The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to play the Miami Dolphins tonight in a game that will (finally) test the starters. We’ll get to see Nick Foles’ first pass, Leonard Fournette’s first run, and hopefully the starting five offensive linemen who will take us into the regular season.
Who are we watching tonight? Here’s who you should be paying attention to.
QB Nick Foles
This one is a bit of a layup, but when your newly signed $88 million quarterback is set to make his debut, it’s doesn’t matter if it’s preseason — you pay attention. Foles looked up and down in training camp and a little better in joint practices against the Baltimore Ravens, so it will be interesting to see how he looks in live action.
RG Will Richardson
He has the inside track on the starting right guard position and if he plays well alongside the starters, he’ll win it. Pay close attention to his run blocking — the majority of running backs on this roster are mudders and they’ll be running right behind the interior offensive line. If Richardson can open holes in the run game, it’ll go a long way towards declaring him a starter.
LT Cam Robinson
Robinson was (surprisingly) taken off PUP and has been practicing the last few days. How will he fare in live action? Is his knee fully healed? How many snaps will he take in what is ultimately a meaningless matchup?
RB Leonard Fournette
This will be Fournette’s first live action as he was held out of the first two weeks of the preseason. We’ve been hearing all offseason that new offensive coordinator John DeFillipo wants Fournette more involved in the passing game. Let’s see if that happens tonight.
TE James O’Shaughnessy
Earlier in the week, head coach Doug Marrone said nine players would be held out of tonight’s game. Three of them are tight ends. That leaves just O’Shaughnessy and Ben Koyack as the only tight ends on this roster with more than a year’s worth of experience. Yikes. Koyack is on the outside looking in when it comes to final cuts, but if Geoff Swaim and Josh Oliver can’t go, O’Shaughnessy will be getting a lot of regular season snaps. It’s not ideal, but if the fifth year tight end can just do a few things well and become a reliable pass catcher, it’ll go a long way towards this passing offense getting better from last season.
CB Breon Borders
This is my second time in a row featuring Borders in this and as I said last week — after Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and D.J. Hayden, the bottom three cornerback spots are up for grabs. Quenton Meeks has not impressed. If he and Tre Herndon can continue to impress, they’ll round out the cornerbacks group.
DE Datone Jones
He was an outsider looking in when he was signed but he’s had a terrific camp and a breakout game last week. I think another good game tonight solidifies his spot on this defensive line.