The Jacksonville Jaguars chose to play their starters against the Miami Dolphins in the preseason finale. They were close to scoring on their first offensive drive However, rookie Tank Bigsby fumbled just a short distance away from the end zone and the Phins ended up getting the ball back. The starting offense made up for it by scoring on their next possession.
The fact that several players shined and contributed to give Jacksonville a 7-0 lead made it even more impressive. A 37-yard field goal by kicker Brandon McManus and later a touchdown run by D'Ernest Johnson, who joined the Jags in free agency, made it 17-3 near the end of the first half.
The Jags put together a 12-play drive that ended with running back Travis Etienne punching the ball into the end zone. They had no trouble moving the ball and there were a couple of plays worth showing on the highlight reel. Bigsby plowed through defenders to gain 14 yards. Also, Trevor Lawrence completed passes to receivers Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Calvin Ridley.
The best of the bunch might've been one Ridley caught for 28 yards that got Jacksonville within scoring distance. Miami challenged the reception but it was upheld. The following play, the Jaguars scored.
Lawrence ended up playing two drives and going 8-of-10 for 92 yards. Similarly, Etienne and Bigsby combined for 14 carries for 74 yards. Besides the fumble, the offense's biggest mistake was probably rookie right tackle Anton Harrison's being called for holding. The penalty negated a 15-yard run by Etienne.
The Jaguars want to finish the preseason on a strong note
All things considered, the Jaguars starting offense had a strong outing. They showed they could run the ball efficiently on both drives. On the first possession, nine of the 12 plays were runs. On the other hand, Bigsby's fumble surely stings. This will most likely be brought up during the team's film session after the game.
In regards to the defense, safety Erick Hallet II and outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah each snagged an interception. However, they gave up a couple of big plays, one to star wide receiver Tyreek Hill and another one to running back Salvon Ahmed. The good news is that Jacksonville bent but didn't break and has allowed just three points.
While there are a few things the Jags will need to work on before the opener, there's also been plenty to like in the first half of the bout against the Miami Dolphins.