The second week of the NFL preseason schedule is in the books. Almost. We still have Monday Night Football to go but 15 of this week's 16 games have been played and we learned a few things along the way.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are capable of making mistakes; injuries can derail any team's good feelings; and quarterback competitions are still going on but one of them has now been decided.
We also have a roundup of this week's best plays.
Your preseason Week 2 review...
Andrew Luck, RGIII show they're human
Luck and RGIII finally looked human as both of their teams dropped preseason game No. 2. Luck was the better of the two but he still threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for six. In a way, this game was almost more impressive than last week's 188-yard, two touchdown performance because Luck actually faced adversity and had to claw his way back, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal in his final four drives. He'll have more games like this one, where something goes wrong, than his first preseason game where he looked untouchable. As SB Nation's Stampede Blue details, responding to adversity is actually a good sign for Luck.
Via Stampede Blue, Andrew Luck's night after throwing a pick-six:
- 17 unanswered points.
- All scored after the Ike Taylor pick 6.
- 14-of-17 for 159 yards and a touchdown.
- Most of the damage done against Pittsburgh's No. 1 defensive unit.
RGIII almost looked too comfortable in his first game. Saturday's game against the Bears he played more like a rookie. RGIII completed 5-of-8 passes for 49 yards. He turned the ball over once when the Bears' Israel Idonije plopped on top of him, showing the 50-pound difference between the two. RGIII was inaccurate on several of his throws and generally didn't show the poise he showed last week. In other words, he's playing like this is his second career preseason game, which is about right.
All that said, there was nothing in either game that should worry either fan base about Luck or RGIII.
Jake Locker reportedly wins the Titans QB competition
Jake Locker has reportedly won the Titans' quarterback competition after a night in which he completed just 4-of-11 passes and threw an interception.
Locker's night against the Bucs didn't start well as he threw an early interception, which set up a Bucs' touchdown. But he recovered, a little bit, and threw a couple of nice passes. It just wasn't that defining game where you thought, "He just won the job."
But Locker is more athletic than Hasselbeck. He can do more things within the pocket and at times he looks like the better quarterback. He just doesn't consistently looked like that yet.
The other quarterback competitions are unsettled
That would be the Seattle Seahawks duo of Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson along with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton in Arizona and Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore in Miami. But we are getting far enough into the preseason that we can make some guesses.
Flynn, after starting the last two games in Seattle, seems likely to get the starting nod, which is what many expected when they gave him a contract in the offseason that averaged $8 million per year. This shouldn't be a surprise and it should be the result the Seahawks wanted. They need Flynn to start now and continue to monitor Wilson's development for a more meaningful battle in 2013.
Meanwhile, Arizona's quarterback competition rumbles along with Skelton reportedly leading the battle. Kolb struggled in his time over the weekend while Skelton went 3-for-3 with one touchdown. Skelton was then pulled from the game, which should be the biggest indication yet that the Cardinals view him as the Week 1 starter.
Tannehill wasn't as impressive in Week 2 as he was in Week 1 but he may still end up getting the job. The Palm Beach Post reports there's a "growing buzz" that Tannehill will ultimately be named the regular season starter. It's notable that while he struggled on Friday night, he had the most success in the Dolphins' hurry-up offense, which the team hopes to run more of this season.
The Vincent Brown injury is a killer for the Chargers
A week after starting running back Ryan Mathews goes down with a broken clavicle -- he'll be out four to six weeks, if not longer -- receiver Vincent Brown breaks his ankle.
Vincent Brown will have surgery tomorrow on broken ankle. This is big ... Said one veteran: "He's our best receiver."— UTKevinAcee (@UTKevinAcee) August 19, 2012
That's at least an eight-week injury and the Chargers do expect him back this season.
But will that be too little too late? Some doctors think there's no way Mathews is back in time for Week 1. Brown may not be back until November. For a team that missed the playoffs last year with a healthy Vincent Jackson (who is no longer on the team), these are a pair of tough blows. San Diego will always be competitive with Philip Rivers on the roster but these two injuries are some serious blows.
An even bigger blow is the loss of Levi Brown for the Cardinals
An already shaky offensive line trying to protect for -- well, we don't even know who the Cardinals starter will be. Brown suffered a triceps and unfortunately for Arizona that's a serious injury. It very well could cost him the entire season.
Brown, a former top five pick, was never a world beater but he was competent at his job. The Cardinals, who gave up seven sacks just a week ago in their second preseason game, have the look of a team that won't win many games. In fact -- and I apologize now, Cards fans -- they have the look of a team that will be picking in the top five next April.
Now this is bullying someone
If you missed it, Giants' punter Steve Weatherford posted a video on Twitter of Jason Pierre-Paul picking up Prince Amukamara and throwing him in the cold tub, the type of treatment usually reserved for rookies, which Amukamara is not.
Some people will freak out at this news -- that an NFL player is getting bullied in his own locker room. But that's not even bullying. What Pierre-Paul did to Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter on Friday night is bullying:
More bullying: Justin Houston trucks Barry Richardson.
The best play of the weekend
Danny Amendola somehow falling back and making this catch:
And a look at the back end of that reception. Look at the ball cradled in his legs.
The best catch that didn't count
Holy crap. That is awesome. He almost got his feet in!
The 'How did he do that?' play of the weekend
What is going on here, Carson Palmer?
Believe it or not, he completed that pass for a touchdown. See the result here.