1. Myles Jack Brings It!!!
Myles Jack recorded a tackle on the Jaguars first four defensive plays of the night, the first three of which lead to a Falcons 3 & Out to start the game. He finished the game with 5 tackles, a couple of which came in big situations. He didn't play the entire game, but when he was in there his presence was felt. Look for Jack to get more and more reps at middle linebacker and weak side linebacker as the regular season progresses.
2. The Jaguars Running Backs Ball Out
The Jaguars staff is going to have a really tough time deciding which running backs to keep, but they will make the right decision. Denard Robinson, Joe Banyard, and Corey Grant all looked really good as running backs in this one. Robinson suffered a minor injury and left the game, but not before he he ran the ball 5 times for 22 yards. His efforts were followed up by Joe Banyard, who ran the ball 11 times for 43 yards and Corey Grant, who rushed the ball 8 times for 62 yards. The three runners combined for 127 yards on only 24 carries. While all three looked really good there is likely only room on the roster for two of them. Corey Grant is clearly the Jaguars best kick returner and has displayed the ability to be a productive runner with his ridiculous 4.2 speed. Robinson is by far the most experienced of the three and looks like the most polished runner too. It looks to me like Banyard will be the odd man out, but his 28 carries for 115 yards this preseason isn't making it easy for the Jaguars to let the young runner go.
3. Brandon Allen Had A Really Solid Performance
Brandon Allen, who started out the preseason miserably, looked good in this one . . . most of the time. He made several impressive throws to Shaq Evans on the Jaguars second drive of the game, including a strike on his first touchdown throw as a pro. Later on in the second quarter Allen threw a pick that he would love to have back. He had Bryan Walters wide open down field, but didn't get enough on it and was picked by the underneath coverage. Allen bounced back from the interception quickly and finished the game 17/26 for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns. It's not terribly important to judge Allen on a play by play basis, but what is important to take away from this game is that he showed improvement and continued to show poise in the pocket and the ability to deliver quick, accurate balls that are easy for receivers hang on to. Allen doesn't need to be a finished product now or even by the end of the 2016 season. All he needs to do is continue to develop his understanding of the Jaguars system and the pro game as a whole. If he does that and stays confident, there is no reason he shouldn't be a safe bet to be the Jaguars back up quarterback of the future.
4. Can Josh Johnson Make The Team? Probably Not
Josh Johnson, the former CFL player, who was signed by the Jaguars earlier this offseason to add depth at cornerback, recorded his second interception of the 2016 preseason. No, he didn't return this one for a touchdown, but he showed the ability to make a play when a play was there to be made by snatching a tipped ball and hauling it in for an interception. Johnson then made a mistake in coverage, giving up a first down, and then on a kick off return he fumbled the ball when he slipped to the ground for no apparent reason, so his performance wasn't with out flaws, but his preseason performance as a whole has made everyone take notice. No-one expected Johnson to record 2 interceptions this preseason and no-one expected him to push for a roster spot, but here he is. Johnson likely won't make the team as he is clearly behind Dwayne Gratz and Nick Marshall on the depth chart. He doesn't have that one special trait like Marshall's amazing raw athleticism or Gratz's ability to play the slot, but he isn't making it easy for the Gus and Dave to get rid of him.
Penalties continued to haunt the Jaguars. After recording double digit penalties in consecutive weeks against the Buccaneers and the Bengals, the Jaguars were heavily penalized again against the Falcons. This week they had 9 penalties for 75 yards. The Jaguars expect to be a competitive team in 2016, if they can't fix the penalty situation in the next week, then they will be in big trouble to start the season at home against the Green Bay Packers, a team that has made the playoffs for five consecutive seasons.
6. The Jaguars Back Up Wide Receivers Were On Point
Likely the only Jaguars wide receiver that caught a pass in this contest who will actually make the team was Bryan Walters. But don't tell that to Rashad Lawrence, Shane Wynn, or Shaq Evans. Lawrence made several impressive plays and hauled in 3 catches for 36 yards. Wynn, who is a fan favorite, had an impressive 17 yard punt return in the second half and found the end zone on a pass from Brandon Allen. Evans had perhaps the most impressive performance of any of the Jaguars wide receivers, pulling in 3 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Evans wasn't on the team just two days before this game and likely won't be on the team next week, but he has proven his worth this preseason and in training camp and should get attention from other teams.
7. Jason Myers Underwhelms
While Myers did make his lone extra point in this one he was 0/2 on field goals, missing from 49 and 57 yards. Myers won't draw a ton of confidence from fans heading into the regular season, but it is what it is at this point. Every time Myers steps up to kick the ball Jaguars fans and personnel alike will be nervous until he earns their trust. Keep an eye on this story line heading into the regular season as it could cost the Jaguars big time if Myers can't make his kicks count.
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