JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a couple weeks of training camp, the Jaguars finally got their first taste of game action on Thursday night against the New York Jets. Although the Jaguars lost 17-13, through two drives the Jaguars offense passed the eye test during their preseason opener.
Throughout training camp the Jaguars have been determined to be more consistent in the run-game. That was clear on their first offensive possession. Running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory combined for 40 yards on six carries.
The 10-play, 55-yard drive ended in a Jason Myers field goal. But on play nine of the drive tight end Julius Thomas dropped a would-be touchdown pass from Blake Bortles. The pass was low, but it’s a play that Thomas routinely makes.
On the Jaguars second drive of the game they were able to mix in the run and the pass. Allen Robinson made a pair of acrobatic catches that proved he’s already in mid-season form. Robinson finished the game with three catches for 80-yards.
Those receptions put the Jaguars back in the red-zone where Ivory scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown putting the Jaguars up 10-0. Converting in the red-zone was something that plagued the Jaguars last season. Their running backs combined for only three rushing touchdowns in 2015. The addition of Ivory should aid in that department.
Getting off to a fast start was also a top priority for the Jaguars and Bortles felt they were able to do that against the Jets.
“Yeah, I thought it was good,” said Bortles who finished with 105 yards on 6-of-7 passing. “We want to come out and be sharp with our operation in and out of the huddle, no mental errors, lining up correctly, shifts and motions, and all that. And, obviously take care of the ball. I thought for the most part it was good.”
Following the Ivory touchdown, most of the Jaguars 1st team offense was removed from the game.
The Jaguars had a chance to win this game on their final drive, but Brandon Allen was intercepted in the end-zone.
-Other news and notes from the Jaguars preseason opener
-On the defensive side of the ball rookie defensive end Yannick Ngakoue picked up his first NFL sack. The Jaguars had Ngakoue on one side and Dante Fowler Jr. on the other side during a Jets 3rd and long.
-Wide receiver Marqise Lee, who didn’t play at all in the preseason last year, was also impressive. Lee wasn’t slowed by his nagging hamstring injury and picked up 49-yards on four catches.