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NFL preseason week 3 winners and losers: Mitchell Trubisky, Baker Mayfield and rookie QB stride

The 2022 NFL preseason is officially in the history books. That means real football is just around the corner. However, which players and teams are making strides forward (or backward) in Week 3 of the exhibition schedule before the roster is finalized and preparations for Week 1 begin? Here are some of the major winners and losers from the preseason finale:

WINNER: Veterans in QB play

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Commanders

Baker Mayfield USATSI

Baker Mayfield has been locked up at the Panthers’ top quarterback spot, but he’s looking good on 15 throws Sharp, zip on the ball and direct some scoring drives. He also doesn’t need to worry about Sam Darnold looming backstage after he sprained his ankle on his touchdown run. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Mitch Trubisky showed a solid touch in his start against the Lions, likely putting him ahead of rookie Kenny Pickett in QB1 duties. Geno Smith’s performance in Seattle earned him a job with the Seahawks.

Loser: Drew Lock

Speaking of QB games, the former Broncos Gunners basically lost in Seattle’s loss to the Cowboys work. His arms are active, to be sure, but at least two of his three draft picks are head-scratching, and Geno Smith has once again proven to be more reliable, albeit prosaic, so Pete Carroll at No. 1 Zhou crowned the former Jets starter.

WINNER: Mobile Rookie QBs

Malik Willis

Who doesn’t love a young QB with legs? The Titans got more predictable but chain-moving juice from Malik Willis, who again covered unpolished passes with big runs, including a 50-yard scramble for a near-scoring against the Cardinals. The commanders let Sam Howell handle all the QB work against the Ravens, and his grit made him the team’s leading rusher. In the same game, Baltimore saw undrafted Anthony Brown Jr. fill in the spotlight with his athleticism, perhaps finishing third behind his double-threat Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley.

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Losers: Patriots offense

Frankly, they’ve been losing the entire offseason, so they lost to the Raiders 23-6 Losing a team’s game isn’t necessarily a surprise. Then again, Las Vegas is mostly about deploying backups, so it’s really something to watch here. Mike Jones threw a bad pick and the unit just couldn’t get into the rhythm. Maybe no old defense and special team coaches to develop your QB!

WINNER: AFC Rookie of the South

Dameon Pierce USATSI


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