The Jacksonville Jaguars looked impressive in their preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints. Even without their starting right tackle Jermey Parnell or newly signed left guard Andrew Norwell, the first string unit managed a 79-yard touchdown drive on their only possession of the game.
Who stood out from that drive and for the rest of the game?
1. Blake Bortles
He did it. He converted me. He’s the guy. He’s had a solid training camp, he looked good during the scrimmage, and he looked absolutely in control in the preseason opener tonight. He went 6-for-9 for 57 yards and a rushing touchdown in the first and only drive he was out there but the highlight was a third down throw to Dede Westbrook as he was getting drilled. It was on the money and good to get the Jaguars near the goal line. He ran in later for a 7-0 lead and the Jaguars never looked back. He is truly the BOAT.
2. Dede Westbrook
With Keelan Cole’s absence, the second-year receiver took the opportunity and ran with it. He ended as the most targeted receiver by the Jaguars tonight and turned it into three catches for 32 yards, including the aforementioned low grab near the goal line on the opening drive. He’s going to be a weapon along the sideline but also showed he can get it done in the intermediate passing game over the middle as well as on screens tonight.
3. DJ Chark
Just look at these two plays.
Kessler throws it a little behind Chark here but I love that DJ Chark doesnt give up :)— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) August 9, 2018
I DO love preseason. The rookies and backups always play through the whistle#DUVAL #DTWD #JAGUARS pic.twitter.com/IUdkAHqe5i
He’s going to be so fun to watch this year, y’all.
4. Cody Kessler
He finished 14-for-17 for 139 yards, one touchdown, zero turnovers, and only one sack allowed. He looked comfortable and placed the ball well to receivers, spreading it around well. He’s not a high ceiling guy, but the Jaguars did well with who they picked as their backup quarterback.
5. Corey Grant
Grant was more productive in the passing game than on the ground (which isn’t surprising) but his 0.75 yards per carry is alarming. His 39 receiving yards led the night and his ability to turn nothing into something several times tonight was encouraging.
6. Leonard Fournette
Speaking of running backs, I’d be remiss to not mention Fournette who looked sharp in the team’s preseason debut. Despite running behind an offensive line that was missing two starters, he averaged 4.8 yards per carry on the opening drive with 24 yards on five carries.
7. Josh Lambo
He drilled two 49-yard field goals tonight and I was never once nervous when it was his turn to do something. How did we live our lives before Josh Lambo?
8. Tanner Lee
Lee stood out, but in a very bad way. He stunk out loud tonight. He was 4-for-8 for 37 yards, one turnover, and five sacks. He had more sacks than completions. It was worse than you could have possibly imagined. I don’t want to overreact, but he should be in prison.