The Jaguars will host their first home game of the 2017 season on Thursday. They'll play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After an impressive first preseason performance of 2017, the Jaguars will look to follow it up with an even better performance.
Here's 5 players that need to perform well on Thursday.
1. Cam Robinson #74 - Robinson had an impressive first game last week and has followed it up with another week of solid practice against his own team and against the Buccaneers on Monday and Tuesday. Robinson will be tasked with slowing down Robert Ayers. Ayers is a true veteran and will present a challenge for the young left tackle. The Buc's defensive end isn't a Pro Bowl caliber player, but he has been a consist threat for the better part of the last five years. He's recorded at least 5 sacks in four straight seasons and will look to give Cam Robinson his "welcome to the NFL moment" Thursday night. If Robinson passes this test it will be an extremely positive sign and a building block towards Robinson's first regular season start, which will be against JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and the rest of the Texans front.
2. Dante Fowler #56 - Fowler has been impressive on the field in training camp so far. He flashes regularly and even held his own this week against Demar Dotson, who gave him fits in 2016 training camp. Against the Patriots last week Fowler was a force. He didn't record any sacks but he was highly productive in pass rush situations as he recorded 4 QB pressures. Can Fowler stack on another impressive performance? If so it'll be another positive sign for his 2017 season.
3. Keelan Cole #84 - Cole has been THE surprise of Jaguars training camp so far. At 6'1'' he combines his length and speed to become a dangerous deep threat. He's been impressive in every camp practice so far and had his best performance under the lights in New England. He recorded 2 catches for 108 yards and a TD. He also added a special teams tackle. If Cole continues to perform at a high level against the Buccaneers it will be really hard to keep him off the final 53 man roster.
4. Tyler Patmon #37 - Patmon has been Cole's equal in camp, almost. The journeyman CB who has spent time with the Cowboys, Dolphins, Chiefs, Titans, and Panthers during his three years in the NFL hasn't been able to establish himself on a roster, but he might do just that in Jacksonville. Patmon has been an INT and PBU machine thus far in camp. He'll likely be matched up against starters for the Buccaneers to start the game Thursday and if he performs well in that situation it'll give the young CB even more momentum heading into week three of the preseason.
5. TJ Yeldon #24 - Yeldon hasn't been overly impressive in camp. Combine that with his status as a former second round pick, his lengthy injury history, and his lack of production during the first two years of his career and you have many fans calling for his head. Based on his career so far it would appear that Yeldon is best suited as a third down back - a guy who can pick up an incoming blitzer, catch the ball out of the backfield, and even line up wide as a WR. Yeldon might not be on the chopping block yet, but another lousy performance will lead to more chatter about the Jaguars former starting RB.
This list is obviously missing a key name - Blake Bortles. All eyes will be on the QB this and every week, so we decided to skip the obvious answer. But, yes, you'll want to keep an eye on BB5 in this one.
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