NFL.com breaks down what you need to know from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason. Catch up on each game's biggest takeaways using the links below:
- Eagles offense buzzes with backups. The Eagles' second-team offense was humming in three first-half possessions, generating 227 yards, 18 first downs and 14 points while lapsing 20:54 off the clock. Gardner Minshew orchestrated it all efficiently, completing 14 of 17 passes for 142 passing yards, but Philadelphia's fluid offense was really spurred by the threat of its rushing attack. Boston Scott (33 yards) and Kenneth Gainwell (46 yards) were featured during the Eagles' first and second possessions, both of which ended with the running backs scoring touchdowns on their respective drives. A turnover on downs in the red zone wasted the Eagles' third long possession of the first half, but the chain-moving that went on is a good sign for a Philly team entering Year 2 under Nick Sirianni. As for the Eagles' heated wide receiver battle, Deon Cain led the team with five receptions for 66 yards while his contemporary in competition, former first-round pick Jalen Reagor, mustered just two catches for 17 yards. Highlighting the entire Eagles second half, track star Devon Allen caught a 55-yard touchdown on his first offensive snap thanks to a slick double-move that fooled the Browns secondary in the third quarter. The champion hurdler followed it with a fitting celebration.
- Joshua Dobbs all but secures crucial role. With the Browns in need of a backup to Jacoby Brissett, Dobbs impressed for the second straight preseason outing by completing 14 of 20 passes for 141 yards and leading the Browns to points on all four possessions he was under center. Dobbs made plays with his legs, too, highlighting Cleveland's day with a thrilling 36-yard scramble and finishing the Browns' opening drive with a 7-yard scamper to the end zone. Dobbs' performance was a far cry from that of Josh Rosen, who completed 7 of 20 passes for 88 yards and generated no points on the five drives he led. Rosen had a chance to save a drowsy second-half outing by getting the opportunity to lead a two-minute drill in the fourth quarter down one point. It ended with no yards gained and Rosen's third straight turnover on downs.
Jeremy Bergman's takeaways:
- Dimes (mostly) on the money. Daniel Jones' uninspiring summer followed him into Sunday evening, but in his limited play time, the Giants signal-caller showed, behind a beat-up interior line and with mostly second-string skill-position talent, that he's still New York's best option under center. Jones was efficient in three drives, completing 14 of 16 attempts for 116 yards. The fourth-year quarterback flashed a rapport with receiver David Sills (four completions) and leaned on back Antonio Williams (four, as well) on passes out of the backfield. Jones finished his evening with eight straight completions (9.75 YPA) on an 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive. In between, however, there was Jones' pick, which eluded the grasp of rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger and landed in the diving arms of Bengals defensive back Daxton Hill. Jones also failed to get star WR Kenny Golladay (21 snaps, zero targets) and rookie Wan'Dale Robinson (negative-3 yards on three catches) properly involved. As it often is with Dimes, the QB's performance was a toss-up.
- Bengals' deep DB corps. Cincinnati revamped its secondary through free agency the last two seasons and nearly won its first-ever Super Bowl title in 2021. This year, the Bengals built through the draft and undrafted free agency and are seeing early returns. Hill, Cincy's first-round pick, played all 41 first-half snaps against New York and came away with his first takeaway, an acrobatic interception off a deflected pass. The rangy defensive back might have been one-upped by his fellow first-year teammate Allan George, who showed out with three passes defensed, including a stellar sideline bat-down against Sills and a physical breakup against Richie James in the open field. Elsewhere on the defense, rangy linebacker Clay Johnston stood out with a team-high 20 (!) tackles and Cincy's lone sack of the evening. With Jessie Bates away from the team and starters sitting, there's an opportunity for youngsters to make names for themselves in his stead, and Hill, George and Johnston are doing just that.
Bobby Kownack's takeaways:
- Baltimore has the makings of a two-tight end nightmare. Fourth-round rookie tight end Isaiah Likely exploded onto the scene for anyone who was watching Sunday night. Six other Ravens had one reception apiece during the first half. Baltimore's newest weapon collected eight. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was locked in on Likely for good reason. The rookie showed savvy far beyond his years, consistently sitting down in the soft spot of Arizona's zone coverage when necessary, but also using crisp routes to come open against single defenders. On the Ravens' last drive of the first half, which started at their 20-yard line, Likely accounted for 67 yards on five catches and hauled in a touchdown in a crowd of four Cardinals. Likely finished his night with eight receptions on eight targets for 100 yards (52 coming after the catch) and one score. Lamar Jackson has shown a tendency to favor tight ends in the passing game, so the AFC North could be on watch if Likely continues this trajectory alongside Mark Andrews. And yes, the Ravens' preseason winning streak is now at 22 games.
- Opportunity at the bottom of Arizona's RB room. James Conner is the unquestioned starter at running back, and Eno Benjamin has generated positive reviews from head coach Kliff Kingsbury since the beginning of the Cardinals' offseason program. That leaves players like Jonathan Ward, a 2020 undrafted free agent, to compete with the likes of free-agent acquisition Darrel Williams for a supporting role in Arizona's backfield. Williams only received one carry in this contest, which suggests the coaching staff already knows what it has in the former Chief, but Ward did his best to make a future cut difficult. Ward's foot-in-the-door might have come through his special teams play. On his second kick return of the game, the third-year back burst through Baltimore's coverage for 48 yards. Ward later diversified his contributions by taking a Trace McSorley checkdown for 27 yards, and he also rushed for 11 yards on three carries. The main snag in Ward's bid for a roster spot could unfortunately be a shoulder injury, which caused the Cardinals to rule him out at halftime.
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