Jacksonville Jaguars fans are hopeful that their 2021 season will produce a much more competitive product on the field than the 2020 version did.
Early on in the 2021 preseason, that burning desire for a better football team looked like it had to be quelled just a bit.
The team fell to the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints in consecutive weeks, and did not seem like they were moving in the right direction heading into Week 1.
However, they appeared to redeem themselves in the final week of the preseason, throttling the Dallas Cowboys by a final score of 34-14.
Against the Browns, Jacksonville looked to be outclassed.
In the first half, their four offensive drives ended in two punts, one turnover on downs, and in an interception on what was a Hail Mary attempt from Gardner Minshew.
The Jaguars defense wasn’t much better, as they struggled to get off the field.
The team couldn’t get anything going until the fourth quarter, at which point Cleveland had inserted reserves who were in the depths of their roster.
In their matchup against the Saints on national television, the Jaguars also laid an egg.
The final score of 23-21 might lead fans to believe it was a nip and tuck game, but similar to the prior week, Jacksonville did nearly all of their damage exclusively in the fourth quarter.
While the game was in the balance, New Orleans did whatever they wanted on offense with their starters.
Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was also not able to find his footing, as the Saints defense applied constant pressure.
In their game against the Cowboys, Jacksonville played pretty well, and gave their fans a glimmer of support heading into the first week of the season.
Trevor Lawrence Was Brilliant
Although no one was going to jump off of the Lawrence bandwagon after two pedestrian preseason games, it was wholly encouraging to see him slice up Dallas’ defense in the finale.
The former Clemson superstar went 11/12 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns, parading the offense right up the field.
On their second drive, he showed impressive mobility and touch rolling out to his right to complete a couple of passes.
He capped it off with an accurate touch throw to Laviska Shenault, which put another six on the board.
Lawrence’s decisiveness and crispness is definitely something positive to take away from this performance.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 30, 2021
Jacksonville Stymied Dallas’ Passing Game
Even though they didn’t face Dak Prescott, the Jaguars needed to demonstrate a better ability to contain the pass against Dallas, and they accomplished that.
No Cowboys receiver was able to muster even 35 yards receiving, and the triumvirate of quarterbacks who appeared for Dallas barely managed to complete 50 percent of their passes.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 31, 2021
Jacksonville wasn’t exactly facing the Greatest Show On Turf, but their ability to show competency that had been lacking on defense is an encouraging sign heading into Week 1.