Game report: Falcons 31, Jaguars 12

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' preseason ended in familiar fashion.

Few front-line players played. Few points were scored by the offense. Not much was pretty. And none of it felt like it had much to do with the regular season.

Gardner Minshew, the Jaguars' projected backup quarterback, started for a third time in four preseason games – and a Jaguars team featuring mostly backups and reserves lost their 2019 preseason finale, 31-12, to the Atlanta Falcons at TIAA Bank Field Thursday.

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Minshew, a rookie sixth-round selection, completed 11 of 26 passes for 79 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions in a little less than three quarters Thursday. He did not lead a touchdown drive in the preseason.

He completed 54 of 96 passes for 455 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in four preseason games.

The Falcons outgained the Jaguars 425-259 and Jacksonville was held without a touchdown for a second time in four preseason games. The Jaguars were shut out, 29-0, in a preseason-opening loss at Baltimore.

Rookie running back Ryquell Armstead led the Jaguars with 40 yards rushing on six carries.

The Jaguars held 40 players out of Thursday's game, including essentially all starters and most front-line players. Head Coach Doug Marrone also held 30 players out of the preseason opener and 27 players out of a Preseason Week 2 loss to Philadelphia. The Jaguars' starting offense and defense both played for four series in a Preseason Week 3 loss at Miami.

The Jaguars (0-4) finished without a preseason victory for first time in franchise history. The Falcons finished the preseason 1-4.

Among players likely to be on the roster playing Thursday were defensive tackle Taven Bryan, strongside linebacker Leon Jacobs, Armstead, defensive tackle Dontavius Rusell, Minshew and the three specialists: punter Logan Cooke, kicker Josh Lambo and long snapper Matt Overton.

Step by step:

*The Falcons took a 7-0 lead late in a first quarter in which both teams struggled offensively. Running back Qadree Ollison's nine-yard run with 5:06 remaining in the quarter capped a series that was aided by a 39-yard pass interference penalty on Jaguars safety Josh Robinson.  

*Running back Tony Brooks-James knifed through the Jaguars defense for a 15-yard run with 12:48 remaining in the second quarter to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead. Lambo capped the ensuing drive with a 48-yard field goal to make it 14-3, with 10:19 remaining in the half. Wide receiver Christian Blake's 12-yard reception from quarterback Danny Ettling gave the Falcons a 21-3 lead with 6:37 remaining in the quarter. Lambo's 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half made it 21-6, Falcons.

*Falcons kicker Blair Walsh's 46-yard field goal with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter gave the Falcons a 24-6 lead.

*Brooks-James' 52-yard run with 2:11 remaining gave the Falcons a 31-6 lead and Jaguars reserve quarterback Alex McGough's 16-yard touchdown cut the lead to the final margin.

Injury report:Center/guard KC McDermott sustained a first-quarter ankle injury and did not return. … Offensive lineman Ben Ijalana sustained a first-quarter elbow injury and did not return. … Running back Devante Mays sustained an ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return.

Notable:Captains for the Jaguars Friday: Minshew, rookie linebacker Joe Giles-Harris and Lambo. … The 21 offensive players held out Thursday were quarterback Nick Foles; running backs Alfred Blue and Leonard Fournette; wide receivers Terrelle Pryor, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley and Keelan Cole; offensive guards A.J. Cann, Andrew Norwell and Will Richardson Jr.; right tackle Jawaan Taylor; left tackle Cam Robinson, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi; center Brandon Linder; center/guard Tyler Shatley; and tight ends James O'Shaughnessy, Josh Oliver, Ben Koyack and Geoff Swain. The 19 defensive players held out were: defensive ends Josh Allen, Yannick Ngakoue, Dawuane Smoot, Lerentee McCray and Calais Campbell; defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones; linebackers Myles Jack, Najee Goode, Quincy Williams, Jake Ryan and Davis Tull; cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden and Tre Herndon; and safeties Cody Davis, Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson.

What's next:The Jaguars will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field in the regular-season opener in Jacksonville Sunday, September 8, at 1 p.m.

Step by step:

*The Falcons took a 7-0 lead late in a first-quarter in which both teams struggled offensively. Running back Qadree Ollison's nine-yard run with 5:06 remaining in the quarter capped a series that was aided by a 39-yard pass interference penalty on Jaguars safety Josh Robinson.  

*Running back Tony Brooks-James knifed through the Jaguars' defense for a 15-yard run with 12:48 remaining in the second quarter to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead. Lambo capped the ensuing drive with a 48-yard field goal to make it 14-3, with 10:19 remaining in the half. Wide receiver Christian Blake's 12-yard reception from quarterback Danny Ettling gave the Falcons a 21-3 lead with 6:37 remaining in the quarter. Lambo's 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half made it 21-6, Falcons.

*Falcons kicker Blair Walsh's 46-yard field goal with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter gave the Falcons a 24-6 lead.

*Brooks-James' 52-yard run with 2:11 remaining gave the Falcons a 31-6 lead and Jaguars reserve quarterback Alex McGough's 16-yard touchdown cut the lead to the final margin.

Injury report:Center/guard KC McDermott sustained a first-quarter ankle injury and did not return. … Offensive lineman Ben Ijalana sustained a first-quarter elbow injury and did not return. … Running back Devante Mays sustained an ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return.

Notable:Captains for the Jaguars Friday: Minshew, rookie linebacker Joe-Giles Harris and Lambo. … The 21 offensive players held out Thursday were quarterback Nick Foles; running backs Alfred Blue and Leonard Fournette; wide receivers Terrelle Pryor, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley and Keelan Cole; offensive guards A.J. Cann, Andrew Norwell and Will Richardson Jr.; right tackle Jawaan Taylor; left tackle Cam Robinson, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi; center Brandon Linder; center/guard Tyler Shatley; and tight ends James O'Shaughnessy, Josh Oliver, Ben Koyack and Geoff Swain. The 19 defensive players held out were: defensive ends Josh Allen, Yannick Ngakoue, Dawuane Smoot, Lerentee McCray and Calais Campbell; defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones; linebackers Myles Jack, Najee Goode, Quincy Williams, Jake Ryan and Davis Tull; cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, D.J. Hayden and Tre Herndon; and safeties Cody Davis, Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson.

What's next:The Jaguars will play host to the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field in the regular-season opener in Jacksonville Sunday, September 8, at 1 p.m.

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