Week 2 of the NFL preseason is here, and that means slightly longer cameos from some of the game’s biggest stars.
Many of the league’s top players, including Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers, stayed glued to the sideline in their respective teams’ preseason openers last week. As the season grows closer, they’ll take the opportunity to sharpen their crafts.
Thursday night’s slate of games pairs some promising young quarterbacks against a handful of unsettled situations. Jay Cutler will make his Miami Dolphins debut less than two weeks after signing with the club to replace an injured Ryan Tannehill. He’ll take on a Ravens team likely to be without Joe Flacco (back stiffness) and instead turning to Ryan Mallett and Thad Lewis.
Just a week after trading him to Buffalo, the Philadelphia Eagles will get the chance to reunite with former wideout Jordan Matthews. The Bills acquired the fourth-year receiver after trading away Sammy Watkins, and they’ve already gotten bad news. Matthews suffered a minor rib fracture in his first practice with the team and isn’t expected to play. Cornerback Ronald Darby, traded from the Bills to the Eagles in the same trade as Matthews, will make his Eagles debut, however.
While Tyrod Taylor will be without his new top wideout, Carson Wentz will continue to adjust to his new corps. Philadelphia added Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this offseason, and their presence, combined with a resurgent preseason from former first-round pick Nelson Agholor, gave the Eagles the depth to ship Matthews north without a second thought.
The final game of the night, and the only one to earn a national broadcast slot, will pit Jameis Winston against Blake Bortles in a battle of two highly touted draft picks heading in two very different directions. Winston spent 2016 leading Tampa Bay to the brink of the postseason. Bortles threw pick-sixes for a three-win team. While Winston’s spot in his lineup is secure, 2017 may be Bortles’ last opportunity to prove he can be a successful NFL starter.
Follow along with us for score updates, highlights, injury news, and much more.
Final: Ravens 31, Dolphins 7
Here’s Jay Cutler in his new threads:
Cutler has played the first two series for the Dolphins, going 3-of-6 for 24 yards.
The Dolphins struck first with a Senorise Perry 11-yard rush, which was followed up with a pair of Justin Tucker field goals. Ryan Mallett was then able to help get the Ravens the lead with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Larry Donnell.
Justin Tucker recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the 2nd quarter. Of course, this recovery came with a pretty cool celebration.
The Dolphins have gotten a nice rotation in at quarterback during this one. Aside from Cutler, Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty, and David Fales have also taken snaps under center for Miami.
Final: Bills 16 vs. Eagles 20
Prior to the game, Chris Long placed his arm around the shoulders of Malcolm Jenkins during his national anthem protest. Long played his college football at the University of Virginia, located in Charlottesville where white nationalists rallied this past weekend.
When the game started, Shady McCoy showed that he is already in midseason form, making defenders look silly.
Carson Wentz also found his new weapon, LeGarrette Blount:
Remember that trade last week that sent Jordan Matthews to the Bills? Well the other player involved in that trade — Ronald Darby — picked off his former quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.
Final: Buccaneers 12, Jaguars 8
The Buccaneers cut Roberto Aguayo last week after having a rough first year and change with the team. The first kick the team attempted since his release — an extra point — was missed by Nick Folk.
Folk did come back to hit a 35-yard field goal early in the second quarter to make it 9-0 Bucs.
After Jameis threw this hilarious interception that got called back:
Blake Bortles didn’t do much in his time on the field. He went 8-of-13 for 65 yards. When Chad Henne came in the game, the receivers just couldn’t handle the rock.
Folk missed another field goal in the fourth quarter. Maybe it wasn’t Aguayo, and the Bucs are just cursed?
The game was pretty much a snoozer, but it’s good to keep in mind that’s it’s just preseason.
With two pretty big trades, the Bills sent a strong signal 2017 will be a rebuilding year.
Even with the regular season looming, it’s not too late for the Jaguars to find a better quarterback than Bortles.
The NFL relaxed its celebration rules, and Buccaneers lineman Gerald McCoy is here to show you what’s finally legal again.
Remember that time the Ravens thought about bringing Colin Kaepernick in as backup, then decided to roll with Thad Lewis instead? Here’s why that’s hypocritical.
The Eagles waited just long enough for Ryan Mathews to get healthy, then kicked him to the curb.
The only worse fate than getting cut by the Bucs one year after being drafted in the second round? Getting claimed by the Bears.