The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Atlanta Falcons at Everbank Field tonight, in the final game of the 2012 preseason. The Jaguars ran all over the Falcons, accumulating over 200 yards on the ground in a 24-14 victory in Jacksonville. The starters, who were projected to play only ten to twelve plays, played much more than that, before the Jaguars prepare to head into their regular season opener next weekend in Minnesota against the Vikings.
This game definitely didn’t start the way the Jaguars would have liked. On the very first play from scrimmage, the Jaguars turned the ball over on a botched toss from Blaine Gabbert to Rashad Jennings. On the next play, on 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran for a touchdown, to put Atlanta on the board first, only seconds into the game. Shortly after, Jaguars Quarterback Blaine Gabbert would throw a deep strike off play-action, intended for Laurent Robinson, which was just slightly overthrown, in a play that surely would have been a touchdown.
On Jacksonville’s third offensive series of the game, however, the team orchestrated a 22-play drive that took over ten minute off the clock, extending into the second quarter. The drive was stopped when Jacksonville went for it on a 4th-and-goal attempt from the Falcons 1-yard line, when Gabbert was again unable to connect with Robinson. The Jaguars weren’t able to come away with any points, but if the team can have long-drives like that in the regular season, it would be a definite advantage for the Jaguars.
The highlight of the second half came in the third quarter, when Kevin Elliot caught a short pass from Quarterback Chad Henne, turning it into a 77-yard dash towards the endzone, to put the Jaguars up by a score of 14-7. From there, the Jaguars continued to pile on the Falcons through the ground game, as running backs Jalen Parmele, Richard Murphy, and Keith Toston showed that they were fighting for roster spots.
The final 53-man roster will be determined tomorrow. With the win, the Jaguars finish the preseason (3-1), and will head to Minnesota next week to kick off the regular season against Christian Ponder and the Vikings.