August 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) picks up yards in front of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback William Middleton (29) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
The Jacksonville Jaguars fell to the Baltimore Ravens 48-17 on Thursday evening, in a game that wasn't nearly as awful as the score would lead you to believe. While the Ravens handled the Jaguars in all three phases of the game, it was a game that should not have your hand hovering over the panic button, as the team was bound to hit some bumps in the road in the preseason.
Second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert came back down to early a little bit with his 11-for-21 performance with 117 passing yards, but still has yet to throw an interception. Gabbert was sacked once on a play where he really had no chance, but other than that once again stood tall in the pocket and made quick decisions. Gabbert was accurate for the most part on the night, suffering a couple of drops, but also missed on some throws to his wide receivers.
The Jaguars offensive line held up and was able to let Rashad Jennings once again rush the football, picking up 57 yards on 13 carries. Jalen Parmele was also able to add 23 yards on 5 carries, but the Jaguars offense couldn't seem to put everything together to move the football down the field outside of one drive.
The defense on the other hand, had some real issues.
The biggest concern from the evening was some of the coverage and the tackling on the defensive side of the football, namely containing Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, who shredded the Jaguars defense. Smith ended the half with eight receptions for 103 yards and basically did whatever he wanted. Cornerback Rashean Mathis played a few series as he's making a comeback from a torn ACL, but he's clearly not to the point of being able to keep up with the Ravens speedster. As a matter of fact, the entire Jaguars defense seemed to struggled with some of the speed on the Ravens offense.
If it wasn't the Jaguars blowing coverage, it was the defense missing tackles. I lost count of how many tackles were missed, but it was quite a few. The Jaguars defense had some somes stuffed in the backfield, but missed the tackle. The defense had some short passes dead to rights for minimal gains, but missed tackles.
It was a deflating game for sure, but it's not a doom and gloom game by any means. As most of us knew however, there is plenty for this team to work on.