with a tweaked hamstring, but the Giants did manage three rushing touchdowns, one each by Wayne Gallman, Robert Martin and Kyle Lauletta.
The Lions got to see their franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford in limited action. Stafford was 2 for 5 for 51 yards in limited playing time. Matt Cassel did little in his time in the game but Jake Rudock was impressive later in this game for the Lions. The 3rd year quarterback out of Michigan was 23 for 30 for 171 yards and 1 touchdown, displaying good ball placement and decision making. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson was unable to get going, finding little running room behind poor blocking. He finished with 9 yards on 4 carries. Theo Riddick led the Lions in receiving with 50 yards on 3 receptions, while the Giants got a big 40 yard grab out of Russell Shepard.
CHIEFS 28, FALCONS 14
Matt Ryan looked sharp, going 5 for 7 with 90 passing yards and a 4 yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper. Veteran Matt Schaub also looked serviceable with a touchdown pass to rookie wideout Calvin Ridley. Ridley led the Falcons in receiving with 49 receiving yards and looked good in the Atlanta offense. Offensive stars Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman did not play, but Tevin Coleman looked good running the ball for Atlanta, amassing 35 rushing yards on only 5 carries. Coleman showed good balance and vision.
Patrick Mahomes was the story in this game for the Chiefs. Mahomes showed more good than bad, going 8 for 12 with 138 passing yards and a touchdown. The big play came in the second quarter when Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for a 69 yard touchdown pass. The ball traveled 68.6 yards in the air, significant considering it would have been longer (in air yards) than any TD thrown in the league in 2017. Kareem Hunt struggled to find room on the ground, rushing for 15 yards on 7 carries. Tyreek Hill was the leading receiver by far for the Chiefs as no other receiver totaled more than 36 yards.
DOLPHINS 20, PANTHERS 27
Cam Newton started for Carolina and looked fine. He finished 9 for 12 for 89 yards one touchdown and one interception. Cam’s interception came on a third and long where he forced the ball and set Miami up with a first and goal. The talk of this game however will be about second year running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey took an inside handoff on third and one straight up the middle and ran away from defenders on his way to a 71 yard rushing touchdown. McCaffrey finished the game with 92 rushing yards on only 5 carries and pitched in a team high 4 receptions for 28 yards. Young tight end Ian Thomas hauled in Cam Newton’s only touchdown pass from 27 yards out.
Ryan Tannehill saw extended action. While he completed a good deal of his passes, he struggled at times moving the ball down the field. Tannehill finished 14 for 17 with 100 passing yards. Kenyan Drake stole the show in the running game. Drake looked strong, running decisively and hitting the hole strong. Drake finished with 54 yards on 8 carries. Albert Wilson took advantage of Devante Parker missing this game with a finger issue. Wilson caught a team high 5 passes for 39 yards.
BILLS 19, BROWNS 17
The battle for the Bills starting quarterback spot continues. AJ McCarron got the start but struggled, going 3 for 6 with 12 passing yards before leaving the game with what is being reported as a possible broken collarbone. Josh Allen came in after and was efficient but struggled to move the ball vertically. Allen finished 9 of 13 for 60 yards and one touchdown. Nathan Peterman was the last to hear his name called but seemed to be the most impressive, going 8 for 10 with 113 yards a touchdown. Lesean McCoy added 11 yards rushing on 4 carries in limited duty and tight end Nick O’Leary led the Bills in receiving with 70 yards, half of which came on a touchdown haul from Peterman.
Cleveland came out with a clear gameplan to improve their rushing attack from a week ago. Tyrod Taylor got the start and went 4 for 7 with 22 passing yards and did just enough. Baker Mayfield followed and went 7 for 13 for 75 yards. Mayfield had a touchdown called back from a penalty and another overturned with instant replay. The story of this game though was the running game. Carlos Hyde started and looked fantastic, carrying the ball 9 times for 64 yards and finishing off the opening drive with a 4 yard touchdown run. Hyde showed decisiveness and strength on his carries. Nick Chubb would follow up that performance with a good showing of his own. Chubb added 53 yards on the ground on 11 carries and added a 1 yard touchdown run. Chubb showed off his blend of speed and strength. Duke Johnson kicked in 27 rushing yards on 4 carries as well.
CARDINALS 20, SAINTS 15
Sam Bradford started for Arizona and went a perfect 6 for 6 for 61 yards. Soon after the Cardinals removed him Josh Rosen began to light up the night sky. Rosen looked very poised in the pocket. He displayed excellent decision-making and a strong arm on his way to a 10 for 16 for 107 yard night. He also threw a touchdown pass to fellow rookie Christian Kirk. David Johnson saw some action as well, adding 22 rushing yards, 5 receiving yards a rushing touchdown in limited action. Promising young rookie Christian Kirk led the team in receiving yards with 49 yard on four receptions. Kirk displayed an uncanny awareness and an ability to get open.
With Drew Brees sitting out, Taysom Hill saw a majority of the action at quarterback for the Saints. Hill struggled, going 11 for 15 for 68 yards and 2 interception. He did however add 43 yards on the ground. Jonathan Williams, Mark Ingram, Boston Scott and Terrance West all showed flashes in the run game for the Saints. This situation needs to continually be monitored for someone to pull away and be the number three running back on this squad. Tre’Quan Smith impressed again in this game, leading the Saints with 60 receiving yards.
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