4 takeaways from the Jaguars-Vikings preseason game

Jaguars win 14-10 in Minnesota, now 1-1 in preseason

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) celebrates with teammate Calais Campbell (93) after scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) celebrates with teammate Calais Campbell (93) after scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run. (AP Photo/Jim Mon)

MINNEAPOLIS – The Jaguars' 14-10 win over the Vikings in the second preseason game of the year was a continuation of what we saw in the two combined practices on Wednesday and Thursday as the teams' defenses dominated. 

Jacksonville's starting offense played the entire first half but managed only one touchdown drive, while the starting defense dominated the Vikings, holding Minnesota's starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to just 12 yards passing.

Here are my four takeaways from Saturday's game.

Doug Marrone is approaching the preseason much differently this year than he did last year. 

A year ago, Marrone didn’t know what he had. He was making the team. This year, he has a much better idea of what he has to work with, and he is being more cautious. On Saturday, he sat five starters with injuries (free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, left guard Andrew Norwell, right tackle Jeremy Parnell and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins) and two more who were suspended (cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Dante Fowler). In addition, rookie defensive lineman Taven Bryan did not play, although he did practice this week. The Jaguars’ first-round pick has not played in a preseason game yet.

1st team offense needs better consistency

On the first drive of the game, the Jaguars went three-and-out, and nearly had a pass intercepted on third down. On a second-and-one play on the next drive, Blake Bortles was intercepted by Harrison Smith, who cut underneath Dede Westbrook to make the interception. The Jaguars' defense got the ball back one play later and the offense marched 70 yards in 12 plays, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Leonard Fournette. The first team remained in the game on the ensuing drive against Minnesota’s second team defense. With three backup offensive linemen, including Tyler Shatley, who replaced Brandon Linder, who left with a knee injury, the Jaguars went three-and-out. The remaining first-teamers stayed in the game until halftime against the Vikings’ backups, but could only manage a field goal attempt from 56 yards, which fell short. One touchdown drive in a third of a game against a first-team defense isn’t what the Jaguars would hope for, however, most days, scoring 21 points in a full game will be enough to win with the Jaguars defense. 

Tyler Patmon took advantage of his opportunity

Patmon started in place of Ramsey. On the first play from scrimmage, he was called for defensive holding, giving the Vikings an automatic first down. On the next play, Patmon knocked away a pass intended for Adam Thielen. Patmon has shown improvement in his game during camp and is contending to be the fourth cornerback behind Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and nickleback D.J. Hayden. Patmon also made a third down stop when he tackled Vikings defender Laquon Treadwell, forcing a Minnesota field goal. Later, Patmon appeared to get away with pass interference 

Mistakes and penalties

Patmon’s defensive holding on the first play. The near-interception. Yannick Ngakoue’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a sack of Kirk Cousins. Those were just the first indicators of sloppy play by the Jaguars. The Jaguars didn’t recover a fumble by Latavius Murray and A.J. Bouye was called for leading with the helmet, an area of emphasis this year, leading to a Minnesota field goal. DJ Chark did not catch a kickoff, forcing the Jaguars to start at the 17 yard line on their second drive. And that was just in the first eight minutes of the game. The Jaguars defense plays on the edge. In both preseason games, penalties have helped to give the opposing defenses field position and kept drives alive. If they want to be a truly historic defense, they will need to clean up the mental mistakes that can give opposing offenses new life.

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