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What to expect from Week 3 preseason game vs. Lions

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There's a lot of differences between the two squads from last year's preseason and the one that just narrowly lost to the Bears. But if head coach Gus Bradley approaches Friday night's game against the Lions in the same way he did in Week 3 last season, what can we expect?

Jonathan Daniel

By and large, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley followed his script from 2013 in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason. His starting quarterback has received a few more snaps this year as compared to last year, but the amount of time he's given the rest of the offense is right on. He's also played his starting defense for the same amount of time -- a full quarter against the Buccaneers and most of the first half against the Bears.

So, if Bradley plays this Friday night's match up against the Detroit Lions like he did the third week matchup of last year's preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles, what can we expect to see?

Blake Bortles Blake Bortles Blake Bortles

The first thing we know about Friday night's game against Detroit is that rookie Blake Bortles is going to play about a quarter with the starters, but it has nothing to do with last year's Week 3 game. Bradley has said as much at press conferences.

But, what can be gained from last year's Week 3 matchup is that Bortles will likely play until the middle of the third quarter. Starter Blaine Gabbert was injured for the game and backup Chad Henne's last snap came six minutes into the second half.

Toby Gerhart won't get many more touches

Last year, Bradley left then-starter Maurice Jones-Drew in the game for the first two drives of Week 2 and Week 3. However, with Bortles playing the second quarter with the starters, Bradley might want to keep his starting running back in the game longer on Friday.

However long Bradley keeps Gerhart in the game, he's going to favor rotating his running backs. Gerhart will probably get more time than Jones-Drew did in Week 3 last year, and more touches, but they'll probably be spread out over the course of the first half.

The running game is going to be very balanced

However long Bradley leaves Gerhart in the game, expect the running backs to all get a similar amount of touches. Last year, Jones-Drew had eight, Denard Robinson had seven, Jordan Todman had seven, and Jonathan Grimes had seven.

All four top running backs will be given ample opportunities so expect the same kind of balance, except with Gerhart in place of Jones-Drew and Storm Johnson in place of Grimes.

Jedd Fisch likes the no-huddle early and often

In Week 3 of the 2013 preseason, offensive coordinator went no-huddle in 16 out of 24 first half snaps. (That's excluding seven plays opening drives.) In the second half, Fisch continued to use no-huddle in 10 of 14 snaps with Henne until Matt Scott entered the game.

Fisch likes to use no-huddle with both Henne and Bortles at quarterback, so expect to see even more of it on Friday night.

Our first-team defense will play into the third quarter

Last year, Bradley kept defensive starters and key players in the game well after halftime, with Paul Posluszny, Sen'Derrick Marks, Dwayne Gratz, and Jonathan Cyprien getting reps into the third quarter. It was only after Posluszny was injured with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter that most of the starters were pulled.

The defense will get the first half together, and most likely play until the midpoint of the third quarter. But with so much depth at cornerback and LEO, look for backups to get reps with the starters.