What We Learned Against The Lions

The Jaguars dropped their Week 3 Preseason game to the Lions, but there was still plenty to like about the team's performance.

There were a lot of excellent performances for the Jacksonville Jaguars as they came out on the short end of their Week 3 game to the Detroit Lions, 22-17.  Let's see how our keys to victory actually played out. 

What to look for:

1. T.J. Yeldon running the football.  Yeldon ran hard between the tackles although there wasn't a lot of daylight.  He gained just 10 yards on eight carries including a one-yard touchdown plunge (which he actually fumbled).    

“It felt pretty good finally getting a chance to play after a couple of months having not been able to play since college," Yeldon said. "It felt good. I got a little adjusted to the game speed. I have stuff to improve on, so I’m going to watch film and see what I can do to improve.”

2. A second straight good showing against the pass.  The Jaguars defense had a very uneven performance against the pass in this one as Matt Stafford connected with Golden Tate on a 62-yard bomb as Aaron Colvin was beat.  Overall, Stafford sliced them up pretty well, but the Jaguars did well against the Lions backup quarterbacks. 

3. Another solid performance from Blake Bortles. Bortles performance was better than solid; he was spectacular.  The former first-round pick completed 20 of 29 throws, for 245 yards with a touchdown.  He also ran for 38 yards.  You couldn't have asked for more.  

"I think the drives we have been able to put together not only this week, but the previous two," Bortles said. "Show the toughness, show that in the end, this is who we want to be…to be a run first team. Obviously, tonight we had a big emphasis on converting on third down, that was impressive. But guys have done a really good job with securing the ball, with breaking up a couple of bad throws that could have been picks. So both of those have been high notes. ”

4. Can the defensive line sustain a pass rush?  There wasn't much of a pass rush for the Jaguars in this one as the team didn't register a single sack and had just two quarterback hits, none of which were on Lions starter Matt Stafford.  That was part of the reason that the secondary was exposed. 

5. Will Andre Branch save his job?  The former second-round pick had a pair of tackles....and that's about it.  He left with an injury to his knee that has to be evaluated. 

"Andre Branch we will get an MRI on his knee," Bradley said. "We’ve got our fingers crossed on that one. I think we’ll see with that. I know he was walking around a little bit in the training room."

Meaningless Predictions

1. The Jaguars struggle throwing the football. The team didn't struggle much throwing, although there were a few more drops.  The first-team offense went 10-12 on third down which capped another really impressive night. 

2. Rashad Greene has another good showing.  Greene continues to get open and caught every pass thrown in his direction.  He caught all three targets for 25 yards and might be the team's second-best receiver. 

3. Davon House struggles in coverage. House had another uneven night and we're figuring out what he is; a gambler.  He will make some plays and also give up some big plays.  He'd be able to gamble more if the Jaguars were able to get more of a pass rush.  

4. Denard continues to look like the best back.  Robinson wasn't the featured back, but he was the most productive one.  He only had seven yards on three carries, but caught two passes for 29 yards and showed great elusiveness. 

5. The Jaguars win the football game.  Perhaps we overestimated the talents of Chad Henne.  Henne was slightly better than last week, but still put up no points and turned the ball over.  Again, the score doesn't really matter, but the team is in huge trouble if Bortles goes down. 

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