NFL preseason 2022 Week 2 takeaways: Patriots’ Mac Jones leads 81-yard TD drive, Justin Fields sharp for Bears


The Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears kicked off Week 2 of the preseason Thursday in Seattle.

Second-year quarterback Justin Fields appeared sharp for the Bears in his lone drive to start the sport, whereas Seahawks starter Geno Smith and the offensive unit struggled to select up first downs of their first couple of drives.

Within the early sport Friday night time, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones overcame a shaky begin and two three-and-outs to guide the offense on a second-quarter scoring drive in opposition to the Carolina Panthers earlier than his night time was over. The Packers topped the Saints behind a roller-coaster night time from rookie receiver Romeo Doubs, who had a landing catch but additionally a few drops.

Week 2 continues Friday with two extra video games earlier than wrapping up on Monday Night time Soccer with the Atlanta Falcons on the New York Jets (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Listed below are the most important takeaways from the week’s video games thus far, together with the remainder of the Week 2 preseason schedule:

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NFL preseason sport on Thursday, Aug. 18

Bears: The Bears’ beginning offense noticed restricted motion on a brief week and was executed after 10 performs in Seattle. Fields strung collectively a gap drive that culminated in a area purpose — the first-team unit’s first scoring drive of the preseason — after he went 5-for-7 for 39 yards. Fields did not have greater than three completions on any of his first offensive possessions in 2021 and threw for 39 (or extra) yards on a gap drive solely as soon as (Week 6 in opposition to the Green Bay Packers), an indication that his execution and operation of the offense are coming alongside.

Fields is being pressured at one of many highest charges within the NFL (44% of his dropbacks) whereas Chicago continues to be attempting to kind out its offensive line, notably with Teven Jenkins now within the combine to begin at proper guard. However we are able to already see the tendencies of this new-look Bears scheme take form. The expectation of a heavy dose of play-action and bootlegs confirmed up Thursday with two of Subject’s go makes an attempt approaching designed rollouts, together with his 19-yard completion to tight finish Cole Kmet. Final season, Fields had solely 18 makes an attempt on designed rollouts, and he accomplished 78% of these with two touchdowns. — Courtney Cronin

Subsequent sport: at Cleveland, 7 p.m. ET, Aug. 27

Seahawks: The Seahawks’ quarterback competitors appears no nearer to being determined after their ugly loss to the Bears. With COVID-19 sidelining Drew Lock for what would have been his first begin of the summer season, Smith had an opportunity to widen his lead however he did not do something with it.

Seattle’s six full possessions (excluding the ultimate one within the closing seconds of the primary half) with Smith underneath heart ended with 5 punts (three of them after three-and-outs) and a missed 47-yard area purpose. Not that it was all Smith’s fault. He was victimized by three drops and a number of other penalties. He additionally had Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf on the sphere for only one possession, then misplaced beginning left guard Damien Lewis to an ankle damage.

Smith then watched the second half with an ice wrap over his proper knee. Lock’s bout with COVID was a major setback in his quest to overhaul Smith, however Smith’s underwhelming night time retains the door open. Lock will want a robust exhibiting in subsequent week’s preseason finale at Dallas to persuade coach Pete Carroll that he is the man — and he most likely wants Smith to battle once more as effectively. — Brady Henderson

Subsequent sport: at Dallas, 8 p.m. ET, Aug. 26

NFL preseason video games on Friday, Aug. 19

Patriots: After a shaky begin with two three-and-out drives, quarterback Mac Jones (4-of-8 for 61 yards) ended on a excessive be aware as he led an 81-yard landing drive. It was the kind of confidence increase — albeit in opposition to the Panthers’ backups — that Jones & Co. wanted after a coaching camp crammed with “rising pains” as they alter to a “new offense.” Jones appeared uncomfortable early (his accuracy was off) earlier than settling down on his third and closing drive. A 7-yard completion to Nelson Agholor was crucial to transform the primary third down of the night time, after which Jones hit Agholor with a 45-yard bomb down the left sideline. That deep ball is what gamers say ought to present up extra within the revamped offense. Final season, 41% of Jones’ go makes an attempt thrown at the least 20 yards downfield have been overthrown or underthrown, an off-target mark that ranked twenty first within the NFL (league common 36%). Additionally, Patriots receivers ranked twenty fifth with only one.6 yards of separation on deep balls, per NFL Subsequent Gen Stats. So the Jones-to-Agholor lengthy hookup sparks promise for the group. — Mike Reiss

