Jaguars preseason: Dawuane Smoot shines in loss vs. Steelers
The Jacksonville Jaguars came close to beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 of the 2022 NFL Preseason but ultimately fell short. They could have won had kicker Ryan Santoso had made a 57-yard field goal but the attempt wasn’t good and the Jags lost 16-15. Not everything was bad though, and the Jags showed promise on both sides of the ball.
Besides the nine-yard touchdown the Jaguars allowed at the end of the second quarter and the one near the end of the fourth quarter, the defense kept the Steelers’ offense in check for most of the game and rattled whoever happened to be behind center. Arden Key logged his third sack of the preseason while the duo of Travon Walker and Josh Allen often applied pressure.
However, the star of the game was defensive end Dawuane Smoot, who logged a sack, a forced fumble, and a safety. The sixth-year pro figures to be an important part of the Jaguars’ defensive puzzle in 2022.
Smoot wasn’t the only Jaguars defender that shined against the Steelers though. Second-year cornerback Tyson Campbell put his tackling skills on display and even managed to turn Trevor Lawrence into a meme.
The Jaguars offense did just enough in the 2nd half against the Steelers
The Jaguars starting offense moved the ball well in the first half and even put together a 15-play drive that lasted a bit over eight minutes. However, they were only able to score six points they could produce and those came thanks to a couple of field goals Ryan Santoso nailed.
Speaking of Santoso, he went 2-of-4 against the Steelers and might have gained the vote of confidence from the Jaguars’ brass if he had made the game-winning field goal. It will be interesting to see what the team does at the kicker position in the upcoming days.
Trevor Lawrence completed 14 of 21 passes for 133 yards and broke off a 12-yard run that helped move the chains. Once he left the field, C.J. Beathard took over at quarterback. The former Iowa Hawkeye was 6-of-10 for 52 yards and scored a rushing touchdown, which is noteworthy when you take into account that he dealt with a hamstring injury earlier this year and returned to practice not long ago. Here’s Beathard’s touchdown run:
E.J. Perry was a mixed bag in his preseason debut. He threw a 51-yard pass to wide receiver Tim Jones but threw an interception just a few plays later. Similarly, he could have gotten Santoso a more favorably field-goal position in the Jaguars’ last drive of the game but struggled to move the ball with the game on the line. Either way, this was his very first NFL game, and like any other rookie playing his first NFL game, he will make mistakes.
The Jaguars have now lost three straight preseason games but they will have the chance to finish strong when they take on the Atlanta Falcons next week.