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NFL preseason Week 2 takeaways: Browns rookie QB looks sharp again

The second week of preseason games for the 2023 NFL season kicked off Thursday night with a matchup between the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns.

Not many starters saw action, though a couple of potential defensive starters for the Eagles were on the field for the Browns’ first couple of drives.

It will be interesting to see if the usage of starters picks up this week. There are two games on Friday, 11 on Saturday and one each on Sunday and Monday. The Saturday slate has several interesting games, including Jacksonville at Detroit, Buffalo at Pittsburgh, and New England at Green Bay. The action wraps up on Monday night on ESPN with Baltimore at Washington.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Thursday’s game along with the rest of the Week 2 preseason schedule.

Quick links:
Full Schedule | Depth charts | PickCenter

Eagles: Linebacker Nakobe Dean provided some hope that the middle of the defense is in good hands. One of the only projected starters to see action for Philadelphia, Dean generated a turnover near the Eagles’ goal line when he shot into the backfield and hit running back John Kelly Jr., knocking the ball loose. Safety K’Von Wallace recovered it for a Philly takeaway. The Eagles face uncertainty at linebacker after the departures of starters T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency. Dean, the second-year player out of Georgia, is expected to secure the MIKE linebacker spot, where he’ll be charged with relaying the calls and getting the defense set. He has been dealing with an ankle injury and has had a pretty quiet summer to this point, but flashed some of the playmaking ability Thursday that made him a star for the national champion Bulldogs. — Tim McManus

Next game: vs. Colts (8 p.m. ET, Thursday, Aug. 24)

Browns: Rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson continued his standout preseason with another impressive performance against Philadelphia. Playing the first half in his first career pro start, Robinson-Thompson completed 13 of 25 passes for 164 yards. He also rushed for 18 yards on four carries. He led the Browns on three drives inside the Philly 25-yard line. The former UCLA star has positioned himself to become Cleveland’s long-term backup QB of the future behind starter Deshaun Watson. DTR probably will be the No. 3 QB this season behind Watson and Joshua Dobbs. But he’s on track to become the No. 2 QB by 2024. — Jake Trotter

Next game: at Chiefs (1 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 26)

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants: 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons: 7:30 p.m. ET

Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions: 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans: 4 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers: 6:30 p.m. ET

Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts: 7 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets: 7:30 p.m. ET

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers: 8 p.m. ET

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings: 8 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals: 8 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers: 8:30 p.m. ET

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