The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their Week 2 preseason matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles but for some reason I’m not really that concerned. Most of the starters were held out and the game wasn’t nearly as depressing as last week’s beatdown where our most productive quarterback had just 3.3 yards per pass. Oh yeah, and there was no Tanner Lee. That always helps.
All that said, there were some really good performances on Thursday night. Here’s who stood out the most:
1. Gardner Minshew II
Minshew needed a good showing to stave off the coaching staff looking elsewhere for the primary backup behind Nick Foles — and he definitely delivered, completing 66 percent of his passes for 202 yards and zero interceptions. He finished with 7.0 yards per pass and left a lot on the field with a few drops by his receivers. Put him with the starters and if he plays like he did last night, he’ll be a fine backup.
Gardner Minshew -- the best football player to ever wear No. 15 in Florida history.— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) August 16, 2019
2. Alex McGough
He’s everything you want in a developmental quarterback — fast, willing to take chances downfield, and a good (enough) runner. He scored the lone preseason touchdown for the Jaguars on a fourth down keeper near the goal line and he juked, spun, and sprinted his way through several plays that impressed you. That’s hard to do in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game.
3. Datone Jones
Last night’s performance was so strong, it may have single handedly catapulted Jones into the 53-man roster conversation. I’m not even kidding. He finished with three tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a hit on Cody Kessler that knocked him from the game. He was, in a word, a menace.
A former first round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers back in 2013, it was remaining to be seen if Jones had anything left after bouncing around four different teams over the past two years. His performance against the Eagles was fun to watch.
4. All the young defensive backs
I honestly couldn’t pick just one because the Jaguars have a ton of talent at the bottom of their depth chart for cornerbacks. Tae Hayes finished with four tackles and two passes defended, Breon Borders had two tackles and two passes defended. Tre Herndon broke up a pass. Picasso Nelson, Jr. broke up a pass and had the lone interception for the Jaguars defense last night. There are a lot of undrafted gems that the Jaguars unearthed the past two offseasons and I hope they’re able to keep as many of them as possible.
5. Tre McBride
No disrespect to C.J. Board, who finished as the leading receiver on the night with five catches and 54 yards, but McBride has consistently been the best backup receiver the past two weeks. He caught four passes for 47 yards in the first half — and that doesn’t include a 36-yard touchdown that was shortened to a 5-yard catch by a penalty. McBride has an obvious connection with Minshew that I think only Board shares and it’ll be interesting to see how that works for him next week when the starters are expected to play.
6. Leonard Wester
There are players who stood out because they were good. And then there’s Wester. I thought he’d be a player to watch because he could challenge for the backup left tackle spot but after last night that’s a bit fat NOPE. Wester got spun around, run around, and pushed to the ground. His poor play led to Minshew’s lone turnover for the night — a fumble forced by Eagles defensive end Daeshon Hall. And his holding penalty helped negate a beautiful 36-yard touchdown in the first half.
7. Taven Bryan
Watch the left defensive tackle position. That’s Bryan, a first round draft pick in his second year. This is what it was like watching Bryan last night against backups.
He finished with one tackle on a little more than a half of football.
my god taven bryan https://t.co/frsyzAahBj— charles mcdonald (MAN 101 STUDENT) (@FourVerts) August 16, 2019
Who stood out to you the most from last night’s loss to the Eagles? Let us know in the comments below!