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Jacksonville Jaguars

4 Jaguars who helped themselves the most in first preseason game

Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Luke Joeckel (76) during the second quarter of the game between the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
(Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have lost to the New York Jets 17-13 in their first preseason game of the season, but several Jaguars players helped themselves with solid performances and made great first impressions in the first action of the season.

Here are the players who helped themselves the most after the Jaguars’ first preseason game of 2016.

Yannick Ngakoue

The rookie out of Maryland looked like he belonged in the NFL on Thursday night, earning his first sack as a member of the Jaguars. But he didn’t do it against any old offensive lineman; Ngakoue was able to beat former Pro Bowl tackle Ryan Clady to sack Ryan Fitzpatrick. He looked strong in the other few snaps he played in as well.

Ngakoue will likely be used mostly as a reserve player in his first year on the team, but if his flash of potential is any indication of his talent level, he could produce more this season than most expected.

Luke Joeckel

After a much-maligned start to his career, Joeckel needs as much positive momentum as he can muster this season. And he did just that to start the preseason.

Jacksonville’s offensive line didn’t look bad at all in their preseason opener. The running backs had holes to run through on plenty of occasions, and pass protection, especially early on, looked cleaner than last season. And one player that really stood out was Joeckel.

Joeckel played all his snaps at tackle and not guard, and that bodes well for his status moving forward, especially after the offseason signing of Kelvin Beachum to bring in some competition at the position. It was just one preseason game and only a few snaps, but it was a good start for Joeckel.

Marqise Lee

It looks like holding Marqise Lee out of the majority of training camp was a good move.

Lee has notoriously struggled with injuries in his time in the NFL, and a nagging injury at the beginning of training camp has held him out for a large portion of it. But that precautionary move seemed to pay off in his limited action on Thursday.

Even though he played against mostly second-stringers, Lee still had himself a sold showing, hauling in four catches for 49 yards, all from backup quarterback Chad Henne. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of chemistry Lee has with Blake Bortles, but his speed and overall performance were a nice sight.

Jason Myers

After a very rough first season as Jacksonville’s kicker, Myers needed a strong start to get critics off his back and to give himself some confidence to start a new season. Thankfully for him, he did just that.

Myers missed seven point after attempts last season and four of his 30 field goals. He had the worst PAT percentage in the NFL last season and struggled more with his consistency on longer kicks. But he looked more poised and polished on Thursday, connecting on both his field goal attempts and making his lone point after attempt as well.

Neither of Myers’ field goals were particularly long (a 33-yard kick was his longest), but it was still a perfect night for him, something he struggled to do last season.



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