It wasn’t the score that will leave the Jaguars with a bitter feeling heading into the regular season but the overall poor play from the first-team offense and defense.
The starters weren’t out too long but it was enough time to tell that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Offensively the Jaguars were putrid yet again. The offensive line struggled mightily against the pass rush, the wide receivers didn’t run crisp patterns and David Garrard’s shoulder was on the ground more often than his feet were.
Garrard finished 1-of-5 through two series and the one pass he did complete came as he was getting drilled in the back.
The defense was only a bit better. Terrance Knighton clogged the middle and Jeremy Mincey looked good coming off the edge, but the secondary bit on a play action pass and gave up a 44-yard score to rookie tight end Lance Kendricks (from Sam Bradford) to fall behind 7-0 in the first quarter. Being overaggressive plagued the defense the for the entire night, as the Jaguars seemed more intent on logging a sack than playing sound football.
The All-Pro running back did have a nice 14-yard run in the first quarter and had 14 yards total on five carriers in his first game back since ending the 2010 season with a meniscus injury.
Along with seeing Jones-Drew and defensive end Aaron Kampman back, one of the few bright spots of the evening was the play quarterback Luke McCown, who was promoted to the backup role over rookie Blaine Gabbert this week.
McCown struggled early on but got in a rhythm after rookie receiver Cecil Shorts was held by St. Louis corner Justin King on a deep pass but did not pick up a pass interference penalty.
After the no-call McCown locked in. He went 3-of-3 for 48 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Shorts on a post pattern to tie the game at 7-7 going into half time.
McCown finished 4-of-9 for 47 yards.
The Rams were able to score on the opening drive of the third quarter and Josh Scobee responded with a 48-yard field goal to bring the game to 14-10.
Both teams traded touchdowns and Josh Brown hit a 38-yard field with a little less than two minutes left in the game to give St. Louis a 24-17 lead.
Gabbert was then able to get some good experience in a two-minute offense. He looked a bit flustered and killed some precious time when he didn’t think to spike the football with 30 seconds left following a first-down conversion.
He took two shots towards the end zone on Hail Marry efforts but both passes came up short as the Rams escaped with the 24-17 win and ended their preseason with an undefeated record.
The Jaguars on the other hand will have to do some serious evaluation amongst its starters with the regular season approaching next weekend.
Tags: David Garrard, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
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