2018 NFL Preseason Week 2 Quarterback Storylines

15 Aug 2018 - 12:34pm | TNJeff | Updated: 15 Aug 2018 - 1:00pm | Likes: 13 Like 
2018 NFL Preaseason Week 2 Quarterback Storylines

Did everyone enjoy their first taste of football last weekend? I mean, sure, it’s a fairly watered down version with so many stars either not playing or barely playing. But hey, after having no football since February, we’ll take what can for now.

The most interesting element of week one was the performance and overanalyzing of the quarterback position. And that was especially true this year with so many teams either breaking in new starters or rookies under center.

If a guy performed well, we’ve heard about it for days how composed he looked and how quickly (if he’s not the starter already) he can be proclaimed the starter. And if he did poorly, then everyone in the front office of said team is regretting all the eggs put into the basket of that player and should be making contingency plans right now.

But now comes the second week of meaningless games. And with it comes, for some, a chance at redemption. While others take the opportunity to prove that week one was no fluke.

Here are the key storylines at the most important position in football worth following in week two.

Jets: Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgwater Look for an Encore

Yes, Josh McCown is a part of three man quarterback battle in New York. But whether he’s starting or the backup, Josh McCown will be on the Jets opening day roster.

The same cannot be said with certainty for Teddy Bridgewater. The former Viking starter showed out against the Falcons Friday, completing 7 of 8 passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. And in most preseasons, that kind of a comeback story from what was once an elite player would be the main headline for a team during camp.

But the Jets traded up to draft Sam Darnold. And he performed just as adequately, completing 13 of 18 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

From the Jets perspective, preseason game one was the best they could hope for. And a follow up in Washington Friday night could signal both the future for the Jet’s offense is bright and the price a quarterback needy team has to pay for Bridgewater is going up.

Browns: Tyrod Taylor vs Baker Mayfield

Jet QB’s weren’t the only ones throwing the ball well in MetLife Stadium this weekend.

Both Browns' starter Tyrod Taylor and number one pick Baker Mayfield performed well Thursday night against the Giants. Taylor only played two series, but he was a perfect 5 of 5 passing for 99 yards with a touchdown.

But while Taylor did enough to affirm the team’s confidence in him as the starter for 2018, Mayfield was the star Thursday night. The Heisman Trophy winner went 11 of 20 for 212 yards and two touchdowns on his way to headlining many sports highlights shows Friday morning.

Now, the scene shifts to Cleveland, where the pressure on Taylor will be much greater than it was in New York.
Browns fans have seen one win from their team in the last two seasons combined. And a single bad play from Taylor could quickly turn the Dog Pound against him Friday night against (ironically, Taylor’s former team) Buffalo despite how great he looked the week before.

Denver: Case Keenum Needs to Rebound

It was a only preseason game. It was also his first time out with new teammates. And it was against one of the top defenses in football.

Maybe those grains of salt will make it easier for Broncos fans to swallow just how bad Case Keenum was in his first appearance in a Denver uniform.

And even more difficult had to be the site of Kirk Cousins, the man the Vikings replaced Keenum with and John Elway’s first choice to run the huddle in Denver, on the other side looking sharp.

Keenum completed just 1 of 4 passes for 5 yards in the two series he worked Saturday night. Now, the good news, being that it is the second preseason game and teams usually play their starters longer, is Keenum will get more than the four pass attempts he got Saturday to work through any issues his offense might have early Saturday night against Chicago.

But another outing like he had against Minnesota will have Bronco management and fans wondering if 2017 was the exception and not the rule for Keenum going forward.

Arizona: Josh Rosen the Most NFL Ready?

Of all the quarterbacks drafted in the first round in April, Josh Rosen was considered by many to be the one most ready to play right now.

But of all five first round quarterbacks, no one performed as poorly has Rosen did in week one of the preseason.
Rosen’s uninspiring 6 of 13 for 41 yards brought back memories of Matt Leinart for many Cardinal fans Saturday night. And he’s not exactly been blowing people away with his talent in practice either.

The Cardinals go to New Orleans Friday night, and with the always fragile Sam Bradford playing in front of him, Arizona needs Rosen to show some of those “NFL Ready” attributes sooner rather than later.

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