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Match-Up: Jacksonville @ Baltimore


Thursday, August 23, 2012, 7:30 PM

 Jacksonville Jaguars

Ravens are home for game three for the 2012 preseason. Baltimore faced Jacksonville on the road last season and were stifled by the Jaguars defense; the Ravens lost that  prime-time match-up 7-12.  As for this year Jacksonville has big concerns. No Maurice-Jones Drew, who is holding out for a bigger contract and that leaves fourth year pro Rashad Jennings with carrying the workload.  At quarterback second year pro Blaine Gabbert still has much to prove.  The team drafted receiver Justin Blackmon in round one (5th overall pick), yet he didn’t sign his contract until August 6th, and had a DUI in June. One rookie standout is Andre Branch, second rounder out of Clemson, defensive end.  In a curious move the Jaguars drafted punter Bryan Anger in the fourth round of the draft.

Pre-Game Notes:


Two things fans will be looking for: 1) pass rush and 2) pass coverage. Both just have to get better.

Courtney Upshaw: The rookie outside linebacker got his first game under his belt. Will see how he does in his second game.

Nigel Carr, LB: Undrafted rookie (Alabama State) has been good and bad. Yet, I like the way he plays the game. A good showing in game three could help his chances.

Dan Pees: It’s hard getting a gauge on defensive coordinator Dan Pees just for the fact it is preseason–teams usually go vanilla. However, there has to be some concern about his aggressiveness. The reality is until game one starts against the Bengals, we won’t really know.


Back Up running back: Bernard Peirce looked real strong last week. Damien Berry played well and Bobby Rainey has been consistent.  Anthony Allen continues hurt his own chances; dropped balls (receiving skills) and hasn’t gained any substantial yardage rushing.

No Huddle: Flacco and the first team offensive line looked good for the short amount of time they were on the field. They’ll play longer an it be nice if they scored a TD. Bryant McKinnie still isn’t ready for the first team. Michael Oher at left tackle has to improve some, but the biggest surprise is the advancement of Osemele Kelechi at right tackle. “KO” has been a great addition to the line.

Back up QB: Tyrod Taylor vs. Curtis Painter. I get the sense that Painter benefits having QB Coach Caldwell around. Taylor looked bad last week and Painter was put in too late to really determine his performance. Something about Painter though– he looks like he has better arm strength and has a better knowledge of the playbook. The offense definitely got moving forward with Painter at the helm.

Receiver: Battle for depth receiver is interesting. Deonte Thompson is surely going to make this team with his speed and special teams skills.  The team really needs to see Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams step up.

Special Teams:

Returns: I like what the Ravens are doing in the return game. They have some speed with rookie Asa Jackson. He had two returns called back (penalties) but it doesn’t negate what skills he brings to the table. As for punt returns, my colleague, Matt Jergensen stated…”there is no reason for Lardarius Webb to be returning punts in preseason, a meaningless game.”

Cundiff or Tucker? The competition continues. The rookie has given Cundiff a run for his money. Booting a 50 yarded in real game time is a boost for the undrafted rookie.

Coverage: This area remains a concern. Only Webb has performed well so far while both Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith have struggled.


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