JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - We finally saw the Jaguars' starters play together in the preseason. The defense looked very good. The offense left some questions remaining. Here are my four takeaways from the Jaguars 22-7 loss to Miami.
1. Josh Allen ... wow! Allen made plays, starting from the first drive and just never quit. From pressuring the quarterback to tackles behind the line of scrimmage, Allen was a dominant force for the Jaguars defense while playing through the entire first half.
Allen made plays when lining up on the right side of the defense, on the left side of the defense, as a stand-up rusher and from a three-point stance. It was one of the most impressive preseason performances by a rookie in Jaguars history. There are big things ahead for the former Kentucky Wildcat.
2. Taven Bryan has to be smarter. It appears that the former Florida Gators defensive tackle was twice flagged for roughing the passer when he hit Ryan Fitzpatrick well after the ball had been thrown. The good news is that Bryan did get some penetration early in the game against the Dolphins starting offensive line.
He looks like a guy who knows he has to make some plays to satisfy the coaches. Starting in place of the injured Marcell Dareus, Bryan had plenty of opportunities to do so. He was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hit.
3. Starting offense: The Jaguars saw Nick Foles play into the second quarter, taking 19 snaps. Foles completed 6 of 10 passes for 48 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It wasn't an eye-popping performance.
He was hurt by a Leonard Fournette drop and hurt himself with the interception. Foles looked for Dede Westbrook quite a bit, targeting the wide receiver seven times, resulting in four receptions, including the touchdown. Aside from the drop, Fournette looked good, running seven times for 27 yards and catching two passes, including a hard-charging 15-yard gain.
The offensive line was intact, including rookie Jawaan Taylor at right tackle and Will Richardson at right guard. Cam Robinson started at left tackle, but only played a couple of series. Those three figure to start the season as the Jaguars offensive line along with left guard Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder.
4. Was it enough? The starting defense was on the field for 14 plays, allowing only 10 yards, one first down, and no points. That's what you would expect from the Jaguars' defense against a Dolphins' offense that isn't expected to be very potent this season. We saw enough of the defense.
The offense, however, needs to do better than they showed Thursday night. Scoring one touchdown every quarter-and-a-half won't get the job done against Kansas City when the Jaguars host the Chiefs in the season opener. We aren't likely to see the starting offense on the field together in a game setting until then.
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