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4 things to watch for in Jaguars vs. Falcons preseason matchup

Preseason game number 3

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars and Falcons play Saturday in the third and most important preseason game of the year. Here are the four biggest things I’ll be looking for Saturday:

1. How will the offense look with four of the five starting offense of lineman expected to play?

The Jaguars starting offensive line has not played in its entirety in the first two games of the preseason. This week, however, both left guard Andrew Norwell and right tackle Jeremy Parnell are expected to play. Among the starters, only center Brandon Linder is not expected to play among the starters. So much of the Jaguars offense is predicated around the running game, and it will be important for offense of line cohesion to have as many of the starters playing together into the second half.

2. How will Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler respond upon their return?

Ramsey and Fowler missed last weeks preseason game in Minnesota after being suspended. With Ramsey out, Tyler Patmon performed well at quarterback. Now Ramsey returns, and he faces a quarterback, Matt Ryan, who he called “overrated” in a GQ interview. 

Fowler was limited at the beginning of camp with an injury, and since returning, has not received much time on the field as a result of the suspension. While not a starter, he is a regular contributor to the pass rush on defense. He needs to show that he can be as effective as he was last year, when he said a career-high with eight sacks in the regular season. 

3. How will Taven Bryan look in his preseason debut?

The Jaguars first round pick is yet to see the field in the preseason. When he has practiced, he has shown good strength and has earned rave reviews from teammates for his work ethic and approach. Now it’s time to see what he can do on the field in a game.

4. Will somebody take control of the punt return position?

Both Jaydon Mickens and Rashad Greene have done well in the preseason returning Ponce. Who earns the spot will impact numbers on the roster. If it is Greene or Mickens, the Jaguars would likely carry six receivers. If Dede Westbrook wins the job, the Jaguars would have more flexibility with the roster, and could potential he keep just five wide receivers.

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.