Jaguars 2023 Preseason Recap
Words and photos by Carson Rich
Following the success of last year, the summer heat gave way to much anticipation for the Jaguars 2023 season. Preseason games are never really taken seriously by the fans, but it does give insight to the amount of depth a team has for future years, and if anything ever happens to their starting players. Fans have been eager to see what happens next after the series of exciting offseason moves were made a few months back, and this three game stretch makes the hype seem real.
The Jaguars took control early during the first game against the Dallas Cowboys, as they took a 14-0 lead going into the second half. Former CFL quarterback Nathan Rourke had the crowd roaring as he escaped three defenders and threw a near impossible yet perfect ball to running back Qadree Ollison for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. This spotlight was also shared by rookie Anton Harrison who showed that he has potential to become an elite pass blocker, as he protected any pressure from getting to the quarterback. Although Dallas opted to bench a large number of their starters to avoid injury, Jacksonville walked away with the win, more than satisfied with how their new faces handled the pressure.
Week 2 of the stretch only excited fans more as they went head-to-head with the Detroit Lions. This game was off to a slow start as both teams did not play many of their starters, so some first year jitters were being shaken off during the first couple drives. Jacksonville would eventually pick up the pace, however, dominating on both sides of the ball and preventing any sense of victory for Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell. Jags first-year running back Tank Bigsby proved himself well as he carried the ball 13 times for 70 yards, and running back D’Ernest Johnson also held his own, giving the Jags both of their rushing touchdowns on the night. The Jaguars take yet another win for their undefeated preseason record, pulling off an impressive score of 25-7.
Jacksonville came out swinging during their first two matchups, and it did not stop there, as they had no struggles against their final opponent, the Miami Dolphins. The first half really showed how much depth the Jaguars have in the running back area, as both Travis Etienne Jr. and D’Ernest Johnson added a touchdown each, giving them a 17-6 lead going into the third quarter. The Jags pushed their way through to a 31-18 lead, until the game was called early due to an injury on Miami’s Daewood Davis, who was eventually carted off the field and is now conscious and has movement in all extremities.
In a few games that fans never usually pay any mind to, the Jacksonville Jaguars revitalized the hype for the upcoming season. Their rookies shined and showed why they deserve a spot in the league, running through all of their opponents like a freight train. These three games finally satisfied fans of their cravings since the heartbreaking loss in last year’s playoffs, and showed that “It was always the Jags”.