A lot of aspects of NFL preseason can prove to be meaningless, but here are 10 things we learned in Week 2…
10. Hello Bryce Petty
Ryan Fitzpatrick will begin this season as the starter for the Jets, but what if he regresses this season? Even if he doesn’t, the Jets need a QB that can carry them into the future. Petty is separating himself as that guy, and made it clear against the Redskins. Petty went 16/26 after being given an extensive look, good for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns. I’m not saying Fitzpatrick needs to watch out for his job right now, but lets see where this season goes.
9. Ryan Tannehill and Kenny Stills Build Chemistry
Miami isn’t going to be a juggernaut on offense, but there are solid options here. Jarvis Landry is the possession receiver and is almost a sure thing to lead the team in receptions. Many have DeVante Parker pegged as a breakout candidate, but don’t forget about Stills. The deep threat hauled in three catches for 71 yards from Tannehill, two of them for scores.
8. Eddie Lacy Looked Like Eddie Lacy
After a horrible season, Lacy is an easy guy to drop down your board in 2016. But since shedding some weight and getting recommitted, Lacy is looking every bit like pre-2015 Lacy. We finally saw evidence of the changes against the Raiders when Lacy turned nine carries into 45 yards and a TD. No reason to be scared of last season.
7. LeGarrette Blount Flashes
The Patriots need someone to step up in the running game after it basically fell off the map in the second half of 2015. James White is poised to take over Dion Lewis’ role early in 2016, but Blount is still going to be the bell cow when it comes to pounding the ball in short yardage and goal-line situations. It was encouraging to see him take 11 carries for 69 yards and a TD against the Bears.
6. Jeremy Langford Separating Himself
There’s been a lot of talk around Jordan Howard and some of the other young Chicago running backs sneaking up on Langford on the depth chart. But as it’s playing out on the field, Langford is clearly the Bears’ top RB. He turned eight carries into 55 yards and a TD against the Patriots. Meanwhile, Howard managed just 46 yards on 11 carries. Howard isn’t going to disappear, but he’s a distant second to Langford.
5. So That’s Why Tennessee Traded Dorial Green-Beckham
DGB might not have found his stride yet, but it’s still a bold move to trade your most talented WR just a season after being an early second-round pick. Week 2 of the preseason gave us a good idea why. Rishard Matthews is slotted in at the No. 1 WR in Tennessee, but behind him will clearly be Tajae Sharpe and Justin Hunter. Sharpe has been more impressive than anyone imagined for a fifth-round rookie, hauling in six passes for 68 yards against the Panthers. Sharpe may not be behind Matthews for long. Hunter provides the deep threat as the No. 3 WR, turning four catches into 54 yards of his own.
4. Matthew Stafford/Marvin Jones Continue To Gel
Marvin Jones might just be my favorite fantasy football value of 2016. That’s why he finds his way into just about every article I write. Read this if you want more hype on Jones. Week 2 was more of the same — Jones snagged four more darts from Stafford for 65 yards.
3. Paxton Lynch Still Could Start For Denver
I’ll touch on the mess that is the Broncos’ QB battle in my Preseason Week 3 preview. Let’s just focus on Lynch here. He was given the bulk of the work in Week 2, and he looked like the best QB. Lynch wasn’t perfect — going 15/26 for just 113 yards a couple touchdowns and a pick — but his talent was obvious. Denver may decide to see what they have in Lynch earlier than expected.
2. Robert Griffin III Knocked The Rust Off Quickly
Griffin still saw limited action, but was able to knock off all the rust we saw in Week 1 rather quickly. This time he attempted eight passes again, connecting on six on them for 98 yards and two beautiful touchdowns — a strike to Gary Barnidge and a 50-yard bomb to Terrelle Pryor. Maybe even more encouraging, RG3 escape the pocket three times and scrambled for 36 yards.
1. Holy Dak Prescott
Take a seat Tony Romo! Just kidding, but everyone was so concerned about who the backup QB would be in Dallas after Kellen Moore went down. Now the Cowboys not only have one of the hottest backup quarterbacks in the NFL, but a potential replacement for Romo down the road. Prescott has more touchdowns than incompletions so far this preseason and is looking like a true pro. In Week 2 he threw for another pair of scores, going 12/15 with 199 yards (no interceptions again). Then on the ground Prescott picked up 28 yards and two more touchdowns. This kid has been the most impressive player in preseason thus far.
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