by Cole Pepper
August 24, 2013
The Jaguars (0-3 in the preseason) lost to the Eagles(2-1) 31-24 in the third preseason game of the year. Chad Henne started and played into the third quarter, presiding over three touchdown drives. Here are my takeaways from the game:
Henne’s performance: Henne started strong, directing a 12-play, 90 yard touchdown drive that resulted in a scoring toss to Justin Blackmon. But his inconsistency continues to rear its ugly head. He followed that drive up with a 3 and out and an interception. The other Jaguars touchdown drives were a one play drive (Jordan Todman going 63 yards for the score) and a third quarter drive against the Eagles second teamers. Henne’s final numbers: 11/18, 106 yards, 2 touchdowns, one interception. Not bad on their face, but after completing 5 of 6 on the first drive, Henne completed 6 of 12 thereafter.
Jaguars Triplets: Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon all started. That’s the trio that the Jaguars are expecting to lead the offense this year. Jones-Drew looked good on 7 carries for 28 yards. Shorts caught the first pass of the game for the Jaguars and Blackmon made an immediate impact, catching that first touchdown and finishing with four catches for 50 yards in parts of three quarters of play.
Pass Rush: Aside from a Roy Miller sack early on the first drive and an Andre Branch sighting in the second, the Jaguars starters didn’t show much to assuage doubts about the pass rush. Too often, Michael Vick had so much time that he went through his reads, then decided to run, then decided otherwise, only to complete a long pass.
Defensive Line position battles: As referenced earlier in the week, the Jaguars probably have six guys competing for two spots. Branch is one of them. Nobody put the battle to rest. Expect those decisions to be highly influenced by the preseason finale.
Wide Receiver Depth: There were opportunities in the second half, but while Henne was in the game, no wide receiver who is battling for a roster spot made any plays to open eyes. Jeremy Ebert made some catches later in the game and showed some ability. If he can show that he can play on special teams, Ebert may be the last wide receiver to make the team.
Player of the Game: Jordan Todman (8 carries, 105 yards and a touchdown). There isn’t much that I don’t like about Todman. He has great acceleration, is patient with his blockers and doesn’t just go down at the first contact. He’s just what you want out of a backup running back. Only, the question is, is he the backup? When Justin Forsett comes back, it will be interesting to see how Gus Bradley handles things.
Who hurt their cause: Nobody in pass coverage did much to impress, neither did the pass rushers. But the guys on the bubble, like Branch, actually made some plays. Uche Nwaneri had a rough game, especially late in the second and early in the third quarters, but he’s not on the bubble at all.