Week Two of the NFL preseason kicked off last night with a five-game slate, highlighted by the encore performance of rookie QB Kyler Murray, who didn’t quite live up to his debut a week ago. Here’s everything you might have missed from Thursday around the NFL.
With starting QB Carson Wentz sitting, the Eagles lost QB Nate Sudfeld to a broken wrist last week and turned to Cody Kessler against the Jags. That didn’t last long. The former Jaguars quarterback was hit hard on the opening drive and diagnosed with a concussion, putting him out for the game. Rookie Clayton Thorson took over from there, passing for 175 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles won somewhat handily. Rookie RB Miles Sanders carried the ball five times for 31 yards.
The Jaguars also relied on a rookie quarterback as Gardner Minshew improved on his sloppy play from a week ago, throwing for 202 yards but no touchdowns. QB Alex McGough saw some late action and used a long scramble to lead the team in rushing, finishing with 21 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
New York Jets- 22
Veteran QB Matt Ryan made his 2019 debut and played well, staying in the game for the majority of the first half. Unfortunately, his teammates let him down with multiple drops. Backup RB Ito Smith, who has reportedly struggled through much of training camp, scored the team’s lone touchdown in the game and finished with 58 total yards on eight touches.
Jets QB Sam Darnold played sparingly but again was sharp, completing five of seven attempts for 46 yards. Veteran RB Ty Montgomery shined as well, leading the team with 36 yards in seven carries, including a touchdown. He has reportedly locked up the primary backup role behind RB Le’Veon Bell. WR Robby Anderson did damage early, catching all three of his targets for 32 yards and that was enough to lead the Jets for the game.
Green Bay- 13
For the second week in a row, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson played multiple series in preseason action. He led Baltimore to two scoring drives and his solid night could have been even better if a dynamic touchdown scamper wasn’t called back due to a penalty. Rookie backup QB Trace McSorley led a pair of touchdown drives during his time in the game and the Ravens pulled away from the Packers. Rookie RB Justice Hill was again impressive, leading the team with 49 rushing yards and scoring a touchdown on 10 carries.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was expected to make his preseason debut but some soreness in his back changed that plan. QB DeShone Kizer drew the start and was mostly shut down against the Ravens Defense. WRs Jake Kumerow (3/52), Allen Lazard (3/63) and Geronimo Allison (2/29) each hauled in passes of at least 22 yards as the Packers tried to stay in the game.
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Well, he didn’t throw a pair of interceptions like he did last week. That’s the good news for rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, but he did lose a fumble to the Bengals Defense. Haskins also tossed his first professional touchdown and outplayed veteran QB Case Keenum, who drew the start.
Andy Dalton started the game and threw a pick-six before he hit the sidelines after three series. Rookie QB Ryan Finley, who has already ascended to second on the depth chart, continues to impress. He finished with 150 passing yards and two touchdowns, leading the Bengals to the win.
After living up to the hype in his NFL debut a week ago, all eyes were on Arizona’s Kyler Murray against the Raiders. Things did not go well. After focusing on short passes last week, Murray went deep on multiple attempts in this game and was consistently off target. Murray finished with three completions on eight attempts for only 12 yards, adding one rush for four yards. The Cardinals got touchdown passes from each of their three backup quarterbacks to get back in the game after trailing 26-10 at the half.
Rookie WR Andy Isabella served as a reserve in the game and caught only one of his four targets, but he made the most of it, catching a 59-yard touchdown. The bad news for the Cardinals came on the defensive side of the ball as CB Robert Alford suffered a leg injury that will reportedly keep him out for a “significant amount of time.” The Cardinals Defense will be a weekly target for opposing offenses.
Raiders rookie RB Josh Jacobs made his debut, rushing four times for 21 yards in limited action. Veteran QB Mike Glennon fared much better than he did a week ago in the battle for Oakland’s backup job. Glennon passed for 175 yards and two touchdowns after taking over for starter Derek Carr. Hard Knocks’ star WR Keelan Doss was impressive, catching all five of his targets for 38 yards as he continues his push to make the 53-man roster.
Raiders WR Antonio Brown (feet) is reportedly close to returning to practice. … The Colts are said to be optimistic about QB Andrew Luck’s chances of playing in Week One. … Chargers WR Keenan Allen (ankle) could miss the remainder of the preseason…Colts WR Daurice Fountain suffered a broken and dislocated ankle at Thursday’s practice. … Titans TE Delanie Walker expects to play in this weekend’s preseason game. … A hip injury is expected to keep WR Odell Beckham out for a second straight game. … The Lions activated DT Damon Harrison from the active/NFI list. … The Vikings have reportedly made WR Laquon Treadwell available for trade. Good luck. … With RB Kenyan Drake (foot) in a walking boot, RB Kalen Ballage is serving as the starter. … Patriots rookie RB Damien Harris is dealing with a minor hand/wrist injury. … Patriots rookie WR N’Keal Harry (ankle, hamstring, toe) returned to practice.