All 32 NFL teams were in action last week for the start of the preseason.
The Jaguars, however, were the only team to be held scoreless in their preseason opener, losing 29-0 to Baltimore on the road. They crossed into the Ravens’ territory once for the entire game.
Though he plans to sit most of his starters again, including quarterback Nick Foles, coach Doug Marrone expects to see a better overall effort against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night at TIAA Bank Field in the second preseason game. The Eagles are coming off a 27-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans in their preseason opener at home last week.
Foles was among 31 players, including 20 starters, who were held out from playing last week.
''I will take a good look at it and probably not play some of the players [on Thursday],’’ Marrone said. ''We will play [our starters] the third preseason game and the reason why, just so I’m clear on that, is because in the third preseason game, this is exactly what we do. We’re going to do the exact schedule that we do during the year.’’
Here are six players to watch Thursday night:
JOSH ALLEN, DE
A nice problem for defensive coordinator Todd Wash this season will be finding enough snaps for Allen, the seventh overall pick in the April draft. For now, Allen is playing opposite of Yannick Ngakoue on passing downs when Calais Campbell shifts to the inside. With Ngakoue and Campbell not likely to play Thursday night, Allen will probably alternate lining up on either side at end. It would be nice before the preseason ends to see Allen get some limited snaps at outside linebacker. Perhaps Allen's preseason objective is to show he's more than a situational player but instead a three-down standout.
GARDNER MINSHEW, QB
Minshew needs to have a better performance than last week when he passed for just 46 yards and was leveled after he fumbled the snap but recovered the ball. He must display the same command and accuracy he’s shown in practice. It would help for the offensive line to perform better and give him more time to find open receivers. If Minshew is going to be the Jaguars' No. 2 quarterback in the regular season, he needs to be able to make the right reads and connect on his second or third options. Last week, he looked like he wasn’t ready for the Ravens' coverages or the speed of their blitzing safeties and linebackers. On some plays, he looked indecisive and held the ball too long.
TAVEN BRYAN, DT
Bryan earned praise from Marrone last week for getting off blocks. Marrone also said Bryan "was in the backfield" against the Ravens. Perhaps the Jaguars are reaching somewhat so Bryan’s confidence won’t be shattered. Let the truth be told: Bryan played about 35 snaps last week and did not make a tackle. Bryan did get close once early in the first quarter to getting a sack. But by the time he lunged toward Lamar Jackson’s feet, he had already released the ball. Bottom line, the first-round pick in 2018 needs to make more plays. Bryan is strong and moves quickly off the ball. But instead of spin moves and superb hand technique to beat tackles and guards, he continues to rely too much on straight-ahead bull-rushing. Maybe we’ll see something different against the Eagles.
ANDREW WINGARD, S
There’ve been a few occasions in practice when Wingard has been beaten in coverage, but he’s had some pass breakups and run stops, too. He’s playing a position that lacks depth, and if he shows ability to cover tight ends and make plays, he’s got a chance of sticking around, if not on the 53-man roster, then the practice squad. Wingard made four tackles last week against the Ravens. But his run-stopping ability was overshadowed by his blunder early in the first quarter. Keelan Cole’s 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was nullified because of Wingard’s offensive holding penalty. Obviously, Wingard must avoid committing those types of mistakes for the remainder of the season because his future in Jacksonville depends on it.
DAWUANE SMOOT, DT
Smoot has been low-key in camp but i pushing to show he’s finally capable of becoming a productive edge rusher. After two seasons, Smoot has yet to register his first sack. The defensive front remains the team's most talented group. Marrone is going have to make a tough decision on who to keep for the final two spots if he sticks with 10 defensive linemen on the 53-man roster. That means Smoot has to raise his level of play, and so far he’s had a strong camp. But a big game against the Eagles wouldn’t hurt.
TAE HAYES, CB
An undrafted rookie, Hayes remains a long shot to make the 53-man roster. But he’s the only Jaguars defensive back going into Thursday night’s game with an interception in the preseason. It came against Baltimore. Hayes has good speed and coverage skills, and he’s made the most of limited reps in camp.