Subsequent sport: at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. ET, Aug. 26

Panthers: Left deal with Ikem Ekwonu was within the highlight with the Panthers resting quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. Carolina noticed each the great and the dangerous it will possibly anticipate out of the sixth total decide from the 2022 draft. He gave up two sacks on the second possession, magnifying the issues over his readiness in go safety. He additionally had a number of key run blocks, reinforcing why offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo stated Ekwonu can “block out the solar.” The inconsistency is why the Panthers could be higher off maintaining Darnold in the event that they title Mayfield the starter, as anticipated. They’re one hit from being right down to the their second quarterback, and Darnold is extra constant than PJ Walker or Matt Corral, who took all of the quarterback snaps on Friday. Corral did present enchancment over his 1-for-9 efficiency final week, however left within the fourth quarter with a foot damage and is present process X-rays. — David Newton

Subsequent sport: vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m. ET, Aug. 26

Packers: Aaron Rodgers may simply need to stay with Romeo Doubs and his drops. The rookie receiver makes too many different performs. He did so once more on Friday night time in opposition to the Saints with three catches for twenty-four yards and a landing. His different two targets, nevertheless, have been drops — together with a deep ball on the opening drive by which he appeared to get turned out or misplayed.

Rodgers expressed his frustration with the younger receivers, though he lumped them into a gaggle and did not point out anybody by title. However Doubs, a fourth-round decide, additionally had two drops and a landing in final week’s preseason opener on the 49ers.

In all, the Packers had 4 drops by first- or second-year receivers (the 2 by Doubs, one by Samori Toure on a well-placed deep ball and one by Amari Rodgers down the seam). A number of drops would have been explosive performs, hurting Jordan Love‘s numbers (12-of-24 for 113 yards and one landing), however at the least they did not flip into interceptions like they did final week.

Nevertheless, Doubs makes performs that not each receiver on the Packers’ roster could make. He completely timed a 10-yard fade for a landing catch, outjumping Saints security Brian Allen. He caught a 17-yard deep out and had one other 17-yarder worn out by a penalty. At this level, Doubs might be the Packers’ fourth receiver behind Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins — none of whom have performed in preseason video games. — Rob Demovsky

Subsequent sport: at Kansas Metropolis, 8 p.m. ET, Aug. 25

Saints: With many of the Saints starters sitting on the sideline for the night, the specialists ended up being the celebs of the present. Punter Blake Gillikin boomed an 81-yard punt and kicker Wil Lutz confirmed he was again from the damage that stored him out in the course of the 2021 season, simply nailing a 59-yard area purpose.

Nothing else got here so simply to the Saints, with coach Dennis Allen stating they spent plenty of time capturing themselves within the foot, with the Packers scoring 10 factors after a key Saints penalty and a fumbled snap.

It was additionally an up-and-down night time for third-string quarterback Ian Book, who performed your entire sport with each Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton sitting out. Guide had a fumbled change and was picked off when concentrating on tight finish Taysom Hill, who slipped on his route. He threw one landing to rookie first-round decide Chris Olave and completed 16-of-28 for 113 yards. — Katherine Terrell

Subsequent sport: vs. L.A. Chargers, 8 p.m. ET, Aug. 26

NFL preseason video games on Friday

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams: 10 p.m. ET, NFL Community

NFL preseason video games Saturday

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills: 1 p.m. ET, NFL Community
Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts: 1 p.m. ET
Washington Commanders at Kansas City Chiefs: 4 p.m. ET, NFL Community
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans: 7 p.m. ET, NFL Community
Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins: 7 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings: 7 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars: 7 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers: 10 p.m. ET, NFL Community

NFL preseason video games Sunday

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns: 1 p.m. ET, NFL Community
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants: 7 p.m. ET, NFL Community
Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals: 8 p.m. ET, Fox

NFL preseason video games Monday

Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

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