While one has to be careful in trying to glean too much from the first preseason game, the Jacksonville Jaguars may have the makings of a dominant defense heading into 2014.
The Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Tampa Bay Bucanneers 16-10 and, despite the ultimately meaningless final score, the Jaguars had a lot of positives from their first live action in 2014.
The biggest takeaway from Friday night’s game was the performance of the defensive line, and specifically defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks. After a breakout year in 2013, which earned him a contract extension, Marks seemed to be even quicker off the snap.
Winston Guy made his case to be the starting free safety with his interception-return-for-a-touchdown on an errant Josh McCown pass.
Unfortunately, the first-team offense did not fair as well. Mike Brewster had a tough time with a couple of bad snaps, and Chad Henne was in midseason form.
Blake Bortles came in for Henne in the second quarter and started fast.
Bortles looked very good through the first half, and would have had an even more impressive stat line if not for 2 drops by wide receiver Mike Brown. Despite the lack of help from some of his targets, Bortles had a terrific outing and did more than enough to satisfy the fanbase in his first appearance. If he continues to perform at this level through the rest of the preseason, the coaching staff is going to have a difficult time justifying starting Henne over him in week 1 of the regular season.
- Daniel Lago