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NFL

Must see matchups from Week 2 of the NFL Preseason

Week 1 of the NFL preseason is in the rear view and this weekend should feature more of the stars we are used to seeing on Sunday during the regular season.

Update:
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 12: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts prior to the preseason game against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jets defeated the Eagles 24-21.   Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==
Mitchell LeffAFP

The second week of the NFL preseason is rapidly approaching, and this weekend we should see many of the stars we are used to seeing on Sundays make their debuts.

As always, quarterback competitions will be at the forefront of the headlines coming into Week 2 of the preseason. But there are plenty of rookies that had fantastic debuts, and fans will be eager to track their progression as the regular season creeps closer.

It’s true that preseason games don’t draw a fraction of the excitement of regular season marquee matchups, but there are some story lines to keep an eye on. Most of the headliners will take the field in quarters one and two as the league’s stars prepare for the first action of the season, but the third and fourth quarters are where guys careers can be on the line as players on the fringe of the 53 man roster look to make a statement.

Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins

This will be the Raiders third game already, after taking part in the Hall of Fame Game to kick off the preseason. There is no secret who the starting quarterbacks will be on both of these teams, but where the mystery lies in the in receiving corp. Neither Derek Carr or Tua Tagovaiola played at quarterback in the opening week, so we are still waiting for the QB1s to give us a first glimpse with their new toys on the receiving end.

Miami got a huge boost to their offense when Tyreek Hill signed for the Dolphins this offseason, leaving Kansas City and their high powered throwing game. Hill now teams up with second year receiver Jaylen Waddle to form one of the top 1-2 options in the AFC.

Davante Adams was the transaction of the offseason as he left Lambeau for Las Vegas. He has already spoke about his admiration for Derek Carr. Now it’s time to see how their connection has progressed up until this point. New coach Josh McDaniels will be itching to see their on field chemistry.

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

The quarterback saga in Cleveland is far from over, and the preseason opener didn’t do much to clear up the situation. Joshua Dobbs looked the best of all quarterbacks, throwing 13 passes and completing 10 of them for 108 yards and a TD. Josh Rosen went 6/7 for 56 yards, while Deshaun Watson, who started the game, competed just one of five passes for seven yards. He didn’t play in the Browns opening game against the Jags, but reports are Jacoby Brissett will be the one taking over as QB1 in Cleveland.

Jalen Hurts is the starter for Philadelphia. If there was any doubt about that last year, those doubts have faded and Hurts now has the keys to the car in the City of Brotherly Love. What he hasn’t had yet, is a chance to show how he and wide receiver A.J. Brown are connecting yet. Hurts went 6/6 for 80 yards and a TD in the opener against the Jets, and did so without his new WR1.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags, like the Raiders are gearing up for their third preseason game. If there’s one team who needs four extra quarters to get ready for the new season, it’s Jacksonville. They are an unusually young team that need to get more continuity on the offensive and defensive side. Travon Walker looked great in the opener for Jacksonville, creating problems from wherever the 2022 No. 1 draft pick lined up on the defensive line. Trevor Lawrence got his first action of the preseason, going 6/12 for 95 yards and Travis Etienne Jr. got 10 first quarter touches in his first game back since missing all season with a preseason injury last year.

The Steelers quarterback situation is far from resolved. It is doubtful that rookie Kenny Pickett will be the week one starter. He had a great showing against Seattle, going 13/15 for 95 yards and two TDs. Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky are likely to battle for the QB1 spot in Week 1, but if Pickett continues to play like he did against the Seahawks he will give coach Mike Tomlin plenty to think about.

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

Will we see both stars at the quarterback position suit up for this weekend’s game? Josh Allen is one of the new superstars in the league since breaking on to the national scene two years ago, and Russell Wilson is an established star but moved to the Mile High City over the offseason.

We are still waiting to get a glimpse of both of these gun slingers in the preseason, but we could get our first look at Wilson in a Broncos jersey on Saturday. Allen has been with the Bills for years, and may not need as many reps with a team that has had the same foundation for the last couple of years.

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

Aaron Rodgers has never been one to make preseason a top priority. When you have won back-to-back MVPs you don’t really need to impress anyone in the weeks leading up to kickoff to the regular season. Jordan Love, however will get a chance to build upon his opening performance where he went 13/24 for 176 yards throwing for 2 TDs and 3 INTs.

The Saints offense looked stagnant at best in the opener against the Houston Texans. Ian Book got the majority of the snaps last weekend, going 15/22 for 121 yards and an interception, while Andy Dalton was a perfect 5/5 for 51 yards and a touchdown. Jameis Winston missed the opener after tweaking his foot in practice, but the injury is not serious and the former Bucs QB could be on the verge of making his comeback from an ACL injury complete.

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