JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field Saturday. Both teams were eager for the win despite the preseason status because a win is a win, and the 64,000-plus fans in attendance were ready for the showdown.
In the first half, Jacksonville was 2 for 6 on third down conversions, and the Jags’ defense allowed none for Atlanta. The Jags didn’t allow any touchdowns for Atlanta in the first half either–Atlanta instead scored two field goals.
Jacksonville, however, took a massive hit in the first quarter. Their star wide receiver Marqise Lee (pictured above) suffered a knee injury so serious he had to be carted off the field. After catching a 20-yard pass, Falcons safety Damontae Kazee lowered his helmet to make contact with Lee’s left knee, causing it to bend at an awkward angle, earning Kazee a 15-yard penalty for using his helmet to initiate contact.
Within the first two minutes of the second quarter, Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette carried the ball 21 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The Jags were also able to sack Falcons quarterback Matthew Ryan for a one-yard loss.
On the Jags’ next scoring drive, Bortles was sacked on two consecutive plays and lost five yards on each.
For the first half, Atlanta’s Sanu led them in pass receiving with 36 yards while Coleman (above) led in rushing with 38 yards. Jacksonville favorite Fournette led the Jags with 46 yards rushing and Moncrief led with 37 yards in passes received.
Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles was 13 for 18 in pass completions, while Atlanta’s Matthew Ryan was 5 for 12.
The Jaguars led the Falcons 10-6 at the half.
Atlanta had its first third down conversion of the game with a 38-yard carry seven minutes into the third quarter.
With five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Jacksonville subbed in Cody Kessler for Blake Bortles. Despite Kessler’s sack and consequent 7-yard loss, he made up for it on the next down with a 36-yard pass to Wilds, getting the Jags back in the red zone to close out the third quarter.
The Jaguars completed their scoring drive within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. Kessler scrambled for two yards into the end zone for the touchdown, bringing Jacksonville’s lead to 17-6.
With less than three minutes left in the game, Benkert’s touchdown pass to Byrd would’ve dramatically shrunk the Jags’ lead, but the pass was incomplete.
Jacksonville’s Reavis took a knock to the head, which stopped the game until his condition could be confirmed, but he was able to stand and walk off the field.
Falcons QB Benkert tried ten times to no avail to make the touchdown pass play. The final score remained 17-6 Jacksonville.
The Jaguars next head to Raymond James Stadium to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, August 30 at 7:30pm.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org