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.

---

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

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will be used strictly on defense this season and will not see time in any offensive situations. The Cardinals have excess capacity at wide [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJul 28 01:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson does not need to play in the preseason to show something to the coaching staff, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer said Peterson [ More ]

Golden TateJul 28 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (shoulder) was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 28, and he is expected to take part in the team's first [ More ]

Frank GoreJul 28 12:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is unlikely to play in the preseason this year. RBs Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton have both looked good so far during training [ More ]

Trent ColeJul 28 12:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and LB Trent Cole squared off in a fight during training camp Sunday, July 27. 'Next thing you know, they're on the ground scuffling,' [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJul 28 10:13a

Cleveland Browns WRs Charles X. Johnson (knee) and Travis Benjamin (knee) are riding the stationary bike and working on the side Monday, July 28.

Micah HydeJul 28 10:03a

Green Bay Packers FS Micah Hyde has the edge over S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the starting free safety spot.

Ray RiceJul 28 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension.

Kenny StillsJul 28 09:32a

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and WR Kenny Stills (quadriceps) are out of practice Monday, July 28.

Chris RaineyJul 28 08:52a

The Indianapolis Colts released RB Chris Rainey.

Mike IupatiJul 28 04:02a

The San Francisco 49ers plan to re-sign RG Mike Iupati at some point. Originally the team thought it would not be able to keep him due to a higher [ More ]

Tim HightowerJul 28 03:22a

Former Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower, who suffered a torn ACL in 2011 and a subsequent infection, was spotted at Washington Redskins camp in the past few days. Hightower [ More ]

Alan BonnerJul 28 12:52a

The Houston Texans have waived injured WR Alan Bonner (foot). Bonner suffered a broken foot during practice Saturday, July 26.

Russell OkungJul 28 12:22a

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (foot) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Terrell McClainJul 28 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), LB DeVonte Holloman (dehydration) and FS Matt Johnson (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of injuries.

Koa MisiJul 27 11:52p

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (foot) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of a foot injury. He has told people that someone stepped on his foot and that he will be fine.

Dre KirkpatrickJul 27 11:02p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, July 27, because of an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is not expected to keep him out for long.

D.J. HaydenJul 27 10:32p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) still has no definite timetable for his return, but the team is optimistic that he will be ready for the start of the [ More ]

Kyle RudolphJul 27 10:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a five-year extension worth $36.5 million.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group