Breakdown of Jacksonville Jaguars Through 3 Preseason Games
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Although meaningless to some, preseason statistics are still a way to help look at the talent your team possesses.
I'm sure many will take the numbers listed with a grain of salt, but it is fair to take a step back and see the production that the Jaguars have put up through three games.
The obvious player that intrigues us as fans is starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert .
Gabbert has currently completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 291 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 100.6 QB rating.
Gabbert is obviously having a nice preseason, and a very important part of that is the zero interceptions. Many are quick to bash Gabbert's performance last year, but one thing he did decently was not throw interceptions. Totaling 11 picks to his 12 touchdowns last year, Blaine will need to worry more about accuracy rather than bad decision making.
Next up is the apparent starting running back, Rashad Jennings.
Jennings has run for 175 yards on 35 carries, a 4.9 yards-per-carry average. With a longest run of 17 yards, Jennings has had at least one nice run of 10-plus yards in each preseason game despite his limited playing time.
Jennings has yet to see the end zone, but the Jaguars have used the red zone as passing practice with the starting squad so far this year. Jennings looks primed for a breakout season with Maurice Jones-Drew continuing to hold out.
Who are you expecting a big year from on offense?
Behind Jennings, Keith Toston and Montell Owens have also done commendable jobs.
Toston only played in the first two games but racked up 100 yards on nine carries with one touchdown versus mainly backups and third-stringers. Without reading too much into it, he has been pretty impressive.
Owens, the backup to Jennings, has done a great job versus some starting competition with 11 carries, 51 yards, and one touchdown.
Justin Blackmon came late to training camp but looks like he has been there since day one.
Blackmon has already solidified his status as the top playmaker on the wide receiving corps, despite only playing in two preseason games.
With eight receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown, Blackmon looks like he is a very capable 1,000-plus yard receiving threat depending on how well Gabbert plays this year. He is also averaging 15 yards per reception, a number coaches like to see.
Starting with Blackmon is newly acquired Laurent Robinson. He has not had quite as much luck so far with one lonely catch for seven yards in the first preseason game against the New York Giants.
Fans should be cautioned not to rush to judge Robinson's production, as Blackmon will be taking the top corners away from Robinson, eventually making his role similar what it was in Dallas.
Mike Thomas has completely shut up critics who said he may be on the chopping block. He has nine receptions for 124 yards and is coming up big on third down. Thomas has proven to be a game-day wide receiver compared to practice star.
One other receiver worth noting is the current leader in preseason receiving yards, Brian Robiskie.
Although the majority of work came in Week 1 of the preseason, Robiskie has a team-leading 11 receptions for 125 yards.
Can Robiskie become a useful threat come the regular season? Only time will tell.
Other notable offensive players include Marcedes Lewis with four receptions for 45 yards, Cecil Shorts with three receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Colin Cloherty with three receptions for 35 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Jaguars have lacked big time production from anybody, but the bright spot has been sacks. The Jaguars have 10 sacks through three games. If that number were to continue, they would rank much higher than years past.
Two-and-a-half of those sacks came from end Aaron Morgan and two more came from tackle Terrance Knighton. The Jaguars expect that both are going to play big roles in the coming season. Morgan will rotate in behind starters Jeremy Mincey and Andre Branch as a pass-rush specialist.
Knighton is obviously a special talent at defensive tackle and is in a contract year. I'd expect him to be a Pro Bowl-quality player this year.
Together, starting defensive ends Jeremy Mincey and Andre Branch have one-and-a-half sacks and one forced fumble, another great sign. You want to see the numbers coming from your starters, not just the second and third teams.
The remaining sacks came from DT D'Anthony Smith, undrafted rookie DE Ryan Davis and DT/DE Corey Irvin.
I'm not too hot on number of tackles as a category of any importance in the preseason, but it has put undrafted rookie J.K. Schaffer in good position to make the final roster.
Third on the team with 11 combined tackles (nine total, two assisted), Schaffer has played excellent on the field, proving to be as sure a tackler as any Jaguars at this point.
As expected, Paul Posluszny leads the team with 14 combined tackles (eight total, six assisted). Posluszny will easily have another 100-plus tackles this year if he can remain healthy.
Aaron Ross (13), Chris Prosinski (10) and William Middleton (10) join Schaffer and Posluszny as the only other Jaguars with double-digit tackles. Middleton and Prosinski have both had poor preseason games and the tackles are the results of giving up catches.
The Jaguars have two interceptions, one from Dwight Lowery and one from Antonio Dennard. Dwight Lowery's interception came on a Hail Mary ball at the end of the first half of the Ravens game. Dennard's interception was returned for a touchdown in the second half of the 48-17 blowout to the Baltimore Ravens.
Next, on to the overlooked guys: special teams.
The Jaguars have been less than stellar on punt returns. Mike Brown has three returns and a 2.7-yard average, while Mike Thomas has one return for just over two yards.
On kickoffs, the Jaguars have had some luck led by Mike Thomas. Thomas has averaged 26.2 yards per return, with a long of 55 yards. Jalen Parmele had an excellent game against the Ravens and returned two kickoffs, one for 47 yards and the other for 42 yards.
Josh Scobee has played well in the preseason, making all field goals except for a blocked kick against Baltimore. Scobee's stats include 4-of-5 five field goals, and 8-of-8 on extra-point attempts.
Finally, rookie sensation Bryan Anger has come in with the most pressure a punter can have after being selected in the third round.
It's safe to say that Anger has really punted the ball well. With a 47.3-yard average, including three touchbacks and six punts inside the 20-yard line, Anger is slowly proving that the third-round price tag was well worth it.
The Jaguars host the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night for their final preseason game. The game will consist mainly of backups and undrafted rookies trying to make the team, so as of right now, there will not be much more to add to the statistics of the starters.
Statistics courtesy of NFL.com
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