NFL Week 2 preseason scores, schedule, updates: Luck struggles, Lamar Jackson inconsistent
Andrew Luck and Lamar Jackson had some trouble on Monday night, while Joe Flacco was impressive
Jacksonville 14, Minnesota 10 (box score)
L.A. Rams 19, Oakland 15 (box score)
Cincinnati 21, Dallas 13 (box score)
Houston 16, San Francisco 13 (box score)
Tampa Bay 30, Tennessee 14 (box score)
Chicago 24, Denver 23 (box score)
L.A. Chargers 24, Seattle 21 (box score)
Ugly outing from Andrew Luck
For Luck, the preseason is all about the process (continuing to work his way back from the shoulder injury that cost him his entire 2017 season) and not at all about the results. So, it's a good thing then that after making his long-awaited return to the field in the first week of the preseason, Luck started against the Ravens and played for most of the first half.
It's also a good thing that the results don't matter, because Luck was uneven at best. He went 6 of 13 for 50 yards (3.8 YPA), no touchdowns, one pick, and a 24.5 passer rating. He was sacked twice.
After the Colts went three-and-out to begin, with Luck misfiring on both of his passes, they recovered a fumble on the ensuing punt, setting Luck up with a red-zone series. Luck did not take advantage of the chance, promptly forcing a pass into tight coverage, which resulted in a horrific interception.
That's a good job by Luck to buy time by escaping the pocket, but oh my god, that's a horrific decision to throw the ball. At that point, he just needed to toss the ball out of play and settle for three points.
He slowly settled in, though. On the team's third series, he hit Jack Doyle up the seam off of play-action for a 16-yard gain. A few plays later, on third-and-long, he stepped up in the pocket and threw a bullet to Doyle on the run for a first down.
The drive would stall after a few more completions, but the Colts managed to salvage the series with a field goal.
It's good to see Luck stepping up in the pocket, escaping pressure, throwing on the run, and surviving sacks, but that's where most of the positives end. Rustiness should be expected considering Luck missed an entire season and couldn't even throw a football during a significant portion of his rehab. Nobody should panic. It's the preseason. It's the perfect time for Luck to work through the process of getting reacquainted with football.
If you want to watch every throw from his outing, enjoy:
Efficient night for Flacco
At this point in his career, Joe Flacco is what he is: an overpaid meh quarterback who probably won't be with the Ravens for that much longer, not after they traded up to draft Lamar Jackson at the end of the first round. But Flacco is doing everything he can to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible.
I've long been a Flacco critic, but I'll admit that he looked damn good on Monday night. He finished 7 of 9 for 72 yards (8.0 YPA), one touchdown, and a 137.0 passer rating.
He caught fire at the beginning of the second quarter, leading the Ravens on a six-play, 67-yard scoring march. He diced up the Colts' cover 2 defense with a dime to Michael Crabtree down the left sideline for a 29-yard completion. The placement, in between the trailing cornerback and the safety over the top, was perfect.
And then he threaded a laser into John Brown for a touchdown.
It'd be his final pass of the night with Jackson replacing him on the team's next series.
Lamar Jackson continues working through issues
Jackson struggled after taking over for Flacco, but he atoned for his rough first half early in the third quarter.
The Colts fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and the Ravens recovered deep in Indianapolis territory. Five plays later -- on third down -- Jackson made a pinpoint, weighted throw out of the pocket for a touchdown.
Jackson would play until early in the fourth quarter, when Robert Griffin III entered the game. Jackson finished 7 of 15 for 49 yards (3.3 YPA), one touchdown, no picks, and a 76.8 passer rating. So no, he wasn't good. He looked like a developmental quarterback, which is fine, because that's exactly what he is. He might have a high ceiling, but he's going to need some time and some coaching to reach that ceiling.
On Monday, he provided a very accurate scouting report of himself:
The good news is that Flacco looked great, so the Ravens don't need to worry about Jackson looking like a developmental rookie. If the presence of Jackson on the roster is enough to squeeze something a little out of Flacco this year, it'll just be an added bonus. Jackson is still the future of the franchise, but the Ravens need Flacco in 2018.
It's also worth noting that, as the Ravens have indicated. That's not the worst way for a developmental rookie to spend his rookie year.
However, Jackson's struggles could force. RG3's final stat line from Monday night won't blow anyone away -- 6 of 8 for 31 yards -- but he did have an easy touchdown pass dropped.
Jacoby Brissett impressive in relief of Luck
Colts backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett found himself in the headlines recently overThe Colts have been , which makes sense given Luck's health. And on Monday night, Brissett demonstrated again that he's one of the better backups in football.
Brissett went 14 of 23 for 172 yards (7.5 YPA), no touchdowns, no interceptions, and an 84.0 passer rating. It's less about his stats, though, and more about the traits he exhibited.
He knows how to use his legs to escape pressure, he can diagnose coverage and find his open receiver, and he has fine accuracy. In short, he looks like an NFL-caliber quarterback. He looked capable a year ago in relief of Luck, playing on a very bad team. And he looks capable still today.
The Colts have one of the better backup situations in all of football, and it's no wonder teams around the league might be interested in acquiring him for themselves. It's also no wonder why the Colts want to hang onto him.
When he was playing against a bunch of Ravens backups, he looked like he didn't belong on the field with them, but in a good way.
Adam Vinatieri is ageless
This will be a short section, because there's only so much someone can say about a preseason field goal. With that being said, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is an ageless machine and his 57-yard field goal in the first quarter proves that.
For the record, Vinatieri is 45 years old. He'll turn 46 in December.
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