Friday night was football night, as Week 2 of the NFL preseason continued with three games. Here are our immediate takeaways from the action.
The games: BUF @ CAR, CHI @ NYG, MIA @ TB
Josh Allen finds a security blanket
Buffalo Bills sophomore quarterback Josh Allen failed to throw a touchdown pass against the Panthers, keeping him scoreless through two preseason games. But he was able to move the ball on Friday night, completing nine of his 11 pass attempts for 102 yards. Allen’s big arm usually draws him to take shots down the field, as evidenced by his 5.4 deep pass attempts per game as a rookie. But on Friday his favorite target operated much closer to home. Allen completed all five of his passes to former Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley, gaining 44 yards in the process.
Allen talked about Beasley in glowing terms a few weeks ago, calling him his “safety valve.” It is refreshing to see that not everything said in the preseason is unsubstantiated fluff. This early chemistry between Allen and Beasley is encouraging and gives credence to the theory that Beasley should lead the team in receiving.
Beasley has never been much of a fantasy producer in the past, despite posting three seasons of at least 50 receptions.
The Bills new underneath threat is slotted for a similar season to his 2015 campaign in our official projections and is currently the WR95 in FFPC drafts. He projects to have fantasy appeal in only the deepest PPR leagues, but still, it’s nice to see Allen making friends.
Some good, some bad for Daniel Jones
The attitude from the ownership of the New York Giants seems to suggest that they’ll happily keep riding with Eli Manning until they, and presumably the rest of the human species, have shuffled off this mortal coil. This mindset is precisely why Daniel Jones needs to make the most of every snap he is given, especially during the preseason.
After a 5/5 showing against the Jets in the Giants first exhibition game, Jones was back to moving the offense against the Bears on Friday. He completed 11 of his 14 pass attempts, amassing 161 yards on the way. The most eye-catching play was a 40-yard hookup with Cody Latimer. However, the shine was taken off this moment by Jones fumbling the very next play, inside the Bears red zone for shame. It was the first of two fumbles for Jones on the night.
Jones is 16 for 19 for 228 yards and 2 TDs after two exhibition games. He has shown that he can move the Giants offense, such as it is, but he needs to demonstrate that he can be relied upon to not cough the ball up. This is one QB situation where, if it’s a tie, the edge will not go with the rookie.
Two Tight Ends to Note in Tampa
The sexy breakout candidate at the tight end spot heading into the 2019 season has been O.J. Howard. For good reasons too, I should add. Howard has been a beast whenever called upon in his first two years in the NFL. No TE since the 2000 season can boast higher yards per reception mark in their first two seasons than Howard. Howard’s 60 career catches have come at a whopping 16.6 average. This is a better mark than some seriously notable players, as you can see below.
If he can stay fit throughout the whole season, something he’s yet to do, then he should be in for a good year.
But this preseason, it’s another Bucs TE who has been making all the noise. Tanner Hudson is a second-year player out of Southern Arkansas. He took seven receptions and 84 yards off the Steelers in the Bucs first preseason game, as well as scoring a TD. He kept this up against the Dolphins on Friday, finishing with a team-high six catches for 96 yards. Hudson also found the end zone once again. He leads all pass catchers this preseason with his 177 yards. He is one of only eight players to have scored two receiving TDs.
Hudson was quite the dominant performer at Southern Arkansas. He finished his career with the Muleriders with 143 receptions and 2,153 yards. Hudson found the end zone 25 times. These marks are good for 5th, 4th and 3rd in school history. His preseason form is not likely to see him elevated above Howard on the Bucs depth chart. But it might make things a bit awkward for Cameron Brate.