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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Saints: Observations From Jaguars 24-20 Loss

Zach Goodall

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) drops to throw a pass as New Orleans Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson (91) closes in during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Your Jacksonville Jaguars kick their 2018 (pre)season off with a loss at home over the New Orleans Saints by a score of 24-20. However, despite a one in the preseason L column, the Jaguars first and second team had quite the night, specifically on offense.

62,354 tickets were distributed at TIAA Bank Field, which marks a dramatic increase in compared to preseasons’ prior.

Let’s get to the observations.

Roster locks at QB look sharp

It appears one game into the preseason that the Jaguars have their two QBs locked in on the depth chart in Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler. Both quarterbacks performed well in their first game action of 2018.

Bortles completed 6-of-9 passes for 53 yards and a rushing touchdown. His longest pass went to Dede Westbrook for a 16 yard gain to put the team in the redzone, which was a perfectly placed ball across the middle of the field. Bortles ran a boot at the two yard line to give the Jaguars their first score of the night. Bortles and the Jaguars first team offense played 14 snaps.

Kessler had himself quite the game as well, going 14-17 for 139 yards and a throwing touchdown to tight end Scott Orndoff. His best pass of the night came on a 24 yard toss to receiver Shane Wynn down the left side of the field.

Tanner Lee entered the game in the fourth quarter and was immediately sacked twice. He went 4-8 with a fumble and two sacks.

Leon Jacobs looks the part at SAM linebacker

The Jaguars 7th round pick came out firing in his first career action, making a nice run stop with the starters and continuing to apply pressure as a rusher with the second team. Being that the SAM linebacker is on the field dramatically less than the rest of the position on defense, Jacobs received reps with both the first and the second team.

This appears to be Jacobs’ job to lose. He has taken first team reps at SAM during the entirety of Jaguars’ training camp, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

6th WR battle ain’t over yet

Despite a solid training camp from receiver Rashad Greene, it doesn’t appear that he has the Jaguars’ sixth receiver spot on lock down.

Greene muffed a punt during the game, and his ability as a punt returner is vital in his battle for the position. As a receiver, Greene finished his night with two catches for 13 yards.

Meanwhile, Shane Wynn had a productive night, with three receptions for 39 yards and a rush for five yards. With the ability to return punts and consistently making plays, Wynn is making a case to win the job.

Specialists shine

Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo hasn’t appeared to have lost a step, making two 49 yard field goals and hitting two extra points.

In his NFL debut, rookie punter Logan Cooke kicked two punts, the first being a beautiful 56 yarder with all the hang-time in the world, pinning the Saints at their own 18 yard line. His second was inside the 20 yard line as well, going 33 yards from the Jaguars 48 yard line.

Injuries

-LB Blair Brown left the game, and was evaluated for a concussion

-LG Andrew Norwell was a late scratch with calf tightness

-WR DeAndre Smelter, S Don Carey, DT Eli Ankou, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (PUP), LB Brooks Ellis, OT Will Richardson, OT Jermey Parnell, WR Keelan Cole, DL Taven Bryan, DL Calais Campbell, and DE Dawuane Smoot were all inactive

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets Call Jaguars About Dante Fowler Jr.

Zach Goodall

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The New York Jets appear to be interested in trading for a pass rusher, and have reportedly called the Jacksonville Jaguars about fourth year DE Dante Fowler Jr.’s availability, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Fowler Jr. offers potential as a full-time EDGE, as he has accumulated 12 sacks (14, including postseason) as a rotational pass rusher over the past two years. The Jaguars selected Fowler Jr. with the third

However, Fowler Jr. has a history of drama. He was most recently suspended for a week for fighting in practice, and will miss Week 1 due to a suspension for a misdemeanor battery charge from 2017.

We wrote last week that the Jets would be a team that’d make most sense if Fowler Jr. was on the trade block, which you can read here.

We will update this story as details emerge.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Victorious Over Vikings Despite Penalties, Lack of Offense

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) reacts to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Game recap

The Jacksonville Jaguars took their talents to Minnesota this week, facing the Vikings in their second preseason game after a week of joint practices.

Before the game, several Jaguars starters were ruled out including TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Jalen Ramsey (suspension), FS Tashaun Gipson, LG Andrew Norwell, RT Jeremy Parnell, and DT Marcel Dareus. DE Taven Bryan, FS Cody Davis, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (suspension), LB Brooks Ellis, DE Dawuane Smoot, and DT Eli Ankou would also not play.

The game started off quickly as the Jags defense was able to get an instant three and out against Kirk Cousins’ Vikings. The defensive line has never looked better, and although Dareus was out, they still stood up strong against the Vikings offensive line creating penetration all game, sacks, and forced fumbles. At the end of it all Kirk Cousins ended his day going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards.

It is fair to say, however, both first team offenses struggled mightily during the game.

