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Preseason Week 2 Notes

By Jared Smola 11:39am EDT 8/19/22


Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks

Bears QB Justin Fields was under constant pressure on his lone series. Per Pro Football Focus, Fields has now been pressured on 44.4% of his dropbacks through 2 preseason games. For perspective, that 44.4% pressure rate would have ranked 2nd highest among 32 qualifiers last year. Chicago's offensive line is a problem.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown was on the field for all 9 of Fields' snaps. WR Darnell Mooney played 8; WR Velus Jones 4. WR Byron Pringle missed the game with his quad injury.

Jones had this nice 48-yard punt return.

TE Cole Kmet ran a route on 5 of Fields' 8 dropbacks; TE James O'Shaughnessy ran 4. It'd be a major issue for Kmet if that type of committee rolls into the regular season.

With Seahawks QB Drew Lock on the COVID list, QB Geno Smith got the start and played the entire 1st half -- although it's worth noting that WRs D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett played just 3 snaps apiece. Smith finished 10 of 18 for 112 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs.

With RBs Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker out, RBs DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer split 1st-team work. Homer was more effective on the ground, taking 5 carries for 44 yards vs. Dallas 5 carries for 15 yards. But Dallas did more damage in the passing game, catching 4 of 5 targets for 52 yards. Homer caught his lone target for 4 yards.

More worrisome usage for TE Noah Fant in this one. He played the entire 1st half with QB Geno Smith but ran a route on only 10 of Smith's 20 dropbacks. TE Colby Parkinson ran 6 routes and TE Will Dissly ran 5. It'd frankly be shocking if Seattle didn't use Fant as a full-time player after acquiring him in the Russell Wilson trade. But we've seen HC Pete Carroll do some shocking stuff.


Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots

Panthers QBs Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold both sat this one out. Same for RB Christian McCaffrey and WRs D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson. WR Terrace Marshall is out with a hamstring injury.

RBs D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard split work with the 1st-team offense for the 2nd straight week. Foreman played more on early downs and out-carried Hubbard 7 to 6, but Hubbard ran more pass routes and out-targeted Foreman 2-0. It'll be a committee backfield if McCaffrey misses time this year.

Patriots QB Mac Jones played 3 series. The first 2 were 3-and-outs. The 3rd was a 10-play, 81-yard TD drive. Jones finished 4 of 8 for 61 yards.

RBs Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and Ty Montgomery rotated drives in this one. Harris played the 1st drive with Jones, Stevenson the 2nd and Montgomery the 3rd. We doubt the backfield will operate like that during the regular season. But it's clear that those are New England's top 3 backs right now.

Kendrick Bourne didn't play in this game, but the Patriots rotated 4 WRs with the 1st-team offense. Per Pro Football Focus, the snaps broke down like this:

Jakobi Meyers - 17

Nelson Agholor - 14

Tyquan Thornton - 13

DeVante Parker - 11


New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

The Saints sat QBs Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and WRs Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry.

WR Chris Olave hauled in 2 of 3 targets for 28 yards, including this 20-yard score.

The Saints used 4 different TEs with the 1st-team offense. Here was the snap and route breakdown, per Pro Football Focus:

Juwan Johnson - 14 snaps, 8 routes

Nick Vannett - 11 snaps, 5 routes

Taysom Hill - 9 snaps, 7 routes

Adam Trautman - 4 snaps, 1 route

This a situation to steer clear from in fantasy drafts.

QB Aaron Rodgers, RBs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, WRs Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb and Christian Watson and TE Robert Tonyan did not play for the Packers.

WR Romeo Doubs scored for the 2nd straight preseason game, this time beautifully high-pointing a back-shoulder ball.


Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams

Texans QB Davis Mills played the 1st half, finishing 10 of 17 for 96 yards and a score.

WR Brandin Cooks was held out, leaving Nico Collins as Houston's top WR. The 2nd-year man caught 4 of 6 targets for 48 yards and this contested TD in 1 half of action.

After impressing with the 2nd-team in the preseason opener, rookie RB Dameon Pierce did not play in this game. There was no injury announced, suggesting Pierce got the "starter's treatment." He's clearly the guy to target in this backfield. RB Marlon Mack handled most of the early-down work with Mills, while RB Rex Burkhead played in most passing situations.

The Rams rested all notables.


Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

For the 2nd straight week, the Broncos sat all their notables ... except TE Albert Okwuegbunam. He at least ran a route on 80% of the 1st-team pass plays in this one, but his preseason usage has still been worrisome.

Bills QB Josh Allen played 1 series, leading his team on a 6-play, 70-yard TD drive. Allen completed all 3 of his passes for 45 yards and this score to WR Gabriel Davis.

WR snaps with Allen:

Stefon Diggs - 6

Gabriel Davis - 6

Isaiah McKenzie - 5

RB Devin Singletary played all 6 snaps with Allen on that 1st possession. Zack Moss was the next RB to hit the field and scored a pair of goal-line TDs in the 2nd quarter. Rookie RB James Cook was the 3rd in line at the position.


Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts

The Lions sat all their notables.

QB Matt Ryan, RBs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, WR Michael Pittman and TE Mo Alie-Cox did not play for the Colts.

WR Alec Pierce was on the field for every snap with the "starters" in this one, while WR Parris Campbell played in 3-WR sets. It was the other way around in the preseason opener, so this could be a promotion for the rookie. We'll see if we learn more in the final exhibition.

RB Phillip Lindsay out-snapped RB Ty'Son Williams 10 to 3 with the "starters" and looks like the Colts' #3 RB.


Washington Commanders at Kansas City Chiefs

It sure looks like we have a changing of the guard in Washington's backfield. RB Antonio Gibson returned the opening kickoff, and then played 8 of 19 snaps with QB Carson Wentz. Seven of those snaps were passes -- work that will usually more often go to RB J.D. McKissic, who didn't play in this one. Gibson lost a yard on his only carry and failed to catch his 1 target while Wentz was in the game. He carried once more and saw 3 targets with QB Taylor Heinicke and the 2nd team. RB Brian Robinson, meanwhile, played 11 of 19 snaps with Wentz, finishing with 8 carries for 31 yards. The rookie appears to be atop the depth chart right now.

Washington's WR depth chart remains clear: Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson play in 2-WR sets; Curtis Samuel joins them in 3-WR sets.

QB Carson Wentz went 6 of 9 for 64 yards on 3 possessions. His target distribution:

Curtis Samuel - 4

Terry McLaurin - 2

Jahan Dotson - 1

Antonio Gibson - 1

Armani Rogers - 1

Chiefs WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Mecole Hardman (groin) did not play, but the rest of the starters did.

QB Patrick Mahomes played 2 series, both lasting 12 plays and resulting in TDs. Mahomes finished 12 of 19 for 162 yards and 2 scores.

RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon all saw work with Mahomes. Here was the breakdown:

Pacheco - 10 snaps, 2 carries, 2 targets

Edwards-Helaire - 8 snaps, 2 carries, 0 targets

McKinnon - 7 snaps, 0 carries, 1 target

It's clear that these are Kansas City's top 3 RBs -- but it's not clear how snaps and touches will be divvied.

Despite Smith-Schuster and Hardman missing this one, WR Skyy Moore was still only 3rd in line for snaps behind WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson. At this point, it's not looking like Moore will be an early-season fantasy option. He's still an upside bench stash.

There's been a lot of hand-wringing in the fantasy community over TE Travis Kelce's snap rates in these first 2 preseason games. After playing 6 of 11 snaps with Mahomes in the opener, Kelce was on the field for just 10 of Mahomes' 25 snaps in this one. My take? The Chiefs are taking it easy on a future Hall-of-Famer who's been in this offense for 10 years. I'm not adjusting 2022 expectations for Kelce.


Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars

Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky got the start, but QB Kenny Pickett also got time with the 1st team. The rookie went 6 of 7 for 76 yards and a score on 2 possessions. Trubisky completed 5 of 8 for 60 scoreless yards on 3 series, adding 10 yards on 1 carry. Trubisky is still the favorite to start Week 1, but his lead over Pickett seems to be shrinking.

Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Chase Claypool operated as Pittsburgh's clear top 3 WRs. Claypool notably played 14 of his 16 snaps in the slot and made this nice grab.

TE Pat Freiermuth ran a route on 15 of 18 pass plays (83%) and caught both of his targets for 35 yards, including this seam shot for 24.

