ATLANTA, Ga. – This was about wrapping the preseason, and the Jaguars did just that.
Saturday's 2022 preseason finale was also about getting a lot of young players a lot of opportunities – and that happened in the Jaguars' 28-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Few starters played Saturday, a day mostly about evaluation. And with the '22 preseason now done, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson liked the work done over the last month.
"I feel good; I feel good about the starters and the way they've played the last couple of weeks," Pederson said Saturday. "Overall, I feel good about the starter and where they are. They're focused and ready to get this thing going."
E.J. Perry, a rookie quarterback who originally signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent shortly after the 2022 NFL Draft, started and played the entire game for the Jaguars. He completed 19 of 37 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.
"I thought there was some good and some bad," Perry said. "It was good to see guys out there I've practiced with and been in minicamp make great plays. The scoring drive was a highlight. There was definitely some good stuff to learn from. That's what I've been trying to do this whole time."
The list of Jaguars players not playing Saturday was long and featured most of the team's familiar names, with Pederson having said this past week that few starters would play. Those not playing included quarterback Trevor Lawrence and most projected starters.
Two notable Jaguars playing Saturday: wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd.
Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, started Saturday after missing the first three preseason games while returning from a pre-training camp hamstring injury. He registered five tackles.
"He came out of the game perfectly fine, came out strong and healthy," Pederson said. "We wanted to give him the first quarter at last and he played almost the first half, 25 or 26 snaps. He did well. He looked good, played fast. It was good to see."
Shenault, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft, played extensively and caught two passes for 19 yards.
Saturday also featured the Jaguars debut of kickers James McCourt and Jake Verity, with McCourt being claimed off waivers Tuesday from the Los Angeles Chargers and Verity being claimed off waivers Friday from the Indianapolis Colts.
McCourt made two of two field goals Saturday, converting from 54 yards in the first quarter and 38 yards in the second. Verity missed his lone attempt from 46 yards in the first quarter.
"It's enough to get on tape, but I don't think you can necessarily decide it," Pederson said. "I think we've got to figure it out maybe this week in practice and try to go from there and make that decision possibly Tuesday or so."
NFL teams must reduce their roster to 53 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Step by step:
- McCourt converted from 54 yards after a three-and-out possession on the Jaguars' first series; safety Daniel Thomas intercepted an overthrown pass from Falcons reserve quarterback Desmond Ridder on the game's first play from scrimmage, returning it 10 yards to the Falcons 35. Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier caught a two-yard pass from Ridder to cap a 15-play, 75-yard drive on the ensuing series for a 7-3 Falcons lead.
- McCourt's 38-yarder capped a nine-play, 23-yard drive and cut the Falcons' lead to 7-6 with 7:54 remaining in the first half. Falcons running back Qadree Ollison's one-yard run with 3:31 remaining in the half gave the Falcons a 14-6 lead, with the touchdown coming one play after Falcons outside linebacker Quinton Bell blocked a punt by Jaguars punter Logan Cooke with Falcons outside linebacker DeAngelo Malone recovering at the Jaguars 1. Perry found veteran wide receiver Laquon Treadwell for a seven-yard touchdown pass with :17 remaining in the half, with the Falcons' lead remaining at 14-12 after Perry's incomplete two-point pass to tight end Gerrit Prince.
- Falcons running back Caleb Huntley's one-yard run capped an eight-play, 90-yard drive and gave the Falcons a 21-12 lead with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter.
- Allgeier's four-yard run capped a 14-play, 80-yard drive and pushed Atlanta's lead to 28-12 with 10:53 remaining.
- The full list of Jaguars players ruled out for Saturday's game: Running back Travis Etienne Jr., safety Rayshawn Jenkins, wide receiver Zay Jones, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., wide receiver Christian Kirk, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, tight end Evan Engram, cornerback Darious Williams, running back James Robinson, cornerback Shaquill Griffin, cornerback Tyson Campbell, safety Andre Cisco, wide receiver Jamal Agnew, outside linebacker Josh Allen, outside linebacker Travon Walker, defensive lineman Arden Key, defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, linebacker Foye Oluokun, guard Brandon Scherff, left tackle Cam Robinson, right tackle Jawaan Taylor, offensive lineman Will Richardson Jr., center Luke Fortner, tight end Chris Manhertz, defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris.
View real-time game photos of the Jacksonville Jaguars Preseason Week 3 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.