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NFL

NFL 2022 preseason week 2: Winners and Losers

Sometimes, the preseason is just the boring preseason. Other times, it shows you hidden gems…or hidden turds.

Update:

Week two of the preseason wrapped up last night with the Falcons-Jets game, which means we are almost to the regular season. We’re a week away from the NFL teams making their final cuts down to a 53-man roster and less than three weeks away from the start of the regular season. There were some very clear winners and losers in week two of the preseason. Let’s take a look.

Winners:

KaVontae Turpin, WR - Dallas Cowboys

The former TCU star and USFL MVP proved himself worthy as part of the offensive lineup with two return touchdowns for 98 and 86 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. He had talked about how he can do more than just return punts. But if in the end, that’s all he does, I think he’ll still make an impact on this team.

Kenny Pickett, QB - Pittsburgh Steelers

I guess anyone would be welcomed after Mitchell Trubisky’s performance, but Pickett made the case for himself as the week 1 starter, going 6 of 7 for two touchdown passes right before halftime against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Granted, one was called back due to penalties, but that’s not Pickett’s fault. His mental strength showed as he looked unfazed and steady when he was on the field.

Josh Allen and Case Keenum, QBs - Buffalo Bills

Honestly, the Bills had a great night in general this week, regardless of who was on offers. But the quarterbacks both looked sharp. Allen had just one drive and finished it 3-of-3 for 45 yards and a touchdown - a 28-yard bullet to Gabriel Davis (another week 2 winner). After that, Keenum came in and led three consecutive scoring drives. The Bills are set at QB.

Isaiah Likely, TE - Baltimore Ravens

Likely had an amazing night, catching eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals, always finding a way around their defense. It’s looking a lot more like he’ll be playing a bigger role than expected and seeing some red-zone targets from Lamar Jackson in the regular season.

Losers:

Antonio Gibson, RB - Washington Commanders

Eight months ago, no one would have thought that a rookie would be competing for the starting spot over Gibson, who topped 1,000 rushing yards last season…but then along came Brian Robinson. He had just two carries for three yards and three catches for 37 yards on Saturday and was doomed to kick-return duties. The fact that Washington put Gibson on special teams on Saturday signifies that he’s very unlikely to be their RB1 this year.

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE - Denver Broncos

Okwuegbunam was supposed to be the TE1 for the Broncos going into the season, but the fact that he played more than three quarters of the game in week 2 makes it seem like that has perhaps changed. Or perhaps that just highlights them lack of depth Denver has at tight end. Rookie Greg Dulcich had been sneaking up on Okwuegbunam before a hamstring injury kept him out. Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said Albert O. “needs some reps”, which translates to: his blocks need work. If he doesn’t improve, we could be seeing Eric Saubert out there as the starter instead.

David Blough, QB - Detroit Lions

Blough’s day wasn’t terrible, per say. He did complete 16 of 22 passes and lead one touchdown drive. However all that added up to just 76 yards - 3.5 yards per attempt. Plus, he threw an interception. So…the bad kind of canceled out the good here. It isn’t as if Tim Boyle came in and blew everyone minds either, so at the moment, the Lions seem to have two mediocre QB2 options.

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