The third preseason game of the year is traditionally the game when teams run their closest simulation to a regular season game. So the performances by the players on the Jacksonville Jaguars when they take on the Buffalo Bills are crucial. Strong performances could move players up the depth chart or onto the roster, while poor performances could leave them without a job.
Here's some things to watch for tonight.
- Quarterbacks - Ultimately, this has been the storyline of the preseason and will continue to be the storyline for obvious reasons. While Del Rio has annointed David Garrard as the starter, don't be fooled into thinking that's a guarantee. A strong performance by Blaine Gabbert coupled with a poor one from Garrard could very easily make Del Rio change his mind. Regardless, I'm getting a little tired of arguing which player sucked less. It would be nice if one of the two, or possibly even both, could really breakout and have a very strong game.
- Offensive line - There has been concern about the offensive line of the Jaguars and for good reason. In the first two weeks they didn't look like a line that would be able to keep a quarterback upright and healthy for a full season. Some of that could be attributed to the absence of Eben Britton, but the performance of Eugene Monroe has been disappointing. Guy Whimper, Tony Moll and company will be under the microscope as they try to show why they deserve a roster spot.
- Defensive line - Last week the Jaguars kept Matt Ryan on the ropes with consistent pressure coming mostly from the pair of Tyson Alualu and Jeremy Mincey. That said, the Jaguars haven't registered a sack in their first two weeks of the preseason. More pressure from Matt Roth, Austen Lane, Aaron Morgan, Marc Schiechl and Larry Hart would certainly be nice to see.
- Rookies at safety - Tonight will be the debut of 4th round draft pick, Chris Prosinski. The Jaguars have a few safeties with the ability to help in run support, but don't have as many players with the athleticism to be a true free safety. Prosinski has that athleticism. Also at safety will be 5th round rookie, Rod Issac. Issac has been moved to safety after some early struggles at cornerback so his success at the new position will be interesting to see.