Jaguars vs. Falcons: What To Watch For

The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Atlanta Falcons this evening down at EverBank Field. It's both team's second preseason games and the Jaguars are looking to improve from the curb stomping that the New England Patriots applied. It looks like veteran David Garrard is slated to start the game, as expected, and it will be an important one for him. He's got rookie Blaine Gabbert breathing down his neck and gunning for the starting position.

Here's some things to watch for tonight.

  • David Garrard - As I mentioned, he needs a strong showing to throw some water on the quarterback competition fire. Gabbert took full advantage of the time Garrard was out with his back injury and has impressed the coaching staff with the quickness he's picked up the offense. Garrard needs a good game, because the word is people in the building want Gabbert to win the job.
  • Wide Receivers - The wide receivers had a poor showing last week, dropping tons of passes. Guys like Mike Thomas can't drop easy plays that kill drives and leave a team with just a field goal. Jason Hill has gotten better as he adjusts to the humidity and another strong showing would take some worry off the position.
  • Offensive Line - The Jaguars offensive line did not look good last week, but after watching the Patriots give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all kinds of fits last night with the pass rush, it's possible it wasn't as bad as it looked. The Falcons however have a nice crop of defensive ends to throw at the Jaguars. Guy Whimper is going to have to step up, playing for an injured Eben Britton.
  • Pass Rush - The Jaguars pass rush did not exist last week. Camp sensation Austen Lane was stonewalled, Jeremy Mincey didn't do a lot, and Larry Hart was unnoticeable. Newly signed Matt Roth is expected to play, so he will be one to watch, but overall the pass rush has to improve.
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