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NFL preseason Week 2 winners, losers: KaVontae Turpin, Isaiah Likely among rookie standouts

Attempting to make heads or tails of the NFL preseason is tricky as ever, despite having two of the three weeks of the 2022 slate complete.The league’s teams continue steadily to approachit in many ways, some opting to work with starters while some depend on training camp practices and increasingly common joint sessions with other clubs to serve as August’s proving ground.

So it is an easy task to be encouraged once you watch GAMBLING fourth-year QB Daniel Jones complete 14 of 16 passes … and soon you remember he’s flourishing against Cincinnati Bengals reserves. Alternately, it could be nice to obtain a read on the brand new York Jets and Cleveland Browns, teams apt to be reliant on backup passers Joe Flacco and Jacoby Brissett, respectively to start out the growing season, yet neither veteran has played in a casino game this month.

Still, a lot of sterling performances surfaced on the weekend aswell asseveral concerning ones before Tuesday’s league-wide roster cutdown to 80 players per team:

WINNERS

Baltimore Ravens: Their 24-17 victory at Arizona on Sunday was the Ravens’ 22nd consecutive preseason win, a streak extending to 2015. These games don’t count in the standings, but it’s probably no coincidence that Baltimore has basically been a perennial contender for the entirety of the 21st century. “You gotta prepare yourself to play, said QB TylerHuntley, who crackledin host to Lamar Jackson, completing 13 of 14 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. It just shows we’re attempting to win each and every time we touch the field.

Cowboys WR KaVontae Turpin take a kickoff back for a TD against the Chargers on Saturday night.

Cowboys WR KaVontae Turpin have a kickoff back for a TD contrary to the Chargers on Saturday night.

KaVontae Turpin:The USFL’s MVP in 2022, he’s all but locked up a roster spot with the Dallas Cowboys because of Saturday’s showing. The 5-9, 153-pounder is listed as a receiver but makes his bones as a return ace. Contrary to the Bolts, he bolted for 12 points thanks to 98-yard kickoff return and 86-yard punt return, both in the initial half.

Rookie quarterbacks: The very best three passers selected in April’s draft all shone. Likely to ultimately become retired Ben Roethlisberger’s successor for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kenny Pickett the lone QB used Round 1 this season turned in another impressive preseason performance, Saturday’s occurring with the Pitt product using starters and against Jacksonville’s varsity defense. His August numbers: 19 completions in 22 attempts for 171 yards and three touchdowns and zero turnovers. It appears unlikely Pickett will overtake free agent signing Mitchell Trubisky by opening day … but equally unlikely that the rookie won’t finish this year in the saddle.

The Tennessee Titans’ Malik Williswas in the starting lineup for the next straight game and threw his first pro TD pass weekly after running for just one. He still needs a lot of polish but has flashed enough as a run-pass threat to suggest he could nail down the QB2 job before Week 1 and may even push starter Ryan Tannehill out the entranceway prior to the start of next season.

Finally, the Atlanta Falcons’Desmond Ridder wasn’t perfect Monday nightbut was a lot more than efficient while connecting on 10 of 13 throws for 143 yards contrary to the Jets. May be some time before he supplants Marcus Mariota, if the Falcons’ season unfolds needlessly to say, good chance Ridder gets several starts in 2022.

‘Hard Knocks’ viewers: The Detroit Lions and head coach Dan Campbell should provide a lot of good fodder on HBO this Tuesday night following a few joint practices in Indianapolis accompanied by a dramatic 27-26 win thanks in big parts to backup QB David Blough and the defense on the Colts on Saturday.

Kayvon Thibodeaux: The fifth overall pick of the 2022 draft, the brand new York Giants pass rusher escaped with “only” a sprained MCL after his right knee bore the brunt of a cut block by Bengals TEThaddeus Moss on Sunday night. CoachBrian Daboll couldn’t guarantee his gifted rookie will undoubtedly be ready for Week 1, however the outcome is nevertheless a member of family relief given the type of the play whenThibodeaux was injured.

Romeo Doubs: The Green Bay Packers’ rookie fourth-round receiver caught his second TD pass in as much weeks and is apparently back QB Aaron Rodgers’ good graces. “He’s gonna be likely to play predicated on his performance up to now in camp,” Rodgers said Monday, adding Doubs his created an increased standard for himself compared to the Pack’s recent rookie pass catchers.

Matt Araiza: The famed “Punt God” from NORTH PARK State, the rookie displaced Buffalo veteran Matt Haack (released Monday) without even attempting a kick Saturday. Not an enormous surprise given Araiza was drafted in the sixth round and launched an 82-yarder the prior week, while Haack generated a couple of 38-yarders this month. Also most likely not massively significant given the Bills offense, which punted most of four times in two playoff games last season,looks so excellent and didn’t enable an effective punting competition. Araiza might spend the majority of his time this season holding for K Tyler Bass.

