Fans will now have to wait a painful two weeks before the team takes the field, opening the year in Indianapolis.
But if what we saw on Saturday was any indication, it is going to be a fun season.
Seeing the starting offense in full action has been something we all have been waiting for for weeks.
We finally got a taste, and it looked awesome.
Trevor Lawrence finished his day 8-10 for 92 yards.
Travis Etienne led the team in rushing with eight carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Calvin Ridley had a preseason-high three catches for 50 yards, including this toe-tap that certainly will not have anyone overreacting in the near future.
The offensive line kept Lawrence upright and the Jags mounted two 12-play drives. The starting offense could have scored twice, but a fumble at the goal line by rookie Tank Bigsby cost them that chance.
Still, in the end, the starters did what they needed to do and it looked exceedingly better than when the team opened in Dallas.
Doug Pederson said after the game that the offense gave him, “what I wanted to see.”
The Jaguars’ defense and defensive depth showed up yet again on Saturday, creating two turnovers.
The team won the turnover battle in all three playoff games, forcing a total of seven turnovers.
Yasi Abdullah and Erick Hallett II each snagged picks against the Dolphins. Hallett was also second on the team in tackles with four and added a pass defense.
Fellow rookie Ventrell Miller led the team in tackles with five and had a quarterback hit, though he did end his night banged up.
Oddly enough, the team did not generate one sack on the day, but did more than enough to keep Miami’s offense at bay. The Jaguars kept the Dolphins out of the end zone until the second half, which is always a good sign.
A HUGE preseason for Yasir Abdullah.— Daniel Griffis (@DanDGriffis) August 27, 2023
Abdullah finished the 3-game stint with 4 pressures, 1 sack, and 1 INT.
Has there ever been a preseason that was this much fun? Has there been a preseason recently with this much hype?
Maybe when the Jaguars hired Netflix actor Urban Meyer to coach the team, with Lawrence in his rookie year, the hype could have been close. The 2018 preseason could be a good candidate as well, but it feels like this year is different.
For the team’s only home preseason game, over 64,000 fans showed up.
There is a fervor in the air and it is only just getting started.
The team has had decent luck with injuries so far– nothing that it looks like it cannot recover from– and everything that fans have wanted to see has materialized.
No, the team did not sign a veteran pass rusher. It does not look like they will sign a veteran offensive lineman either. But this team looks really good as it is.
It is a shame we now have to wait to see them again.
Wide receivers not named Tim Jones
Monday is cut day for the Jaguars and one of the biggest position battles is for the coveted sixth wide receiver spot.
The team may or may not even roster a sixth wide receiver, but Tim Jones showed on Saturday why they should keep him around.
Jones popped out a stutter step and was off to the races on the game’s biggest play, a 74-yard touchdown catch.
That was Jones’ only catch of the night and naturally he led the team in total yards.
Just behind him was Seth Williams, who also had a solid night, catching two balls for 50 yards.
It is going to be a close one at the wire for who gets the final spot, but with a highlight-like play from Jones, he may have just won the battle. Jones did have a drop, but as he is the elder statesman in that battle, it likely will be him on the roster and guys like Williams back to the practice squad or cut.
Nathan Rourke’s jump to QB2
Say what you will about C.J. Beathard, but he is the Jags’ second quarterback.
The Nathan Rourke and Beathard battle that has been happening has been answered by coaches and by play on the field.
Both Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor have said as much, and Saturday’s game backs it up.
Beathard led the Jaguars in passing with 134 yards and had the team’s only passing TD. He went 8-10 and showed that he really is the guy moving forward behind Lawrence.
Maybe the team keeps Rourke around as a good guy to emulate shifty, running quarterbacks on defense but he likely will not be much more than that.
Regardless, the team has Lawrence. And as long as he is healthy, neither Beathard nor Rourke will see the field anyway.