Jacksonville Jaguars start the preseason with a win

Photo Credit: Fanatics
Photo Credit: Fanatics /

The Jacksonville Jaguars went to New England to play Patriot Games and came away with a win.

The win was critical because the disaster of the 2016 season left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The team needed to begin the season on a positive note. This was a preseason game and we must keep this in mind. The Patriots didn’t play Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski. The Patriot defense played a very vanilla game. However, the Jags had some great moments. Let’s look at the good and the bad.

The running game looked very good. Leonard Fournette showed the downhill running ability and power that made him our top draft choice. In addition, he ran for a one yard touchdown. The 2016 Jags were often unable to convert in short yardage situations so this was great. Cory Grant had a 79 yard touchdown run and over 100 yards rushing for the game. We know Doug Marrone wants to run the football so this is a nice start.

The offensive line looked crisp and didn’t commit constant drive killing penalties.. This was a welcome change from last season. Also, Shane Wynn had a great catch. Keelan Cole had a 97 yard touchdown reception and there was another touchdown pass to DeDe Westbrook late in the game.
The defense had two sacks in the first half. The Jaguars offense had no turnovers. Blair Brown had 8 tackles on defense for a team high. Dawuane Smoot added 5 tackles and Mikes Jack added 5 more.

The good outweighed the bad by far. However, there were some concerns. First, despite two sacks, the defense didn’t display a consistent pass rush. Jimmy Garopalo was able to pass at will completing 22 of 28 passes and the Patriots had 26 first downs. Miles Jack was up and down at middle linebacker. He had some solid plays but also seemed lost at times. The secondary allowed too many pass completions.

The Jags have a solid running attack to build on. They also have some exciting young receivers to add to an already better than average group. Two starting secondary players are on the PUP list. This allowed new players additional playing time. The defensive line needs to generate a better pass rush. The Blake Bortles question remains a question. All in all, it was a hopeful start to the 2017 season.