2022 NFL preseason Week 3, one thing we learned about each team: Dolphins, Chiefs show weapons – CBS Sports

2022 NFL preseason Week 3, one thing we learned about each team: Dolphins, Chiefs show weapons - CBS Sports

The 2022 NFL preseason is officially in the books. All 32 teams are now looking to finalize their rosters and prepare for Week 1. That doesn’t mean the final preseason games were unimportant, though. Here’s a look at some key takeaways from each team’s last exhibition action:

Andy Isabella may yet appear. The former second-round rusher has been quiet through three NFL seasons, but he had 115 yards against the Titans. Could he stick around, with DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension looming?

Desmond Ridder is not ready yet. But neither is the setup around him, and that may be true for a while. The rookie QB was hot and cold on a streak day for Atlanta’s offense despite a win over the Jaguars.

Anthony Brown belongs as QB3. The undrafted Oregon product dazzled as both a shuffler and big-play pitcher against the Commanders, seemingly giving Baltimore yet another young dual threat under center.

They need a punter. Obviously, yes, but after abruptly sitting down and then cutting Matt Araiza after his alleged off-field misconductthey can’t enter the year with Matt Barkley as a special teams regular.

Baker Mayfield is ready. His shoulder is intact, his throws have zip, and he spreads the ball around. He’d better be ready too, considering Sam Darnold is now unavailable for the foreseeable future.

The defense should be solid. This would be a decent bet with Matt Eberflus taking over, but even without top starters playing, they had their way with Jacoby Brissett and the Browns to record an encouraging win.

Evan McPherson is still that guy. The kicker was a perfect three-for-three on field goal attempts as Cincy’s red-zone offense stalled against the Rams. His star continues to rise on the special teams scene.

The offense could have major hiccups. Not just because Deshaun Watson is sidelined, but because Jacoby Brissett has yet to take any live game reps with the full first-team lineup. His debut, their pre-season finale, was spotty.

Dan Quinn still seems to have his touch. Despite big names being rested, Dallas’ “D” piled on the big plays against the Seahawks, totaling five takeaways to ensure a close game.

They are built to run. That was already apparent based on their personnel up front, in the backfield and out wide, but it was confirmed against the Vikings, with Mike Boone running wild on limited carries to highlight their offense.

Dan Campbell can have a defense. Or at least the appearance of one, compared to last year. The starting unit kept the Steelers out of the end zone early Sunday, despite some nice throws from Mitch Trubisky.

Tyler Goodson deserves touches. If Matt LaFleur is willing to lean more on the ground game post-Davante Adams, the undrafted rookie could fit in as the No. 3 behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon after a shaky night against the Chiefs.

Dameon Pierce is primed to be an RB1. If not now, then soon. The Florida product wasn’t the only ball carrier to gain yards against the 49ers, but he was the team’s most consistent chain mover at the position.

Sam Ehlinger is safe. Undrafted rookie Jack Coan had an accurate late-game throw in Week 2 of the preseason, but Ehlinger led a pair of scoring drives against the Pirates, and showed off his legs, to secure the No. 3 QB job.

They have tough decisions at receiver. Seriously. Tim Jones broke out with over 100 yards in the final, but late-2021 Trevor Lawrence favorite Laquon Treadwell also scored. Laviska Shenault Jr. is also on the edge. Someone has to go.

They have underrated weapons. Tyreek Hill’s departure will be the big story all year, but tight end Matt Bushman showed up against the Packers, and rookie receiver Skyy Moore also showed his speed and vision on special teams.

Patrick Graham has a tape to build. His defense, despite resting most of the regulars, stifled the Patriots’ starting offense out of the gate, throwing Mac Jones off his mark and helping Las Vegas to an easy win.

Joshua Kelley is ready. Handling RB2 duties behind/alongside Austin Ekeler, that is. The veteran backup translated a solid summer into a productive day against the Saints, even though the offense managed just 10 points.

Lance McCutcheon is probably a lock. The Montana State product was once again the team’s top receiver against the Bengals, and general manager Les Snead has since all but confirmed the rookie will make the final roster.

Tyreek Hill is their focus. Mike McDaniel made a point of getting the rusher involved early against the Eagles, having Tua Tagovailoa unload a deep shot on the first play and then connect with the wideout again on the same drive.

It’s KJ Osborn’s time. The three-year wideout was already due for a bigger role in Kevin O’Connell’s offense, but with backup Bisi Johnson now sidelined with another ACL tear, he’s even more important at the position.

Their staffing choices could doom Mac Jones. Hyperbole? Maybe not, considering Jones was visibly and rightfully frustrated by their failure to field against Raiders backups, where Bill Belichick continues to let old, non-offensive assistants run the show.

The O-line is now a concern. Replacing Terron Armstead at left tackle will be quite difficult. Now, rookie Trevor Penning, the successor of choice, is out indefinitely after requiring surgery for a foot injury.

Kenny Golladay is on thin ice. Maybe not on his roster because of his contract, but at least on the depth chart. He played 14 snaps against the Jets despite other starters sitting, and coach Brian Daboll didn’t guarantee his job afterward.

Denzel Mims could have trade value. The former second-rounder left days after requesting a transfer, topping 100 yards on seven catches and also getting into the end zone with a diving score against the Giants.

They will probably only keep two QBs. Junior Reid Sinnett had a promising Week 2 showing but fell off against the Dolphins, leaving Gardner Minshew as the likely lone backup to Jalen Hurts entering the new year.

They have a close call to make at QB. Both Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett made the most of their preseason opportunities, flashing nice touch behind a lackluster line. Do the Steelers prefer experience or improvement?

Trey Lance will have growing pains. Not that it is unexpected. But the new starting QB failed to get San Francisco on the board before going to the rim against the Texans, which has San Francisco fans anxious for real action.

DeeJay Dallas has his work cut out for him. With Chris Carson retired and Kenneth Walker bumped up, the veteran backup is poised to see a big increase in touches as the healthiest ball carrier in Pete Carroll’s run-heavy offense.

Tom Brady is fine. Each of TB12’s seasons in Tampa Bay, he’s hit a full stride well in the year that it counts. In limited action against the Colts, he connected with Julio Jones and looked completely comfortable back on the field.

Treylon Burks is still a bit of a mystery. And yes, his rookie year hasn’t started yet, but his Cardinals showing was the full package: an early injury, a promising touchdown and more questions about his availability for 2022.

Sam Howell has the series to steal work. Probably apparent for a while, but like Taylor Heinicke, he plays with fire. The rookie wasn’t perfect against the Ravens, but he muscled his way out of some losses and turned them into big wins.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.