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Preseason Week 4 Recap
Preseason Week 4 Recap

September 7, 2022

Malik Willis

Willis had a promising finish to his preseason with 131 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception on 25 passing attempts.

He also tallied up 79 rushing yards on four attempts including this insane run.

His rushing ability is what makes him such an intriguing asset, but there’s still work to be done.

We loved to see him push the ball deep in his first two preseason games, as he had and average depth of target (aDOT) of 10.6 and 11.9 before posting a low 7.1 aDOT in this game.

He finished the preseason with 6.2 yards per attempt on 51 attempts.

While it’s clear Willis is still raw, he offers unique rushing upside very few NFL quarterbacks possess.

The Titans can save $17.8 million by cutting Ryan Tannehill after the season.

Assuming that the Titans aren’t in the playoff hunt at the end of the season, it’s easy to see a scenario in which Malik Willis gets starts as early as this season.

Justin Fields

Fields reminded folks why the Bears traded up at 11th overall with a dazzling preseason finale.

Fields completed 14 of 16 pass attempts for 156 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 11 yards.

It’s preseason, so we need to be careful how we analyze this. On the one hand, Justin Fields was an incredible quarterback prospect with game-breaking dual-threat ability. On the other hand, he had an extremely poor rookie season and arguably has the worst offensive talent in the NFL.

I believe in Justin Fields the player, but it’s hard to have high expectations for him this season.

Ryan McCrystal of Sharp Football Analysis had the Chicago Bears ranked as the worst offensive line in the league.

Outside of Darnell Mooney, the receiving core is extremely questionable. Their number two wide receiver is 29 years old and has one season in his entire career with more than 20 targets.

It’s unfair for Justin Fields to be in this horrid situation, but unfortunately, he’s likely to be limited by his disastrous weapons this season.

Geno Smith

After a three-interception game in the final preseason game by Drew Lock, it became clear that Smith was going to get the job.

Smith wasn’t terrible last year when he got playing time. In the three and a half games he played he had 702 passing yards with five touchdown passes and one interception. Adjusted for the game he entered midway through last year, he only averaged 200 passing yards per game.

It’s likely to be a run-heavy offense yet again despite the massively talented duo in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the outside.

DK Metcalf has averaged 7.2 receiving yards and 0.61 receptions more per game with Smith at the helm, although he’s also averaged a full target less per game.

From a five-game sample between 2018-2021, played Lockett averaged 1.84 more targets per game and 0.57 more receptions.

This is a small sample, and not having Russell Wilson is a massive concern for the touchdown equity of this team, but the duo of Metcalf and Lockett are too good to suddenly not be productive.

The ceiling for Metcalf and Lockett is likely diminished on a weekly basis, but both should still be productive assets.

Dameon Pierce

Pierce looks fully entrenched as the starting running back for the Houston Texans as a rookie, which likely explains why he sat out in the second week of preseason.

He performed well in preseason with 86 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Even more impressively, 67 of those yards were after contact.

Pierce has the ability to make players miss and has been a revelation for the Texans in training camp.

It’s still important to keep expectations in line for Pierce as he is a rookie and the Texans are likely one of the worst offenses in the league.

Regardless, it seems Pierce is in line for a decent workload and has the ability to be one of the best rookie running backs this season.

Mo Alie-Cox

Per Adam Levitan, Mo Alie-Cox played full-time starter snaps. He was in on 29 of 33 preseason snaps with the starters and ran a route on 75% of Matt Ryan’s preseason dropbacks.

This is an interesting dynamic, for the most part he hovered around 40-65% of the snaps last season.

In an offense devoid of receiving weapons outside of Michael Pittman, there’s an opportunity for somebody to step in and capitalize on extra targets.

He has been efficient so far throughout his career with 8.7 yards per target on 108 career targets.

He is an underrated tight end that could have a mini breakout this season, albeit likely not massive due to his athletic profile not being elite.

Dalton Kates is a full time employee of Mojo. All trades you make are with Mojo, which sets the lines as the “house”. Recommendations are for entertainment purposes only. Please use your own judgment and data to make trades. 21+. Must be in NJ to trade. Gambling Problem? 1-800-GAMBLER
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