Four key goals for the Jaguars vs. the Ravens
Preseason opener offers chances for new faces to shine
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars open the preseason in Baltimore against the Ravens. We aren't likely to see the starters play very long, but some of the new faces may get some time on the field.
Of course, ever preseason game has one big goal — to stay healthy. Beyond that, here's what I would like to see from the Jaguars Thursday night:
1. Nick Foles lead the team on a touchdown drive: An established veteran quarterback doesn't usually need the first preseason game. Despite the fact that Foles is playing in a system that he is familiar with, he has not played with his teammates. He doesn't need much, but if he can lead the team downfield for a touchdown drive, it would be a huge thing to build on for the Jaguars offense.
2. Offensive line control the line of scrimmage: It won't be the line that the Jaguars hope will start on the regular season opener, but many of the projected starters will be ready to go against the Ravens. Cam Robinson won't be there at left tackle and there is still a battle going on for the starting right tackle position between Cedric Ogbuehi and Jawaan Taylor, but the front five need to show they can play a physical style in the run game and that they can protect Foles in the passing game.
3. Pass rush — Josh Allen? Don't expect to see Calais Campbell or Yannick Ngakoue get much time on the field. That will leave some opportunities for rookie first-round pick Josh Allen to show his stuff. How much of a test he'll get will depend on how the Ravens approach the first preseason game. If Baltimore let's starting tackles Ronnie Staley and Orlando Brown Jr. play, it will give us the first full-speed look at how much of an impact Allen may make this season.
4. Wide receivers make some plays: The most competitive position group in camp seems to be developing a pecking order. Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and DJ Chark have been the standouts at camp, while Keelan Cole has shown some positives as well. Until Marqise Lee returns to health, those four appear to be the group the Jaguars will go with. There is a possibility that someone else could emerge. Terrelle Pryor has shown a bit. Thursday night offers an opportunity for others to state their cases.
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