Doing a weekly article where I talk about my overall feelings and vibe from the past Jacksonville Jaguars game is something I have wanted to do for awhile, but just never came around to it. So this year I am going to make like a Blake Bortles and drastically improve myself in August to give all of you hope to hold onto for the rest of the year and try to make this a weekly thing.
1) It is preseason, but Blake looked pretty good.
I understand why so many people are taking this performance with a grain of salt. Not only was this just a preseason game, but Bortles was also a preseason all-star last season. I don't read a lot into the preseason but in any environment, be it preseason, regular season, or practice, it is always more encouraging to see good opposed to bad. With that said, I was honestly surprised by Bortles' outing. I figured he'd look rough adjusting to the new offense, and the comedy of errors that was the first drive only further hammered that point home for me. Overall though it was pretty clear to see he was a lot more comfortable than we've seen before. I wouldn't advise anybody to be "believers" yet, but it was a lot better than if he played poorly.
2) The drops were reallllllllly annoying.
But seriously, it was infuriating. Three drops in less than two quarters of play is bad, especially considering one of the drops came on a well placed throw on third down and one came on another well placed throw where, frankly, there was nobody within a mile of the tight end. The Pierce drop wasn't as annoying, but it came in the red zone so, yeah. Drops plagued the Jaguars a lot last year as well and considering two of the drops came tonight from two of the biggest drop culprits last year in Allen Hurns and Clay Harbor, it was discouraging.
3) The Jaguars really missed their defensive line.
The defensive line the Jaguars trotted out the first few drives on Friday night was literally their second-string defensive line. Their starting LEO, 3T, NT, and 5T were all out with injuries and whatever is actually going on with Chris Clemons, albeit Jared Odrick and Roy Miller would have played if it was the regular season. Still, the importance of those three, plus Sen'Derrick Marks, was abundantly clear as they struggled to get pressure or clog up run lanes throughout the game. This should be smoothed over by Week 1 with (hopefully) three of those four players returning, but tonight was a glimpse into what the Jaguars will have to deal with if injuries pile on once the season starts.
4) The offensive line looked good... for the most part.
The story from the scrimmage last week was that the offensive line looked overmatched, but the story from Friday is the exact opposite. The backs had room to run, and Bortles had plenty of time in the pocket most of the time. Only two qualms would be Zane Beadles still getting into penalty trouble, and Luke Joeckel whiffing against 85-year-old James Harrison and giving up the only sack. You can disregard these as just preseason kinks if you want, but since they have been recurring habits in the past, they are worth pointing out. All in all, though, the starting line turned in a solid performance.
5) I tip my cap to Cap Capi. I am also a child.
I didn't know who Cap Capi was before the game started, but now that it's over, I hope with everything I have that he becomes something somewhere in the NFL. The NFL needs a player named Cap Capi. I need a player named Cap Capi. You need a player named Cap Capi.
He also played pretty well.
Offensive Player of the Week: Blake Bortles -- For not imploding at any point, and for playing like something resembling an NFL quarterback.
Defensive Player of the Week: Cap Capi -- The starting defense didn't really have any standouts. Davon House made an awesome deflection deep downfield at one point, but he also gave up a touchdown to Martavis Bryant at the start of the game, so Capi and his two sacks late in the game earn him recognition.
Best Play: Blake Bortles' rushing touchdown -- I don't care how fake upset people got over Bortles diving for the touchdown, but I loved it. He doesn't care that it's preseason, and neither should we. Let's have fun.
Rookie of the Week: Rashad Green -- The Jaguars were missing three of their first four draft picks (Dante Fowler, T.J. Yeldon, James Sample) so this one is pretty slim pickings. But Rashad Greene's punt return for 37 yards would have been the Jaguars longest since 2010 so, here's to him.
Hanxed It Award: This award might need some explaining. To 'hanx' something is to essentially screw it up in a way that is almost as equally humorous as it is disappointing. This week's Hanxed It Award goes to Big Cat Country itself, for pushing kicker propaganda onto us all week just to have Jason Meyers miss a field goal attempt. Sure it was a 58-yard attempt, but this one was hanxed. (Don't fire me.)