Rookies Steal The Show In Preseason Opener

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Leonard Fournette
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Leonard Fournette /
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Other Notable Observations

The trio of Jaguars quarterbacks looked solid in the game. All together they combined for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns without turning the ball over or getting sacked. Blake Bortles opened the game with only five passes and completed three of those for 16 yards to help set up the team’s first score of the game. Bortles was able to make it through his limited play time without committing any turnovers, one of his biggest gripes. Following his playing time came Henne who looked solid throughout the game with only one incomplete pass and an excellent pass to Cole for the 97 yard touchdown. Allen was limited to the 4th quarter and, as the case with Henne, most of his yards came from one big play.

FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 10: Brandon Allen
FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 10: Brandon Allen /

Outside of rookie Fournette, Corey Grant was the only running back to raise some eyebrows with a terrific outing finishing over 100 yards with his highlight being a 79 yard foot race to the end zone. Grant once again proves he can be the home run threat out of the backfield and could potentially find himself behind Fournette on the depth chart come September. The offensive line had a nice day to help accumulate the 447 yards of offense and protected all three quarterbacks from being sacked.

Second year linebacker Myles Jack took reigns as the leader of the defense last night with everyone anticipating his start on the team since 2016’s draft. Jack had an average game as he struggled to take some key angles that ultimately created New England’s offense to extend some plays. Overall he showed he has potential and just has to work his way into that role through experience. Rookie sensation from 2016 Yannick Ngakoue shined once more showing off his ability to make plays. Ngakoue had a huge third down sack early in the game and continued to apply pressure throughout the game, one play in particular caused an incompletion. If he continues to outplay the likes of Dante Fowler then he may just earn that much deserved starting role. The other standout on defense is also a second year defensive lineman, Sheldon Day. Day time and time again seemed to always disrupt the middle of New England’s offensive line. The way things are shaping up this group on the defensive line may be on of the better ones this season, especially with Calais Campbell joining the front.

FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 10: Yannick Ngakoue
FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 10: Yannick Ngakoue /

Overall the Jaguars exceeded expectations with the group of wide receivers they used against New England. Of course this was mainly against guys that won’t start for the Patriots come September, but this game is definitely a confidence booster for the young guys. Look for the running backs to continue their success with Fournette leading the charge once again against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. Defensively the front seven made plenty of plays, most notably the defensive line. Jack and rookie Brown should only get better through the next three weeks. Brown could potentially rotate in with veteran linebacker Paul Posluszny this season in the likelihood that he could replace him in the future. Bortles and his fellow quarterbacks played well enough to not cause concern, but the more Bortles we see the clearer the picture is for this team’s offensive production.