NFL Preseason 2014: Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

By K.J. Momberg
Tyson Alualu Jacquizz Rodgers preseason
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars will each look to head into the 2014 regular season on a high note with a win in Thursday’s preseason finale.

The Falcons are coming off a 24-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. However, with a healthy Julio Jones and the surprising play of wide receiver Devin Hester,  the Falcons offense showed just how explosive it could be this season. Jones had a 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown, while Hester took a short pass 31 yards for a score of his own. It was the former All-Pro return man’s second receiving touchdown of the preseason.

The Jaguars are coming off a narrow 13-12 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions. Despite the outcome, rookie quarterback Blake Bortles was impressive yet again, completing 10-of-17 pass attempts for 158 yards and one touchdown. Bortles and starting quarterback Chad Henne will likely play for one or two series each against the Falcons before making way for Ricky Stanzi and Stephen Morris, who are competing for the third quarterback spot.

Both teams still have a couple of position battles left to settle heading into Week 4. For the Falcons, quarterbacks Sean Renfree and T.J. Yates are still battling it out for the right to back up starter Matt Ryan. Renfree has looked better thus far and has the advantage heading into the finale.

For the Jaguars, the center position remains the team’s biggest question mark. Third-year pro Mike Brewster struggled mightily after starting the first two preseason games and was benched against the Lions in favor of Jacques McClendon. McClendon did not fare much better and was replaced by rookie Luke Bowanko. It would appear McClendon or Bowanko will wind up the starter until a better option comes along.

While both teams would probably like to end the preseason on a high note, no matter what the outcome, it will be good when they get back to playing the games that really matter.

Keith Momberg is the Jacksonville Jaguars writer for Follow him on Twitter @K_Momberg or add him to your network on Google.

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