Jaguars vs. Eagles Preview

The Jacksonville Jaguars head north to the City of Brotherly Love, for the circus which will be Michael Vick's first game as an Eagle. Although the rest of the world will be watching the most popular backup quarterback in recent memory, JagNation will be focusing on the team residing in the visitors locker room.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Thursday, August 27th, 7:00 p.m.

Lincoln Financial Field

Kickoff Temperature: 74 degrees, 30% chance of precipitation

The Jacksonville Jaguars head north to the City of Brotherly Love, for the circus which will be Michael Vick's first game as an Eagle. Although the rest of the world will be watching the most popular backup quarterback in recent memory, JagNation will be focusing on the team residing in the visitors locker room.

Five most important things for the Jaguars:

1. Stop the run. The Jaguars did a solid job of stopping the run in their preseason opener at Miami (while mostly playing 3-4). They did a very poor job of stopping the run last Saturday against Tampa Bay (while mostly playing 4-3). The Jaguars need to figure out what defense works best for their personnel and which one they can stop the run with.

2. More consistency from the quarterback position. David Garrard was considerably better in his second preseason game, but he still had lapses of concentration which led to major inconsistency as nearly half of his drives were three and outs. As for the backup quarterback position, Todd Bouman was terrible on Saturday, and it's likely that he's playing for his job on Thursday.

3. Convert some third downs. The Jaguars were just 2 for 14 on third down conversions, and that simply won't be good enough to win in the regular season.

4. Play solid special teams. During Joe DeCamillis' tenure as Jags special teams coordinator, the Jacksonville coverage units were amongst the best in football. It's now Russ Pernell's turn and the team has allowed big returns in each of their preseason games. The Jaguars need Josh Scobee involved more in kicking off, and less in tackling.

5. Another receiver needs to step up. The Jaguars have seemingly found a budding star (at least in August) in Troy Williamson, but they need desperately for someone else to step up whether it be Jarett Dillard, Mike Walker, Tiquan Underwood, or the recently re-signed Ernest Wilford (whatever position he ends up playing).

Players to keep your eyes on:

1. David Garrard - David Garrard rebounded from his first preseason game to go 10/16 for 216 yards and a touchdown Saturday night. Now he needs to string together some consistent drives. Last week he followed up the opening 74 yard touchdown with three straight punts and two three-and-outs. Let's see if Garrard can string together 2-3 drives crossing the 50.

2. Troy Williamson - Williamson has been the star of camp and the preseason. There is no denying he's one of the fastest WR's in the NFL, but he still needs to show he can do it on a consistent basis. Against Miami he had 74 receiving yards and against Tampa Bay he had 147 receiving yards. More importantly he hasn't had a lot of drops. Can he keep it up?

3. Eugene Monroe and Tra Thomas - It's clear these guys are the Jaguars best offensive tackles, but unfortunately both play left tackle. Will we see one of them at right tackle at all? Jacksonville needs to get both on the field at the same time.

4. Terrance Knighton - The rookie looked great in his debut against Miami's backups and he also looked fantastic against starters against Tampa Bay. How will he hold up at defensive tackle and nose tackle against the stout Philadelphia interior offensive line?

5. Derrick Cox - Can he see the field? He was fantastic in training camp but has yet to play a preseason snap with a groin injury. Will we finally get to see him on the field and see if his performance in camp can translate to the field? Brian Williams has struggled at the cornerback position and the Jaguars need to see if Cox can fill that potential void.


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