In the ever important third preseason game the Jaguars will play host to the Panthers. When the two teams square off on Thursday night at EverBank Field there will be a number of storylines to keep an eye on. Here's 5 of the biggest storylines.
1. The QB Battle - The Jaguars are entering their first game since announcing that there would be an open competition for the starting QB job in Jacksonville. So far during preseason Chad Henne and Brandon Allen have both been more impressive than the former starter Blake Bortles, but Bortles isn't out of the race . . . yet. Bortles and Henne will both get reps with the ones, but it seems likely that Henne will start. The bottom line is who ever wins this competition is still a way, way below average starting QB in the NFL.
2. The Kicking Situation - Jason Myers has one heck of a leg. Unfortunately he has struggled with accuracy throughout his career. When it comes to kick offs Myers is one of the best in the league, but his recent struggles with accuracy on makable field goal kicks is troubling. The Jaguars worked out two kickers this week, but decided to stick with Myers. Will their decision pay off?
3. The Run Game - The run game has been up and down in the preseason. With out star rookie Leonard Fournette in the game the Jaguars rushing attack has been mostly down. With out Leonard Fournette and TJ Yeldon this week the bell cow back should Chris Ivory. Ivory has been disappointing since arriving in Jacksonville last season. He'll have a shot this week to inspire some confidence from the fans and the coaching staff. Can he do it against a stout Panthers defensive front?
4. Dante Fowler - The Jaguars 2015 first round pick has been one of the more impressive Jaguars in training camp and preseason so far, but Fowler hasn't been practicing this week. He was recently charged on three misdemeanors stemming from his arrest in July and is also dealing with an undisclosed lower body injury. If Fowler does play Thursday night will he have the same focus he's displayed throughout the preseason? If he doesn't will he be able to keep himself out of trouble off the field?
5. Long Shots to Make the Roster - The Jaguars entered camp with a lot of long shots to make the team. Now, some of them have established themselves as real options for the 53 man roster. Keelan Cole has been dynamite as a receiver and special teamer. His roster spot seems safe moving forward as he can stretch the field and contribute on kick off and punt coverage, and can even return kicks. Shane Wynn, the diminutive 5'6'' WR, has also been impressive. He's made significantly fewer big plays than Cole. And with his size issues and the extreme depth at WR for the Jaguars, Wynn seems to be on the outside looking in. At CB the Jaguars have Tyler Patmon, who has impressed greatly in Jacksonville. He has been an INT and PBU machine. Patmon looks like a lock to make the roster.
What are you looking for when the Jaguars take on the Panthers Thursday? Let us know in the comments below
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