The Jaguars fought hard, but fell 12-9 to the Miami Dolphins in their preseason opener. Lets see…
Notes from the Jaguars Preseason Opener
The Jaguars first-team offense simply looked abysmal. The offensive line was far from stellar, but it was nowhere near as bad as the home town announcers would like you to believe. Quarterback David Garrard continuously stared down receivers and his 4-7, 22 yard passing performance was actually worse than the statistics showed. The team struggled to run the ball or achieve anything positive on offense.
The Jacksonville defense quickly went 3-4, but the new alignment didn't allow the team to get much pressure on Miami quarterback Chad Pennington. The Jaguars were beat in the trenches, as the Dolphins were able to move the ball on the ground with relative ease.
Miami 3, Jacksonville 0
Jaguars turn to backup quarterback Todd Bouman, who promptly leads the team down the football field. Bouman hit Jarett Dillard and Troy Williamson down the field, and the Jags offense looked like it would begin to go vertical and not horizontal. Bouman would lead the team on two scoring drives, and the Jacksonville offense appeared to have some hope.
The Jaguars defense allowed a long drive to Dolphins backup quarterback Chad Henne, who appears to be ready to take over as the starter. The Jaguars finally began to stop the run, as tackling improved. Guys who stood out were Julius Williams, Brian Iwuh, and Sean Considine.
Miami 6, Jacksonville 6
Bouman has cooled down, as the rain has began to pour down. A few of his passes begin to sail high. On the second drive, Bouman hit Chauncey Washington on a screen for an apparent touchdown, but a phantom holding call brought the play back and the Jags settled for a 43-yard Josh Scobee field goal. On the Jags third possession, Bouman led the team down field before forcing a third down pass that was intercepted by rookie corner Sean Smith in the end zone. Overall, Bowman was 10-18, 130 yards, 0 TD/1 INT.
Derek Landri has been getting pressure on the quarterback and it leads to a Brian Witherspoon interception that set up a field goal. On the following drive, the Jaguars allow a long kickoff return and Miami cashes in on Chad Henne pass to former Jaguar Ernest Wilford that covered 33 yards.
Pat White takes over at the end of the third quarter. He's extremely fast, but I can't see him as an every downs quarterback. They really need to just turn it over to Henne before the season starts, they'll be better off. Pete Ittersagen picks off a White pass that bounces off a fullbacks hands.
Miami 12, Jacksonville 9
Paul Smith in at quarterback. After a quick three and out, Smith finds Greg Estandia then Alvin Pearman on consecutive plays. Smith is then picked off on a horrible throw by J.D. Folsom.
On his third possession, Smith found rookie Zach Miller in the seam on a very nice throw. Smith was also working the short passing game out of the shotgun, as he hit Alvin Pearman. Smith leads the team into the red zone, but falters on third and fourth downs as his passes were just off the mark.
Jags backup linebackers look pretty good, led by Thomas Williams who made a big stop on a 4th and 1. Terrence Knighton looks like a man against boys vs. the Miami backups. Jaguars have good depth on their defense and it appears as if the 3-4 will be the strategy that the team employs.
Final score- Miami 12, Jacksonville 9
It's just one meaningless preseason game, that said--The Jaguars are a rebuilding team coming off a 5-11 season; They looked like it. There are a lot of solid players on the roster, but probably not enough front line talent to compete for a playoff spot. They competed with Miami in the trenches, and that was an improvement over last season. There is still plenty to be concerned with, as quarterback David Garrard gave no impression that he was anything more than the mediocre quarterback he showed himself to be a season ago.
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