Jaguars vs Browns: 3 encouraging stats from preseason loss

The Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
The Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /
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Cleveland Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson (30) fumbles the ball on a tackle from Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker (44) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

2. The Jaguars defense shined in the first quarter against the Browns

The Jaguars had a hard time stopping the Las Vegas Raiders from running the ball last week but it was a recurrent issue last year. Doug Pederson told the media that the team will work on it during the team’s next two live practices and make sure they get better.

Against the Browns, Jacksonville gave up a staggering 171 rushing yards, so they definitely make it a point of emphasis. However, most of those yards came when the coaching staff had pulled most of their starts. Not only that, defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell’s unit allowed just SEVEN total yards and limited Deshaun Watson to one completion for that same amount of yards.

It wasn’t until the starters began to leave the field that Cleveland was finally able to move the ball. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins and outside linebacker Travon Walker made running back D’Ernest Johnson fumble the ball.

This is encouraging when you take into account that Jenkins didn’t register a single big play last year and the Jags’ defense had a league-low nine takeaways. Here’s a clip of the play in case you haven’t seen it.

Of course, the Jaguars need to show they can keep offenses in check for a whole game. Last season, it was common to see them hold their ground early but eventually fade. They took a step in the right direction against the Browns. But as Pederson said, they must work on the issue and show progress against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 of the preseason.