With RB Najee Harris getting the day off, RB Benny Snell got the start and played 17 of 25 snaps with the starters. RBs Jaylen Warren and Anthony McFarland each played 4. Snell still looks like the favorite for this #2 RB job, despite recent speculation that Warren had taken the lead.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence played the entire 1st half, finishing 14 of 21 for 133 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. He added 13 yards on 2 carries.

After missing the preseason opener, WR Christian Kirk had a very encouraging performance in this one. He registered an 83% snap rate, 92% route rate and 8 targets. All 3 marks led the WRs. Kirk caught 5 balls for 54 yards. As expected, he looks like Jacksonville's #1 WR.

Route rates with Lawrence for the rest of the Jaguars' WRs:

Zay Jones - 79%

Marvin Jones - 63%

Laviska Shenault - 29%

Jamal Agnew - 8%

Laquon Treadwell - 4%

TE Evan Engram was quiet in the box score, catching his lone target for 2 yards. But he ran a route on 83% of Lawrence's drop backs. He remains a strong pick at ADP with that kind of usage.


Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins

The Raiders held out QB Derek Carr, RBs Josh Jacobs, Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden, WRs Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Mack Hollins and TEs Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and Jacob Hollister.

RB Zamir White got the start and out-snapped RB Kenyan Drake with the "starters." We learned Monday that Drake is expected to be cut.

The Dolphins sat RB Raheem Mostert and WRs Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

QB Tua Tagovailoa played 2 series, completing 6 of 8 passes for 58 yards. "He executed really everything that we asked him to do," HC Mike McDaniel said afterward. "His ownership of the offense, his command of the players was real good. He distributed the ball well. ... So I was happy with his performance, and it was something to build upon moving forward that the team really was pumped to see.”

TE Mike Gesicki played deep into the 2nd quarter, which is a bit worrisome. On the plus side, Gesicki ran a route on 6 of Tagovailoa's 8 drop backs and was targeted on 4 of his 8 passes.

RB Chase Edmonds played 10 of Tagovailoa's 13 snaps, gaining just 3 yards on 3 carries but catching both of his targets for 21 yards. RB Sony Michel played the other 3 snaps with Tua.


San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

The 'Niners sat QBs Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, RBs Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson, WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and TE George Kittle.

RB Trey Sermon got the start and led San Francisco's RBs with 9 snaps with the "starters." RB JaMycal Hasty got 3 snaps with the 1st team; RB Ty Davis-Price 1.

The Vikings held out all notables other than RB Alexander Mattison. He handled all 3 carries on the 1st drive and then was done for the night. Mattison still looks like Minnesota's #2 RB and the handcuff to Dalvin Cook.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans

Bucs QB Tom Brady remains away from the team. RB Gio Bernard, WRs Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Julio Jones and Breshad Perriman and TE Cam Brate also didn't play.

RB Leonard Fournette played the first 3 series, racking up 20 yards on 5 carries and a couple of catches for 6 yards.

RB Rachaad White was the next man in for Tampa -- ahead of RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn. The rookie carried 6 times for 19 yards and caught a pass for 16 yards, but he also lost a fumble.

The Titans held out QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry and WR Robert Woods.

RB Dontrelle Hilliard drew the start for Tennessee. He was followed by RB Hassan Haskins and then RB Julius Chestnut. There's still no clear handcuff to Henry.

The Titans used a heavy rotation at WR with the 1st-team offense, with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Treylon Burks, Kyle Phillips, Racey McMath and Cody Hollister all getting snaps. Burks remains the only Titans WR outside of Woods that's worth drafting -- but it still looks like he won't be a bankable fantasy play early in the season.


Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers

QB Dak Prescott, RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, WRs CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Noah Brown and James Washington and TE Dalton Schultz did not play for Dallas.

The fact that Brown was a healthy scratch is seemingly confirmation that he'll open the regular season with a significant role.

The Chargers sat QB Justin Herbert, RB Austin Ekeler, WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and TE Gerald Everett.

RBs Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree split most of the reps with the "starters." RB Isaiah Spiller was clearly 3rd in line -- and then left with an ankle injury. The rookie might eventually emerge as Los Angeles' #2 RB, but it doesn't look like that'll happen before Week 1.

WR Josh Palmer had a strong game, hauling in 3 of 4 targets for 75 yards, including this 18-yard TD on a screen. He's locked in as the Chargers' #3 WR.


Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns

QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, WRs A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and TE Dallas Goedert did not play for the Eagles.

RB Boston Scott got the start and punched in a 1-yard score on the 1st possession. He finished with 10 carries for 33 yards and the TD, plus 1 catch for 11 yards. RB Kenneth Gainwell hit the field for Philly's 2nd series. He took 11 carries for 46 yards and a score. Both of these guys figure to be involved alongside Sanders this season.

The Browns sat QBs Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett, RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, WRs Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones and TEs David Njoku and Harrison Bryant.

RB D'Ernest Johnson got the start in this one, confirming that he's still #3 on the depth chart ahead of rookie Jerome Ford.

WR David Bell made his preseason debut, finishing with 3 catches on 4 targets for 46 yards. He played 19 of his 23 snaps in the slot. Bell still looks like the favorite for the starting slot job between Cooper and Peoples-Jones.


Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants

The Bengals sat QB Joe Burrow, RBs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, WRs Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd and TEs Hayden Hurst and Drew Sample.

RB Chris Evans got the start, suggesting he's still 3rd on this depth chart behind Mixon and Perine.

The Giants held out RBs Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell and WRs Kadarius Toney and Darius Slayton.

QB Daniel Jones played 3 series, completing 14 of 16 passes for 116 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. The INT went off TE Daniel Bellinger's fingertips. Overall, it was a pretty solid showing for Jones, amid concerns over his arm strength.

More encouraging usage for rookies Wan'Dale Robinson and Daniel Bellinger in this one. Robinson ran a route on 13 of Jones' 17 dropbacks (76%); Bellinger 14 of 17 (82%). Both guys saw 3 targets.

WR Kenny Golladay's poor preseason continued with 0 targets on 13 routes. He now has 3 targets and 1 catch on 23 preseason routes.


Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals

QB Lamar Jackson, RBs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, WRs Rashod Bateman, James Proche, Devin Duvernay and Tylan Wallace and TE Mark Andrews did not play for the Ravens.

TE Isaiah Likely lit up the Cardinals defense, catching 8 balls for 100 yards and a score in 1 half of action. Here's video of all 8 catches. Likely is obviously behind Andrews on Baltimore's depth chart. But considering how thin the WR corps is, it's possible that Likely earns a real role in this passing game.

RBs Mike Davis and Justice Hill split work with the "starters." Neither had any success, Davis running 6 times for 18 yards and Hill toting it 5 times for 5 yards. It's still unclear what this Baltimore backfield will look like early in the season.

The Cardinals sat QB Kyler Murray, RB James Conner, WRs DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, A.J. Green and Antoine Wesley and TE Zach Ertz.

RB Eno Benjamin got the start in this one. He played 21 snaps, finishing with 4 carries for 12 yards and 0 catches on 1 target. RB Darrel Williams mixed in for 4 snaps and 1 carry. Arizona's depth chart behind Conner remains murky.

TE Trey McBride made his preseason debut, finishing catch-less on 2 targets and 18 pass routes.


Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets

For the 2nd straight week, both of the Falcons' top 2 QBs played well. Marcus Mariota got the start again and went 6 of 10 for 132 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs on 3 possessions. Rookie Desmond Ridder took the next 3 series, completing 10 of 13 passes for 143 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. Mariota remains the heavy favorite to start Week 1. But, regardless of who's under center, this Atlanta passing game might be better than expected.

That's obviously good news for TE Kyle Pitts, who smoked CB Bryce Hall for this 52-yard catch on the 2nd play of the game.

RBs Cordarrelle Patterson, Damien Williams, Tyler Allgeier, Qadree Ollison and Avery Williams all got snaps with Mariota and the 1st team. We know Patterson will play a big role, but it's unclear what this backfield will look like behind him.

QBs Zach Wilson and Joe Flacco, RB Michael Carter, WRs Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios and TEs Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah did not play for the Jets.

RB Breece Hall played the first 2 series but was bottled up for 1 yard on 4 carries.

WR Garrett Wilson also played the first 2 series, catching all 3 of his target for 15 yards. He notably played 10 of his 11 snaps on the outside. It still looks like the Jets will open the season with WRs Elijah Moore and Corey Davis on the outside and WR Braxton Berrios in the slot. Wilson figures to join the top 3 at some point this season.



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