The Jaguars first two offensive drives went about as poor as they could have. Following a three and out, Blake Bortles threw his first interception of the preseason. He seemingly did not see Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith right in front of the receiver on the play. Nevertheless, the Jaguars offense was finally able to piece together a decent drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette later on.

Blake Bortles and most of the Jaguars starting players would play the entire first half. Even still, besides the early touchdown by Fournette, the Jaguars could not get anything done. A lot of the Jaguars struggles were due to penalties. 10 penalties for 100 yards in the first half alone and a key holding call on a Dede Westbrook would-be 51-yard punt return was nullified. Blake and the Jaguars offense could not get much of anything going all day long and that would be the theme for the day, for both teams.

The play of the game came very late in the 4th quarter when wide receiver Rashad Greene took a punt 51-yards to the Vikings 4-yard line, setting up a game-winning touchdown by Brandon Wilds. After the Vikings got the ball back, the Jaguars backups needed a stop on defense to win the game. On the Vikings last drive of the game, the Jaguars defense got yet another stop, this time on 4th down to win the game.

Three plays of the game

  • DE Yannick Ngakoue does his best Key and Peele impersonation after his sack. He should know better than to do 3-pumps, but this was pretty funny.

  • After the Blake Bortles interception, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson was able to force a fumble on the Vikings running back Latavius Murray. The Jaguars defensive line came to play.
  • Logan Cooke made one of the most beautiful punts I have seen a Jaguars punter make in years. From around the Jaguars 45-yard line, the rookie punter punted 56 yards to the Minnesota 5 and the Jaguars special teams unit only allowed a 7-yard return from there. The Jaguars finally have a “weapon” in their punter.

Player of the Game

The player of the day is by far Yannick Ngakoue. This man came into this season on a clear mission: To seek and destroy. Ngakoue started the game off strong with a sack, although nullified because of a celebration penalty afterward, the defensive end made his presence known from the very start. For much of the game, Ngakoue kept the pressure on and was consistently in the Vikings backfield. He was a part of jackson’s forced fumble after Bortles’ interception. If this game is any indication, Ngakoue could very well be an all-pro.

Final Whistle

For most of the game, the Jaguars just couldn’t get anything going on offense..  The biggest issue with the Jaguars today was their inability to overcome penalties. The team accounted for a total of 13 penalties 140 yards.

The bright spot for the Jaguars was easily their defense for both the starters and the backups. They held Kirk Cousins to only 12 yards on 8 passes, and the Vikings backups barely made any plays of note. The Jaguars offense, particularly the starters, will need to have a much better game next week as they head into their regular season warm up against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs Vikings: Game Preview and Information

Ruairi Songer

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Dec 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (left) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (right) pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys at EverBank Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Thursday, 8/17/18 @ 1pm EST, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30, NFL Network, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.

Preview:

The Jaguars and Vikings joint practice sessions have come to a close, the two teams will meet on the field to end the second week of preseason. The Jaguars and Vikings are similar teams in many ways, as both possess fearsome defensive units and solid running attacks. With that being said, here’s a few things to watch for in Saturday’s game:

Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.

Bortles’ play and development will be a reoccurring story-line each week, but Saturday will bring his biggest test of the preseason. After an impressive training camp and first preseason game against the Saints, Bortles had a couple of rough outings during joint practice sessions, going 4/13 during 11 on 11 drills on day one.

The Vikings defense, while tough, is a blessing for the Jaguars offense and Blake. The match-up gives Bortles the chance to test a historically good passing defense, without any regular season record implications. He has the opportunity to take chances, learn from his mistakes, and compete against several All-Pro defensive backs such as Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

Cam Robinson will be put to the test against feisty Vikings edge rushers, mainly Danielle Hunter, who has recorded 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vikings All-Pro DE Everson Griffen will most likely be inactive for Saturday’s game due to an infected leg wound.

Robinson’s play seems to be improving from 2017, which could, along with the addition of Andrew Norwell, elevate the Jaguars’ offensive line to being a top unit in the league.

The continuing battle for the nickel cornerback spot seems to be leaning in the favor of D.J. Hayden, after he intercepted Kirk Cousins in a joint practice session earlier in the week. With the absence of suspended CB Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Patmon should get the go-ahead at outside corner, giving Hayden plenty of snaps in the slot. He will be tasked with covering Adam Thielen, one of the better slot receivers in the league. A solid showing for Hayden would help cement his spot at nickel corner.

Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook may see his first action of 2018, pending on a decision by Vikings HC Mike Zimmer. The former Seminole had a promising start to his rookie year before going down with an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. Cook would be an interesting test for the Jaguars DL and LB corps, namely SAM LB Leon Jacobs, who shined in run defense against the Saints.

WR Rashad Greene’s job may be in jeopardy after muffing a punt against the Saints in week one. If Greene is still turnover-prone as a punt returner, he will have to find success as a receiver to make it past roster cuts. Look for Shane Wynn or Dede Westbrook to also see time as punt returners.

 

 

 

 

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