It was almost a four-hour game and the long night ended on a down note for the Jaguars, but it was the sluggish start to the game will have the
Jaguars will remember heading into the final week of the preseason.
It’s tough to decipher exactly what unit was worse for the Jags, offense or defense. It’s a close call but the team’s starting defense was probably a bit more inept.
Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick absolutely picked the Jaguars’ secondary apart. The former Harvard Crimson star went 11-of-12 for 165 yards and two touchdown passes in the first half, giving him a perfect quarterback rating.
Rashean Mathis, who had been having a great preseason, allowed three passes to be caught, including a 52-yard touchdown bomb to Stevie
Johnson from Fitzpatrick. There wasn’t any safety help on that play but the veteran still looked a bit off.
On offense, the starters were equally unimpressive. Led by David Garrard, the Jaguars accumulated just 14 yards in the first quarter. The first-string had three drops and Garrard went 8-of-17. Before he completed five passes during the two-minute drill, Garrard was 3-of-10.
The team did pick things up to end the first half after trailing 17-0. First Garrard had a fantastic scramble for a four-yard score and then Josh Scobee hit a 45-yard field goal.
Garrard led the Jaguars against a second-string defense during a two minute drill and Brock Bolen rumbled ahead for a two-yard score to tie the game right before the half.
The Jaguars continued their run in the second half when linebacker Jacob Cutrera picked off an errant Tyler Thigpen pass and returned for a 16-yard touchdown to put the Jaguars up 24-17.
Rookie Blaine Gabbert came midway through the third quarter and looked good. He went 6 -of- 13 for 52 yards and a touchdown pass and interception. He was decent, but Garrard was so bad that talks of a quarterback controversy will likely heat up this coming week.
The Bills scored a touchdown with less than a minute left to set the game into overtime. The Jaguars received the ball and got in place for a field goal but Josh Scobee missed a 52-yarder. The Bills drove the ball back down the field and nailed a 40-yarder to end the game right before 11 p.m.
Jack Del Rio has to be happy that his team battled back but there’s no getting past that awful first quarter when both team’s starters were in the game.
Because of that there are still plenty of unknowns going into the final contest of the preseason. The most pressing questions though are how long will the Jaguars stick with Garrard and can the secondary gel before we’re too deep into the season to look back?
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Buffalo Bills, David Garrard, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Josh Scobee, overtime, Rashean Mathis, Ryan Fitzpatrick
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