We didn’t see the best from the rookie quarterbacks in week 2 of preseason. One quarterback stood out more than the others this week and that’s because he was allowed more time to make some plays. Let’s see what the minor shift was in my top 5.
5. Lamar Jackson
The first half – not a good look. Jackson was overthrowing his receivers, sacked, fumbled the ball and missed wide open receivers down field. After the first half gitters, Jackson closed out the second half as a game manager and even scored a touchdown by throwing the ball instead of running. I say this to argue the fact that he’s not just a running quarterback. Nonetheless, he does need to work on his passing game and he knows it. He told ESPN that he hasn’t “performed at a high level yet.” He closed out with 49 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown and 26 rushing yards. I wouldn’t say I bumped him down one spot, I would say the next quarterback had a better week 2 performance.
4. Josh Rosen
I know Rosen was feeling great after this game because he actually had time to make plays versus last week where he was pressured every snap it seemed. The offensive line made a big difference in Rosen’s performance against the Saints as he went from last weeks 41 yards to 107 yards and a touchdown this week. He threw better, moved around the pocket to avoid a sack and made a smart decision by batting down a deflected ball from being intercepted. What do they say, “you are as good as your offensive line is”? Unsure if that’s a saying, but its proven here.
3. Sam Darnold
Still keeping it short and sweet. It wasn’t his best performance however his game manager ways went well for him playing against a Redskins starting defense. Even though he got his first interception (deflected ball by the d-line), he played well for what he was up against. What made him look less than average is when Teddy Bridgewater came into the game. Bridgewater ate the Redskins with 127 yards (10/15), 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception and 4 rushing yards. On my poll, many like Darnold but as of right now, it would make sense to start Bridgewater. Next week is a big week for both quarterbacks who want the starting spot. Let’s not forget Josh McCown is around too.
2. Josh Allen.
His pocket awareness is one of the best from the group. Allen knows when to run, doesn’t force the pass and has excellent footwork. Week 2 he played against a Browns second defense and closed out with 60 yards, 1 passing touchdown and 18 rushing yards. What impressed me is when Allen scored a touchdown on a third down after two failed running plays within Browns 10 yard line. He’s putting up good numbers with 176 yards, 2 touchdowns and 47 rushing yards so far this preseason. Bills still have a hard decision to make as the other quarterback, Nathan Peterman, had 80% completion rate with 113 yard and a touchdown.
1. Baker Mayfield
I hope we can see what this kid can do against a starting defense. I think that’s the only thing keeping me from saying he is no doubt the best quarterback in this rookie group. Mayfield connected well with Damiam Ratley throughout the game as other receivers couldn’t hold on to the ball. It seems the middle of the field is Mayfield’s go to spot completing 7 of 13 in that area most of the night. He didn’t score a touchdown this game (as a touchdown call was reversed), had less than 80 yards passing and only rushed for 9 yards. He still is the best quarterback amongst the others when it comes to footwork and forcing the defense to hustle. Bills safety Rafael Bush said, “He’s good with getting out of the pocket and making plays and scrambling.” Would I start him yet, no. Would I say Allen is better right now. Not quite yet.
Week three is the prime week for starters and players who are fighting for a spot. Keep your eyes on the rookie quarterbacks going up against some top notch defensive linemen and secondary.