|Blaine Gabbert’s first win as a starter in the NFL came against the Ravens on Monday Night Football last year. The question is if he can improve on that night’s performance tonight.|
We’ve reached week 3 of the preseason, and this is as real as it gets. Coaches tend to utilize game planning for the third preseason game of the year, and first team players usually see their most extensive time on the field. This is the game that many watch as an indicator of things to come. Here’s 5 things to watch as the Jaguars take on the Ravens tonight.
1) Blaine Gabbert against a great defense
This goes without saying. Blaine Gabbert has shown great strides as a passer in his first two preseason games, but this test will be the toughest he’ll see until the regular season starts. The Ravens will be putting a great defensive unit on the field, and this time, there’s a game plan. Let’s see how Gabbert handles a real test.
2) Justin Blackmon in game 2
Blackmon was surprisingly good in his career debut against the Saints. The Ravens can cover well, but Blackmon, in my mind, is the type of physical wide receiver that can give Baltimore problems. If he can make a tackler or two miss, don’t be surprised if he finds himself in the endzone with the football tonight.
3) Still all about the running game
I really hope the Maurice Jones-Drew saga ends soon, but tonight Rashad Jennings will be charged with leading the Jaguars’ ground attack. The Ravens are one of the most physical defenses in the league, and Jennings’ ability to make something out of nothing will be tested.
4) Watch the pass rush
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars were able to improve their ability to rush the passer against the Saints, but there’s always room for improvement and consistency. That’s what I’m looking for tonight.
5) Defense’s ability to cover
On the back end, the Jaguars have a banged up secondary (again), but I think they match up well against a less-than-threatening Ravens passing attack. Joe Flacco may give the secondary an opportunity or two to make a big play, and that’s what’s been missing from this unit so far in the preseason.