Ravens rookie TE Isaiah Likely (80) caught eight passes Sunday in Arizona.

Ravens rookie TE Isaiah Likely (80) caught eight passes Sunday in Arizona.

Isaiah Likely: The Ravens’ fourth-rounder snatched all eight of his targets Sunday to the tune of 100 yards and a TD. Given Jackson’s propensity to lean on his tight ends, Likely could possibly be a significant contributor in 2022 … even though Mark Andrews’ fantasy owners prefer he isn’t.

Matt Patricia: It seems the longtime Patriots defensive assistant, also formerly the top coach for the Lions, has “won” the offensive play-calling job in New England after performing the role in Friday’s game, that was also QB Mac Jones’ 2022 preseason debut.Hes really beginning to get yourself a feel for this,” Jones said of Patricia. Hes super easy to speak to on the sideline. Super easy, laid back-type coach but he demands a whole lot and I respect that about him. Hopefully we are able to grow for a long period. And hopefully Jones knows he’ll also be talking too much to Bill Belichick and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge, who shared play-calling duties with Patricia in the preseason opener.

Jody Fortson: The Kansas City Chiefs backup tight end caught a couple of TD passes from QB Patrick Mahomes on Saturday and appears well right into a successful comeback after his 2021 season was cut short by an Achilles injury. And given K.C. has been recognized to use triple-tight sets, the outlook because of this converted wideout appears rosy.

Buccaneers: Tompa Bay’s Tom Brady is back the building following his mid-camp interlude … rather than a moment too early following a Bucs’ brutal offensive performance (174 yards, 3 points) in Nashville on the weekend.

Drew Lock: He’s still alive for the Seattle Seahawks’ starting quarterback job following the Geno Smith-led offense looked totally uninspired while being shut out in the initial half in the home by the Chicago Bears. Smith also banged up his right knee.

LOSERS

Drew Lock: He missed Thursday’s loss, which he was likely to start,because of COVID-19 and lost a chance to create distance from Smith. Not the very first time the herpes virus has picked Lock.

Buccaneers: TB12 lost another offensive interior offensive lineman after GAaron Stinnie, who was simply in the mix for retired Ali Marpet’s post,tore multiple knee ligaments.

Tony Gonzalez: No disrespect to Fortson, but how come he or anyone permitted to wear the No. 88 jersey the Hall of Fame tight end popularized in Kansas City?

Sam Darnold: The Panthers quarterbackdidn’t reach play Friday and threw most of three passes in preseason (one for a TD) yet lost the starting job to Baker Mayfield anyway.

Matt Corral: The Panthers quarterbackdid play Friday … and suffered a Lisfranc injury which could cost the former Ole Miss star his rookie season. Corral wasn’t more likely to start to see the field much if in 2022, however the prospect of surgery and rehab is only going to hinder the third-rounder’s professional transition.

Cowboys penalties: On the plus side, Dallas reduced its flag count from 17 in the preseason opener to eight Saturday contrary to the Chargers. Yet that number must have been lower still, Team McCarthy offsideonce, needed illegal formation another time and two false starts for bad measure.

Bryce Hall: Never to be confused with Jets rookie RBBreece Hall, New York’s third-year corner he started all 17 games last season showed why he appears to be slipping right into a reserve role. Hall got burned for a 52-yard catch by Falcons TE Kyle Pitts very little shame for the reason that on Atlanta’s first drive, but surrendered a 13-yard TD to WR Olamide Zaccheaus on another one. Given the decision of targeting rookie CB Sauce Gardner or Hall, very good bet whom opposing QBs will choose.

Vikings backup QBs: Reserves Kellen Mond andSean Mannion were so underwhelming that Minnesota swung a trade for journeyman Nick Mullens on Monday. Mond, a 2021 third-rounder who started Saturday, threw two interceptions and after former coach Mike Zimmer expressed frustration with him during his rookie season seems increasingly unlikely to dominate for Kirk Cousins later on.

Charles Cross: Seattle’s first-round left tackle committed four penalties before halftime, three of these false starts. A longtime problem area, the Seahawks O-line, that may depend on Cross and fellow rookie tackleAbraham Lucas, remains a work happening.

Cardinals’ alternate uniforms: Sorry, however the black helmets you intend onmixing in this year don’t help. Still owners of the league’s ugliest threads, this organization shouldtake QB Kyler Murray’s advice … and throw it back or start over entirely. FWIW, Arizona’s social media marketing team also proffered advice …

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This short article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL preseason winners, losers: Isaiah Likely among standouts

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