Reggie Neslon (Chris O'Meara/AP)
The Jaguars defense gave an inspired effort in their 23-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday night. As always, here is JagNation’s list of players that played well Saturday night and those that hurt their cause.
1. Reggie Hayward- In Hayward’s first appearance of the preseason, the defense seemed to be energized, and the physical, run-stopping reputation of the Jaguars D was once again earned. Although Hayward registered just two tackles, he did force a fumble and made the contract issues with first-round pick Derrick Harvey not seem as bad for at least one evening.
2. Reggie Nelson- The Jaguars safety flashed in a big way as he made two fantastic interceptions of Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia. Nelson showed a taste of what could be a turnover prone defense this season for Jacksonville.
3. Matt Jones- Matt Jones likely secured his roster spot with another fine performance, as he caught three passes for 45 yards, including one tough catch in traffic.
4. Dennis Northcutt- After a very quiet first two preseason games, Northcutt came alive with a three catch, 39-yard performance that included a touchdown pass.
5. Mike Peterson- Mike Peterson rebounded after a tough night a week ago and led the team with seven tackles. Hearing whispers about his future, Peterson played some motivated football against Tampa Bay.
6. Montell Owens- Although Owens didn’t do much to stand out on the stat sheet, he was the first man down on kickoff coverage, and is a true special teams star.
7. Alex Boston- We’re not sure if Alex Boston has a chance of making the roster, but he was able to get an excellent push Saturday night, as he hurried the Tampa quarterbacks.
8. Jimmy Kennedy- We’ve had a Jimmy Kennedy sighting. Kennedy was somewhat reminiscent of the player he was nearly a decade ago at Penn State as he recorded one of the Jaguars two sacks, and made a couple fourth quarter stops.
9. Marcedes Lewis- The Jaguars big tight end was only targeted twice, but he caught two passes for 14 yards including a touchdown reception on a tough fastball from quarterback David Garrard.
There were players that didn’t perform well for the Jaguars on Saturday night, but no outright losers.
1. David Garrard- Although Garrard had his best performance of the preseason, he held the football for too long and threw a terrible interception. Garrard’s final numbers weren’t terrible—10/16, 118 yds., 2 TD’s/1 INT, but he did struggle along with the Jaguars offense in the first half.
2. Drayton Florence- The Jaguars cornerback wasn’t horrible, but he wasn’t great either. Florence registered two stops and he dropped a fairly easy interception.
3. Derrick Harvey- The Jaguars defense showed that they can be solid without Harvey, and although the pass rush wasn’t as good as many would hope, they stopped the run and forced turnovers. Harvey gained no more leverage on this night.
4. Cleo Lemon- Lemon was fairly efficient as he completed 9 of his 12 pass attempts, but he couldn’t throw the ball downfield, which was evidenced by his ridiculous total of 56 passing yards. The Lemon-led Jaguars took the dink-and-dunk concept to an entirely new level.
5. Troy Williamson as a kickoff return man- Williamson is not a kickoff returner by trade, and that was painfully evident on Saturday night. Williamson didn’t show much field vision and ran too much horizontally, and not enough vertically.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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