2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things from Jaguars' and Falcons' preseason

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:14

ATLANTA (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars got the win they wanted. The Atlanta Falcons have the good health they needed.

The Jaguars held off the Atlanta Falcons 20-16 on Thursday night for their first preseason win, providing needed encouragement for a team coming off a 2-14 season.

Mike Kafka threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Ebert early in the fourth quarter to give the Jaguars (1-3) the lead. Jordan Todman capped a strong preseason bid to be Maurice Jones-Drew's backup with an 18-yard touchdown run.

The Falcons finished 0-4, but there's ample evidence to shrug off the preseason record as meaningless. The Falcons also were 0-4 in the 2011 preseason before making the playoffs with a 10-6 regular season. Atlanta won only one preseason game last year before winning the NFC South with a 13-3 mark.

Most starters for each team did not play.

The best news for Atlanta is coach Mike Smith says his top players will be healthy for the regular season.

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Five things we know from the Jaguars' preseason:

ROOKIE HELP: It's clear the Jaguars found some big-play potential in the draft with Ace Sanders (fourth round) and Denard Robinson (fifth round). Each brings much-needed speed to the offense. Robinson, who ran for 36 yards on his team-leading 12 carries against Atlanta, could develop an expanding role through the season as the Jaguars take advantage of his multi-purpose skills.

MR: CONSISTENCY: Jaguars coach Gus Bradley praised the consistency shown through the preseason by Todman, who ran for a touchdown for the second straight week. With backup Justin Forsett missing the preseason with a toe injury, Todman may have earned more than just a spot on the roster.

QB OR NOT QB: Blaine Gabbert, expected to return from a broken thumb for the start of the regular season, is the Jaguars' starting quarterback. But there's uncertainty behind Gabbert. Chad Henne and Matt Scott each threw interceptions against the Falcons, and Scott also lost a fumble that was returned for an interception. Kafka threw the go-ahead TD pass, but he completed only 6 of 15 passes.

NO PRESSURE: The defense is still in need of a legitimate pass rusher. Cornerback Demetrius McCray and third-string defensive end Pannel Egboh had the only two sacks against Atlanta. The Jaguars claimed Jason Babin off waivers from the Eagles in November, but he is 33 and may not stand up as an every down player. Fellow ends Jeremy Mincey and 2012 second-round pick Andre Branch haven't been consistent.

DON'T SELL HIM SHORT: Cecil Shorts III barely made a mark in the preseason stats, but the third-year receiver from Mount Union should not be ignored. Shorts could emerge as the team's best big-play threat.

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Five things we know from the Falcons' preseason:

RIGHT TACKLE IS A CONCERN: Following center Todd McClure's retirement and the cost-cutting decision to release right tackle Tyson Clabo, the offensive line suffered a big loss when Clabo's presumed replacement, Mike Johnson, suffered a season-ending knee injury. Lamar Holmes, who played in only one game as a rookie in 2012, likely will start, but he was pressed by undrafted rookie Ryan Schraeder through the preseason. That may not be a good sign for Holmes or the rebuilt line.

THE CORNERBACKS ARE YOUNG: Asante Samuel, whose playing time was limited by a thigh injury during the preseason, is the only veteran starter at cornerback. First-round pick Desmond Trufant is the other starter and another rookie, Robert Alford, will see significant time on passing downs. Alford struggled when targeted in a loss at Tennessee in the third preseason game, though he had interceptions in each of the last two preseason games. There could be growing pains ahead for the rookies, especially Alford.

WHO IS BACKING UP MATT RYAN? Dominique Davis played almost the full game Thursday night and capped an uninspiring preseason as Ryan's backup. Davis avoided big mistakes until throwing his only interception midway through the fourth quarter but too often overthrew his receivers during the preseason. Davis, who spent 2012 inactive as the third quarterback, threw two TD passes with three interceptions for the preseason. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Falcons pick up a veteran quarterback cut by another team this weekend.

STEVEN JACKSON CAN STILL PLAY: If the Falcons provide some blocking, Jackson should have a big year as a dual threat the team hasn't had in recent years from its starting running back. Jackson looked big and tough and impressed teammates with his leadership. At 30, Jackson didn't look like he's headed for an immediate decline.

WHERE'S THE RUSH? The Falcons signed Osi Umenyiora to replace John Abraham as the top pass-rusher, but he is 31 and had only 6 sacks with the Giants in 2012. The team needs Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquoi and others to add balance to the pass rush. Massaquoi had the highlight of Thursday night's game with his sack, forced fumble, recovery and touchdown return.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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