What We Saw: Preseason Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Miami Dolphins

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterbacks

 

  • Nick Foles: 6/10, 48 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Gardner Minshew: 17/27, 141 yards | 1 carry, 18 yards 

 

Nick Foles got his first taste of preseason action with the Jaguars tonight, and he looked a little rusty. He only completed passes to Dede Westbrook and Leonard Fournette, and most of those completions were quick throws. He led Westbrook into a dangerous hit by trying to force the ball into a window that wasn’t there, seemed to rush on a few of his check-downs, and threw a bad interception on a play where I’m not sure what he thought he saw. Foles did make a nice throw to Westbrook in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown while rolling to his right after a play-fake, and his deep ball looked fine on a throw to Chris Conley that drew a pass interference penalty. Gardner Minshew didn’t get much help from his teammates as he was constantly forced to deal with pressure and several dropped passes. He looked good avoiding pressure for the most part, but he did get strip-sacked to end any chance of a comeback. He was also fortunate not to have thrown an interception on a terrible throw into double coverage.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Leonard Fournette: 7 carries, 27 yards | 2 receptions, 19 yards
  • Ryquell Armstead: 8 carries, 18 yards | 3 receptions, -1 yards

 

Leonard Fournette looked healthy, which is always the biggest concern with him, and he was mostly impressive with his touches. He did drop a pass with a defender running at him, but his involvement in the passing game is encouraging for his fantasy value. He finished most of his runs strong and did a good job of taking what was blocked for him and not hesitating in the backfield for too long. Ryquell Armstead was the next running back into the game, and he was similarly targeted in the passing game. However, he was much less effective with those targets. Armstead looked a little slow behind the line a few times with one of those plays leading to a big loss. Once he got through the line, though, he did a nice job of running through contact. He isn’t a threat to Fournette’s volume, but he does seem to be the primary backup–a valuable role for fantasy given Fournette’s injury history.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Dede Westbrook: 4 receptions, 29 yards, 1 TD
  • C.J. Board: 4 receptions, 56 yards
  • Terrelle Pryor: 3 receptions, 26 yards
  • Tre McBride: 3 receptions, 31 yards

 

The star for the Jaguars on offense tonight was Dede Westbrook, who seemed to be the only receiver Nick Foles could see; Westbrook was targeted seven times in less than a half of work. He did a good job getting open on underneath routes, and his touchdown reception came on a nice corner route where he created a lot of separation. He looks like the clear number one receiver here, and his strong route-running is a perfect fit with the quick passing concepts the offense seemed to rely on tonight. Chris Conley did a good job of forcing the defense to take a penalty to prevent him from catching a deep pass, but otherwise Westbrook was the only receiver to contribute to the first team offense. C.J. Board was the best of the backups, utilizing his speed to create separation from the defense. Terrelle Pryor was able to play tonight after battling a hamstring injury, but he failed to make a big impact and might be on the roster bubble.

  

Miami Dolphins

  

Quarterbacks

 

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: 12/18, 126 yards, 1 TD
  • Josh Rosen: 5/7, 59 yards | 2 carries, 25 yards

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick got the start and played well into the third quarter, although the extended playing time may have been a result of how poorly the offense performed in the first half. Jaguars rookie defensive end Josh Allen was the best player for either team tonight, and he spent a lot of his night pressuring Fitzpatrick and forcing him into tough passes. The Dolphins offense finally got going once the Jaguars starters left the game, and Fitzpatrick did a good job on recognizing several blitzes and punishing the defense for trying to send extra pressure. It seems like Fitzpatrick has the starting job locked up to start the season due to his experience, but Josh Rosen made a strong case for himself tonight. Rosen looked great avoiding pressure, making throws on the run, and scrambling twice to pick up first downs. It’s expected that Rosen will take over starting duties at some point this season, and tonight was a nice step in the right direction for him.

 

Running Backs

 

  • Kalen Ballage: 12 carries, 17 yards | 2 receptions, -2 yards
  • Mark Walton: 6 carries, 3 yards | 4 receptions, 20 yards, 1 TD
  • Patrick Laird: 6 carries, 26 yards, 1 TD

 

Kalen Ballage started and played most of the first half, carrying the ball frequently but getting no help from his offensive line. Jacksonville’s starters lived in the Miami backfield, and Ballage was unable to make anything happen. Mark Walton came in with the first team offense to start the second half and had more success as a receiver against backup defenders. Walton lined up out wide once for a quick out route and looked good in the passing game, which made up for his underwhelming production as a rusher. Walton is facing a probable suspension following several arrests in the offseason, but he might have value if Kenyan Drake’s injury recovery takes longer than expected.

 

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

 

  • Kenny Stills: 1 reception, 14 yards
  • Isiah Ford: 2 receptions, 45 yards
  • Mike Gesicki: 3 receptions, 59 yards
  • Nick O’Leary: 2 receptions, 35 yards

 

Starting receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker sat tonight out, but the rest of the starting pass catchers were out there. The receivers were largely held in check, which isn’t surprising given they went against Jalen Ramsey and the rest of the Jacksonville starting secondary. Camp standout Preston Williams was able to get behind Ramsey once, but Fitzpatrick missed the throw. Mike Gesicki stood out tonight, especially on a nice 30-yard reception where he was able to hold onto the ball through pretty hard contact. He did split time with Nick O’Leary when Fitzpatrick was in the game, and O’Leary appeared to be the better blocker of the two. If this continues, Gesicki might not be on the field enough to be a weekly starter at tight end. Gesicki is a good athlete that the Dolphins spent a high draft pick on, so if he can stay on the field more consistently he has a good chance to breakout–especially given Fitzpatrick’s tendency to target his tight ends.

 

 — Dan Adams

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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