Bortles and Jags’ offense looks ready, Eli and Giants not
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars look primed for the regular season.
In stark contrast, Eli Manning and the New York Giants’ offense aren’t even close.
Bortles had another impressive preseason outing, leading the Jaguars to three field goals on three drives of 10 plays or more in a 22-12 loss to the New York Giants on Saturday night.
Bortles, who was 11 of 15 in a preseason opener, hit 8 of 16 passes for 98 yards. His chances for scoring touchdowns were hurt by poor offensive line play at times, a holding penalty in the red zone and a drop.
”Obviously you want six in the red zone instead of three,” said Bortles, who completed passes of 20 and 26 yards to spark the first two drives. ”We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with missed opportunities, but overall the guys did good.”
Josh Scobee capped the first drive for the Jaguars (1-1) with a 52-yard field goal. Jason Myers converted from 51 and 49 yards, and he added a 55-yarder late.
Manning and the Giants (1-1) struggled for the second straight week, with the two-time Super Bowl MVP finishing 4 of 14 for 46 yards in three series. Odell Beckham Jr. was targeted five times, had no catches and one red-zone drop.
”I don’t think we were far off on a number of them,” Manning said of Beckham. ”We were pretty close on both of them. We’ll keep repping things and getting a good look at it.”
What’s alarming was that the Giants’ offense was supposed to be their strength this season. It’s now produced a field goal in seven series.
”We’ve got to get better,” Manning said.
Steve Spagnuolo’s defense showed more improvement in the second game, bending but not breaking and setting up one of Josh Brown’s five field goals with a sack and forced fumble by former Jacksonville linebacker J.T. Thomas.
The other bright spot for the Giants was the play of backup quarterback Ryan Nassib, who completed 19 of 35 for 217 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Harris in the fourth quarter.
Brown converted field goals of 51, 43, 53, 37 and 28 yards. He also missed one, but a Jacksonville penalty kept the drive alive and Harris later scored.
Other observations from the game:
LOTS OF INJURIES
JAGUARS: Backup offensive tackle Josh Wells dislocated a thumb and receivers Arrelious Benn broke a clavicle. LB LaRoy Reynolds sprained a knee and receiver Damian Copeland dislocated a shoulder.
Jacksonville did not have TE Julius Thomas (broken hand), receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring) and rookie running back T.J. Yeldon (sprained finger).
GIANTS: Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason sprained his left knee. Free agent Justin Currie broke his right ankle and fellow safety Bennett Jackson sprained a knee. Backup linebackers Mark Herzlich (concussion) and Tony Johnson (knee) also were hurt. New York starters WR Victor Cruz (calf), WR Rueben Randle (knee) and CB Prince Amukamara (groin) did not play.
Tom Coughlin challenged two calls in the first half and both were overturned. The big one was a sack and forced fumble by former Jags linebacker Thomas on Chad Henne. The second-quarter play was originally ruled an incomplete pass. The Giants got the ball at the Jacksonville 30 and got a field goal.
The other overturned call was a third-down, non-catch ruling on a pass to Larry Donnell.
Not Manning. Broadway child actor Eli Tokash of `’Finding Neverland” sang the national anthem.
There were 86 passes and 52 runs in the game. Orleans Darkwa led the Giants with 25 yards on six carries. Denard Robinson topped the Jags with 19 yards on six carries. Former Packers WR James Jones was Nassib’s favorite target, catching five passes for 83 yards. There were no interceptions.
Backup DE Damontre Moore had five tackles and two sacks in his best game for New York. Thomas finished with five tackles and a sack against his former teammates. Jaguars backup middle linebacker Jeremiah George had a game-high eight tackles.
Coach Gus Bradley said he is close to deciding whether Stefan Wisniewski or Luke Bowanko will start at center.
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