NFL preseason Week 1 takeaways: Giants QB Daniel Jones, Titans rookie Malik Willis see game action

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The first full week of the 2022 NFL preseason commenced on Thursday night, with the New England Patriots hosting the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens welcoming the Tennessee Titans to get the slate started.

A last-second field goal lifted the Giants to a 23-21 win in first-year head coach Brian Daboll’s preseason debut with the team, a game in which quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley were among the notables to see the field. For New England, Mac Jones was rested, with Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe getting the time under center for Bill Belichick and Co.

Meanwhile in Baltimore, Lamar Jackson did not see the field on Thursday but 2021 backup Tyler Huntley was sharp in a 23-10 Ravens victory that also saw rookie Malik Willis earn the start at QB for Tennessee.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Thursday night’s games, along with the rest of the Week 1 preseason schedule:

Quick links:
Full schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter

NFL preseason games on Thursday, Aug. 11

Giants: This was exactly what the Giants offense needed after an up-and-down start to training camp. Quarterback Daniel Jones and the starting offense moved the ball well and probably should have reached the end zone, if not for a bad third-down drop by wide receiver Kenny Golladay near the goal line. Jones still finished 6-of-10 passing for 69 yards and ran for another first down. It should take any outside pressure off him even though backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor followed by going 13-of-21 passing for 129 yards with a touchdown toss to Richie James. Overall, the Giants offense and their quarterbacks showed signs that they’re headed in the right direction, and there is no need to make any rash moves or panic with another month to go before the regular season opener in Tennessee. — Jordan Raanan

Next game: vs. Bengals (7 p.m. ET, Sunday, Aug. 21)

Patriots: On a night when Mac Jones and most of the Patriots’ starters didn’t play, it was a chance to focus on the sideline and get a feel for the team’s unconventional coaching setup offensively. Senior football advisor/OL coach Matt Patricia called the plays for the first three series when Brian Hoyer was at quarterback, and then it appeared that offensive assistant/QBs coach Joe Judge was calling the plays when rookie Bailey Zappe entered at quarterback. Signs point to Patricia as the primary playcaller, but it was notable to see Judge also perform some of those duties in the preseason opener.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to do that,” Bill Belichick said. “We’re going through a process.”

When asked who will call plays during the regular season, Belichick said: “Don’t worry about that. We’ll work it out.” — Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Panthers (7 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 19)


Ravens: Tyler Huntley once again showed why he’s among the NFL’s top backup quarterbacks. Huntley was more accurate in the preseason opener than he’s been all of training camp, completing 88.9% of his passes (16-of-18) and putting great touch on his 14-yard touchdown pass. He also converted a fourth down with a physical, 14-yard run. The Ravens will always be at their best with Lamar Jackson (who didn’t play Thursday night), but they know they can remain competitive with Huntley. The Ravens extended their preseason winning streak to 21 games. “It means a lot to the culture, just to show that we’re a winning team,” Huntley said. “And we don’t care what kind of game it is, the Ravens are going to fight to get a win.” — Jamison Hensley

Next game: at Cardinals (8 p.m. ET, Sunday, Aug. 21)

Titans: The Titans got a live look at Malik Willis with him getting a surprise start against the Ravens. Willis played into the third quarter and completed six of his 11 pass attempts for 107 yards. His best throw was a 48-yard play-action pass to Racey McMath. The rookie’s 7-yard scramble for a touchdown showed that he can make big plays running with the ball as well. There were times when it was evident that Willis needed to speed up his process instead of holding onto the football too long. Even though he got the start, Willis is listed as the No. 3 quarterback behind Ryan Tannehill and Logan Woodside. He will get to build on his performance in joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the second preseason game next week. — Turron Davenport

Next game: vs. Buccaneers (7 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 20)

NFL preseason games on Friday, Aug. 12

Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions: 6 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 7 p.m. ET
Arizona Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 7:30 p.m. ET
New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles: 7:30 p.m. ET
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers: 8:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network

NFL preseason games on Saturday, Aug. 13

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears: 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Commanders: 1 p.m. ET
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills: 4 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7:30 p.m. ET
New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans: 8 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos: 9 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers: 10 p.m. ET

NFL preseason games on Sunday, Aug. 14

Minnesota Vikings vs. Las Vegas Raiders: 4:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Source: ESPN


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