2021 NFL preseason, Week 2: What we learned from Sunday's doubleheader

NFL.com breaks down what you need to know from Week 2 of the 2021 NFL preseason. Catch up on each game's biggest takeaways using the links below:

Cleveland Browns 17, New York Giants 13

Grant Gordon's takeaways:

  1. How deep is Browns RB corps? Already rich with perhaps the best running back duo in the NFL with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, the Browns' depth at the position was seen with the hard rushing of D'Ernest Johnson. Sporting solid vision, Johnson proved to be a tough tackle for Giants defenders on four carries for 36 yards. He added four catches for 23 yards on five targets, looking the part of a versatile back who could more than hold his own if called on. Heading into his third season, the 25-year-old has averaged 5.1 yards per carry over just 37 career carries. Fresh and proficient legs are waiting if the Browns need them.
  2. Coughlin making his case. A season ago, Giants linebacker Carter Coughlin got a pair of starts in 14 games' worth of action after New York drafted him in the seventh round. He's making a case for more playing time this preseason and has done so by providing a pass-rushing punch up the gut. With a sack on Sunday of Browns quarterback Case Keenum, Coughlin has one in each of the Giants' preseason games so far. He's also had four tackles in each game. Still developing, Coughlin could become a valuable contributor for Big Blue on special teams and defense.

NFL Research: Browns QB Kyle Lauletta is the only player this preseason with 300-plus passing yards and two-plus touchdowns (also ranks second in passing yards).

San Francisco 49ers 15, Los Angeles Chargers 10

Jelani Scott's takeaways:

  1. Lance continues to find his rhythm. Trey Lance's performance against the Chargers will be one that gives both the third overall pick's supporters and detractors something to talk about. Taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo to start the second quarter, the 49ers' rookie signal-caller shook off a shaky start, which included a pick on a high yet catchable pass to Mohamed Sanu on his second series, to lead his squad to TDs on two of the next four drives. Even as he works to rein in his velocity and find his comfort zone, Lance displayed nice touch on a few of his throws. The best example of this came on a 41-yard loft to favorite target Trent Sherfield down the right sideline to set up the first score. After bouncing back from the early adversity, Lance went 7-of-9 for 93 yards and two TDs on his last three drives, and finished the night 8-of-14 for 102 yards (six drives).
  2. Fackrell edging Nwosu in position battle? The battle for edge rusher reps between Kyler Fackrell and Uchenna Nwosu has been one to watch. And, against the 49ers, it was Fackrell who stood out. The sixth-year vet played 30 snaps and recorded two tackles, three QB pressures and the first of the Bolts' two sacks on the day. Currently projected to start opposite Joey Bosa, Nwosu -- the Chargers' second-round pick in 2018 -- logged three tackles and one QB pressure in 25 snaps played. With the preseason finale approaching, it'll be interesting to see if Nwosu can secure the starting spot or if Fackrell, who started nine games for the Giants in 2020, can play his way into an expanded role. In all, Brandon Staley should be encouraged by both players' effort.

NFL Research: 49ers WR Trent Sherfield (two receptions, 50 yards vs. LAC) is one of two players with 130-plus receiving yards (131 -- third-most, as of Sunday) and at least one receiving TD this preseason (other: Bears WR Rodney Adams)

Don't miss the new Game Pass experience to watch this week's LIVE preseason games. Free trial available for new users. Out-of-market games only, blackout restrictions apply. Learn more.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.