Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Jaguars show signs of offensive life

JACKSONVILLE — The preseason has been nearly perfect for the Jaguars.

Sure, star running back Maurice Jones-Drew is holding out in a messy contract dispute. But little else has gone wrong in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars are 2-0, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert, running back Rashad Jennings and wide receiver Justin Blackmon have been better than just about anyone expected.

"It's the preseason, so you don't want to call home and tell the wife that you've won the lottery and the whole family can stop working," cornerback Rashean Mathis said Sunday. "But it's definitely a great feeling to see the offense march the ball down the field and do the things they've done. It would be impressive no matter what emblem is on the helmet. I'm just glad it's a Jaguar."

Gabbert is 16-of-26 for 174 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on the opening drive of each game. Filling in for Jones-Drew, Jennings has 23 carries for 118 yards. And Blackmon, a first-round draft pick who missed 12 days of camp because of a DUI charge that hindered contract negotiations, caught four passes for 48 yards and a score in his debut.

Gabbert struggled in nearly every aspect of the game in 2011 as a rookie, ranking last in the NFL in passing, completing 50.8 percent of his throws for 2,214 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

"He's one of our most improved guys in training camp," new coach Mike Mularkey said.

BEARS: Safety Brandon Hardin was released from the hospital and, according to the Chicago Tribune, tests came back negative after he left Saturday's game against Washington with a neck injury.

CHARGERS: Receiver Vincent Brown has surgery on a broken ankle suffered in Saturday's 28-20 victory over the Cowboys.

CHIEFS: Starting safety Kendrick Lewis is out with a right shoulder injury sustained Saturday against the Rams. There was no timetable for his return.

COLTS: Andrew Luck shook off two early interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, to lead three second-quarter scoring drives in a 26-24 loss to the host Steelers. The No. 1 pick was 16-of-25 for 175 yards and had a 1-yard TD run. Receiver Austin Collie left in the first quarter with a possible concussion.

GIANTS: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a bruised right hand Saturday against the Jets but coach Tom Coughlin said X-rays showed no serious damage.

JETS: After two games, the team has nine points, all on field goals. "I don't think you can get frustrated," backup quarterback Tim Tebow said. "We haven't even played a real game." Starter Mark Sanchez has been knocked around, much as he was last season. And Tebow was visibly upset with the offensive line in Saturday's 26-3 loss to the Giants after taking one of his four sacks.

PACKERS: Receiver Greg Jennings returned to practice after missing more than two weeks following a concussion.

TITANS: Linebacker Gerald McRath will have season-ending surgery on a partly torn patella tendon in his left knee.

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