Week 3 of the preseason brings game plans into the picture; 5 things to watch

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.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.