What We Learned : Jaguars @ Giants
The Jaguars defense desperately needs the return of both, Sen’Derrick Marks and Chris Clemons. The pass rush was seemingly non-existent against a Giants offensive line that struggled mightily just the week before. Not only did the Jags struggle to get to the quarterback, but they gave up several big running plays. If this defense is going to be as good, or better, than they were last year, then they will need a healthy Sen’Derrick Marks.
While the struggles of the defensive line were not very encouraging, there were some very positive things to take away from the offensive performance. The Jags offensive line, which was one of the worst in the league last year, appears to be much improved. They are getting push on run plays and allowing Blake Bortles the time he needs to scan the field and manipulate the pocket. This leads to Bortles. He continues to look impressive. He went just 8/16 for 93 yards, but again there were several dropped balls and 50/50 balls that the receivers couldn't come up with. Bortles manipulation of the pocket continues to be impressive, while he is steadily showing that his new footwork and release of the ball are here to stay.
Not only did Bortles and the offensive line look impressive, but the running backs did too, despite not having T.J. Yeldon. It’s clear though, that even if the Jags didn't have Yeldon, that they would be okay on the ground. Between Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart, and Bernard Pierce, the Jags have a ton of depth at running back. The only true cause for concern on the offensive side of the ball came in the form of apparent miscommunications between Bortles and the receivers. There were several plays where it appeared the wrong route was run, or the timing was off. Add that to the fact that there were a few drops, and it becomes clear that the passing game has some things to work on.
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