Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had very little positive to say about how his team played against the Cincinnati Bengals in the preseason ‘dress rehearsal.’
Bullied into submission by a dominant Cincinnati Bengals defensive line, the Jacksonville Jaguars offense looked like a shell of its former self in the third week of the preseason.
Widely regarded as a dress rehearsal, the third week of the preseason gives teams a chance to see what the starters can do for an extended period of time. For Blake Bortles and the Jaguars that meant putting up just three points.
Bortles and company aren’t used to being so completely stuffed. The Bengals are a playoff contender every year (going to the playoffs five years straight) and the Jags looked outmatched, completely taking the wind out of the sails of the Jags hype that has been brewing all season.
Bortles finished the night 10 of 16 for 52 yards and was under pressure all night long. Luke Joeckel, playing primarily at left guard, couldn’t compete with Bengals lineman Geno Atkins, allowing pressure to build up in the passing game.
Similarly, the run blocking was lackluster. Starting running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory combined for 38 yards on nine carries. Ivory had four yards on his four carries and Yeldon’s lone 23-yard scamper made up most of the yardage.
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The play was sloppy and the team looked outclassed by a playoff team. Bortles summed it up when on the sideline after the Jacksonville Jaguars second team took the field in the second half, saying, “We played pretty bad…we played pretty bad at every position. And you usually don’t score a lot of points when you’re that bad.” Bortles went on to say that it was the bad play of the offense that was more at fault than the play of the Bengals defense.
This type of lack of production is exactly what keeps Jags fans worried about 2016. The Jags simply need to play better. It’s just the preseason, but the offense was more exposed than most expected.
Frankly, it was bad. We, as fans, expect better.