Jaguars can’t hold off Eagles’ rally in preseason loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Brown and Chris Polk ran for fourth-quarter touchdowns, and the Philadelphia Eagles rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-24 in a preseason game Saturday night.
Nick Foles, who lost the starting job to Michael Vick earlier in the week, completed 10 of 11 passes for 112 yards in the second half for the Eagles (2-1).
Both teams with new head coaches got lengthy looks at starters.
Vick completed 15 of 23 passes for 184 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He found Riley Cooper for a 9-yard score in the second quarter. Vick’s best work came under pressure, when he kept several plays alive and scrambled for 53 yards.
LeSean McCoy ran five times for 9 yards. Brown got more work, finishing with 92 yards on 11 carries.
Jacksonville’s Chad Henne, who lost the starting job to Blaine Gabbert earlier in the week but got the start because Gabbert has a broken thumb, completed 11 of 18 passes for 106 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.
Henne threw a 17-yard strike to Justin Blackmon in the first quarter and found Allen Reisner on an 8-yard score in the third.
Jordan Todman, who is vying for a backup spot behind Maurice Jones-Drew, accounted for Jacksonville’s other touchdown when he ripped off a 63-yard run in the second.
Both teams played up-tempo most of the night, often going without a huddle and trying to keep defenses off balance and out of breath.
“For the most part, the tempo is such a tremendous strain on the defense,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. “I thought we handled it really well. We had a good game plan to handle the tempo and it slowed down somewhat as the game has gone on.”
Jacksonville (0-3) had several positives. Receiver Cecil Shorts III, who missed the last three weeks with a left calf strain, made his preseason debut. He caught one pass for 20 yards and escaped without a setback.
Rookie right tackle Luke Joeckel returned after missing last week’s preseason game because of a hip flexor and played well.
And Todman showed the kind of burst the Jaguars have been lacking in the backfield. With Justin Forsett having missed three preseason games because of a sprained toe, Todman may have solidified his chances of making the 53-man roster. His big run was longer than anything the Jaguars have had in the last two years.
“We always talk about who’s fast,” Jones-Drew said. “Todman right there showed he had a little speed, but we’ll see later on who’s the fastest at the end of the season.”
Jacksonville had one huge negative: Starting left guard Will Rackley, who missed all of last season because of an ankle injury, injured his left knee on the team’s first offensive play. X-ray were negative, but an MRI was scheduled for Sunday.
The Jaguars were ahead 24-16 after three quarters, but failed to hold a lead for the second consecutive week.
The Eagles outgained Jacksonville 452-346 and added 189 yards in kickoff and punt returns.
Other positives for Philly: Linebacker Connor Barwin had an interception and a sack, and tight end Brent Celek caught four passes for 54 yards and nearly had a TD reception early.