The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 26-21 on Sunday Night Football.
But don’t be fooled.
The starters looked absolutely abysmal on national television. There’s not a position on either side of the ball that the Jaguars weren’t overwhelmed or overmatched by the Bengals.
Luke Joeckel got embarrassed by Geno Atkins at left guard and then got bull rushed on his first series at left tackle.
Simulate the rest of the preseason. https://t.co/YoY0e3uONM— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) August 29, 2016
The interior defensive line was underwhelming (to say the least) and Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith didn’t know what to do against the Bengals starters rushing attack.
Even the coaching staff has some blame in this as practice squad linebacker Hayes Pullard, filling in as a fullback for some reason or another, had a touchdown called back because he forgot to report as an eligible receiver.
“We have Chris Ivory now, Gus. We signed Chris Ivory to run it in from the 1-yard line, Gus.”
The overwhelming takeaway from this game isn’t that the Jaguars won or loss a preseason game, even the all-important Week 3 dress rehearsal. It’s that they looked totally unprepared and overmatched as long as the starters were in the game. It was the varsity team against the JV squad, except instead of this happening on a nondescript Tuesday afternoon, it happened on national television. In Jacksonville. During the last warmup before a preseason finale where the starters might not even play.
Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue looked like an actual downgrade from Chris Clemons and Andre Branch. Blake Bortles looked hungover. T.J. Yeldon fumbled on the opening drive. After two preseason games where everything clicked on both sides of the ball, this was a throwaway game in the most important preseason game before Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.
Can the Jaguars regain their composure and get back on track? Absolutely. This was a preseason game, even if it was Week 3. But it’s really, really frustrating to see this team get whipped no matter if they were on offense or defense.
The only positive from the night is that there were no injuries. And we’ll see how bad the negatives were from tonight in September.