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.


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.


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.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jarvis LandryNov 29 12:13p

Miami Dolphins WRs Jarvis Landry (knee) and Rishard Matthews (illness) are both officially active for Week 12's game against the New York Jets.

Rishard MatthewsNov 29 12:13p

Miami Dolphins WRs Jarvis Landry (knee) and Rishard Matthews (illness) are both officially active for Week 12's game against the New York Jets.

Marcus EasleyNov 29 12:03p

The Buffalo Bills have declared OT Cyrus Kouandjio, OG John Miller, QB Josh Johnson, DL Kyle Williams, WR Marcus Easley, DL Mario Williams, OG Ryan Groy inactive for Week 12.

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 29 12:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OG Ali Marpet, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donteea Dye, DL George Johnson, CB Keith Tandy, DL Kourtnei Brown, QB Ryan W. Griffin inactive for Week 12.

Garrett GraysonNov 29 12:03p

The New Orleans Saints have declared CB Damian Swann, LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB David Hawthorne, QB Garrett Grayson, DT Kaleb Eulls, OG Mike McGlynn, DL Phillip Hunt inactive for Week 12.

Phillip DorsettNov 29 12:03p

The Indianapolis Colts have declared QB Andrew Luck, OT Anthony Castonzo, LB Bjoern Werner, FS Mike Adams, WR Phillip Dorsett, LB Sio Moore, OG Todd Herremans inactive for Week 12.

Larry DonnellNov 29 12:03p

The New York Giants have declared SS Cooper Taylor, DL George Selvie, WR Geremy Davis, OT Justin Pugh, TE Larry Donnell, CB Leon McFadden, OG Weston Richburg inactive for Week 12.

Jake StoneburnerNov 29 12:03p

The Miami Dolphins have declared TE Brandon D. Williams, DL Chris McCain, OT Ja'Wuan James, TE Jake Stoneburner, LB James-Michael Johnson, WR Matt Hazel, OT Ulrick John inactive for Week 12.

D.J. FlukerNov 29 11:53a

The San Diego Chargers have declared S Adrian Phillips, LB Cordarro Law, OT D.J. Fluker, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, LB Kavell Conner, OT King Dunlap inactive for Week 12.

Harrison SmithNov 29 11:53a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Edmond Robinson, FS Harrison Smith, OT Jeremiah Sirles, DL Justin Trattou, OT Nick Easton, QB Taylor Heinicke, CB Trae Waynes inactive for Week 12.

Matt BryantNov 29 11:53a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared OT Bryce Harris, RB Devonta Freeman, C James Stone, WR Leonard Hankerson, DL Malliciah Goodman, PK Matt Bryant, CB Phillip Adams inactive for Week 12.

Greg ZuerleinNov 29 11:53a

The St. Louis Rams have declared OT Andrew Donnal, QB Case Keenum, DL Ethan Westbrooks, PK Greg Zuerlein, OT Isaiah Battle, DL Robert Quinn, CB Trumaine Johnson inactive for Week 12.

Dexter McClusterNov 29 11:53a

The Tennessee Titans have declared NT Al Woods, WR Andrew Turzilli, CB Cody Riggs, DL Derrick Morgan, RB Dexter McCluster, OT Jeremiah Poutasi, DL Mike Martin inactive for Week 12.

Mario AlfordNov 29 11:53a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared TE C.J. Uzomah, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, DT Marcus Hardison, DL Margus Hunt, WR Mario Alford, DL Pat Sims, LB Paul Dawson inactive for Week 12.

Charcandrick WestNov 29 11:43a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, DL Allen Bailey, OG Ben Grubbs, RB Charcandrick West, DL David King, WR De'Anthony Thomas, DL Dee Ford inactive for Week 12.

Taiwan JonesNov 29 11:43a

The Oakland Raiders have declared TE Gabe Holmes, DB Keith McGill, OT Khalif Barnes, LB Neiron Ball, WR Rod Streater, C Rodney Hudson, RB Taiwan Jones inactive for Week 12.

R. Griffin IIINov 29 11:43a

The Washington Redskins have declared OG Arie Kouandjio, CB Deshazor Everett, DL Frank Kearse, TE Je'Ron Hamm, LB Keenan Robinson, QB Robert Griffin III, SS Trenton Robinson inactive for Week 12.

Bernard PierceNov 29 11:43a

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared RB Bernard Pierce, SS Craig Loston, LB Dan Skuta, RB Joe Banyard, C Luke Bowanko, DT Michael Z. Bennett, WR Neal Sterling inactive for Week 12.

Jaelen StrongNov 29 11:43a

The Houston Texans have declared CB A.J. Bouye, QB Brandon Weeden, TE Garrett Graham, WR Jaelen Strong, DL Jeoffrey Pagan, OT Oday Aboushi, FS Rahim Moore inactive for Week 12.

Michael FloydNov 29 10:53a

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 12's game against the San Francisco 49ers, according to a source.

Zach HockerNov 29 04:13a

St. Louis Rams TE Justice Cunningham was cut by the team Saturday, Nov. 28, to make room for PK Zach Hocker on the active roster.

Michael WilliamsNov 28 08:23p

New England Patriots TE Michael Williams (knee) has been ruled out against the Denver Broncos in Week 12.

Danny AmendolaNov 28 07:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Jamie CollinsNov 28 07:43p

New England Patriots LB Jamie Collins (illness) has been downgraded to out for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.

Bryce BrownNov 28 04:43p

Seattle Seahawks RB Bryce Brown was released Saturday, Nov. 28.

Nick FolesNov 28 02:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Nick Foles is expected to start in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals with QB Case Keenum (concussion) still recovering from a concussion, according to a source.

Zach HockerNov 28 02:23p

Free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Saints) is signing with the St. Louis Rams Saturday, Nov. 28, incase PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) is unable to play, according to a source.

Greg ZuerleinNov 28 02:23p

Free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Saints) is signing with the St. Louis Rams Saturday, Nov. 28, incase PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) is unable to play, according to a source.

Spencer WareNov 28 11:03a

Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware will have a role on offense against the Buffalo Bills in Week 12 even if RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is able to play.

Travis KelceNov 27 07:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) tweaked his ankle in practice Friday, Nov. 27, but head coach Andy Reid thinks Kelce will be fine for Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

Danny AmendolaNov 27 07:33p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Nov. 27, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.

Emmanuel SandersNov 27 07:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) and TE Owen Daniels (knee) both practiced in full Friday, Nov. 27, and are probable against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

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