Earlier today we looked at some of the many negatives from the Jaguars embarrassing loss to the Buccaneers on Thursday night. Now, we'll search for some positives to take away from the performance.
1. DEDE FREAKING WESTBROOK
For a second straight week Dede Westbrook was able to make an explosive play. This week he did it multiple times. He ended the game with 6 catches for 131 yards. That's an eye popping average of over 21 yards per catch. Of course he's doing all of this against backups, but moving forward he'll likely get more reps with the first and second team. So far Westbrook has displayed his quickness, route running ability, soft hands, and pure speed. This a guy that looks different than other players around him - he stands out. Let's keep an eye on him the rest of the preseason to see if he can earn more playing time once the regular season comes around.
2. JARROD WILSON
Jarrod Wilson played some impressive football. He was able to pick off one pass and almost held onto another before the ground knocked it out of his grasp. A playmaking strong safety that has ball skills? The Jaguars haven't had that . . . ever. In total Wilson had 6 tackles, 3 pass break ups, and 1 interception. He'll need to stay healthy and keep this momentum going heading into the final two weeks of the preseason.
3. THE BACKUP QBS
As a whole the Jaguars backups played much better than the starters on Thursday night, especially the QBs. Chad Henne entered the game and immediately started throwing strikes. He hit Allen Robinson and Keelan Cole for would be TDs on the same drive. Unfortunately for Henne both passes fell to the ground as Robinson and Cole were unable to hang on to easy catches. Henne would have ended the game with a completion percentage of about 80 had those passes not been dropped. It's hard to get much sharper than that. Third string QB Brandon Allen was just as impressive. He completed 10/15 passes for 144 yards and a TD. He showed a quick trigger, a strong enough arm, and the ability to throw on the run. Allen found Dede Westbrook time and time again in the fourth quarter.
4. YOUNG DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
Dante Fowler had another solid performance. He recorded his first sack of the preseason and was disruptive throughout the contest. His sack was his only tackle of the day, but make no mistake Dante Fowler looks to be an improved player in 2017. However, his immaturity and lack of consistency prior to this preseason will be something to keep an eye on until he proves that he can get it done consistently during the regular season. Another young defensive lineman, Sheldon Day, who has been explosive in 11 on 11 drills throughout training camp also got to the QB on Thursday. He may, one day, become a force to be reckoned with as an interior pass rusher.
5. THE JAGUARS MAY HAVE FOUND THEIR STARTING FULLBACK
Marquez Williams flashed Thursday night, scoring the Jaguars TD of the game. He impressively caught a pass on the run from Brandon Allen and was able to hang on and cross the goal line. His competition, Tommy Bohanan, has done little to prove himself so far in training camp. If Williams can carry this momentum forward this could be the start of a good run for Williams in Jacksonville.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Jaguars performance Thursday night? Let us know in the comments.
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