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Game report: Jaguars 13, Falcons 7

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ATLANTA, Ga. – This was a night for the unfamiliar.


That's the NFL norm for Preseason Week 4, and that's how it was for the Jaguars against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason finale for both teams on Thursday.


A familiar name or two played in the Jaguars' 13-7 victory over the Falcon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but 34 Jaguars players sat out the game. That list included starting quarterback Blake Bortles and backup Chad Henne.


Mostly, Thursday was for players fighting for roster spots – and for a second consecutive year, it meant a major opportunity for Jaguars third-team quarterback Brandon Allen.


Allen, a sixth-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft, started and played the entire game Thursday, completing 22 of 31 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. Allen played the entire preseason finale against Atlanta as a rookie last season.


Jaguars rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook caught six passes for 115 yards Thursday, and his 43-yard touchdown reception from Allen was the only score of the first half.


Atlanta also rested most of its starters, with backup quarterback Matt Simms completing 11 of 15 passes for 195 yards and no  touchdowns with no interceptions.


The Jaguars outgained the Falcons 415-261 for the game.


 
Step by step:
*Allen's 43-yard touchdown pass to Westbrook came on the last play of a first quarter controlled by the Jaguars. An early Jaguars drive ended when Falcons cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted a fade pass from Allen to Westbrook in the corner of the end zone. Jacksonville outgained Atlanta 146-26 in the quarter.


*The first half ended with the Jaguars leading 7-0. While the Jaguars dominated the second quarter statistically, Allen was intercepted twice in the quarter – once by linebacker Jermaine Grace and once by safety Jarrod Neasman on a tipped pass just before halftime. The Jaguars finished the half outgaining the Falcons, 278-126.


*Jaguars kicker Jason Myers' 56-yard field goal midway through the third quarter gave the Jaguars a 10-0 lead, and his 36-yarder with :13 remaining in the quarter made it 13-0. They Jaguars led total yardage 374-148 after the period.


*Falcons tight end Darion Griswald recovered a fumble in the end zone early in the fourth quarter to make it 13-7, Jaguars. That capped a four-play, 75-yard drive.


*An interception by Jaguars safety Tracy Howard in the end zone ended a Falcons drive with 5:59 remaining. Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste set up the interception with a deflection.


Jaguars offensive players out Thursday:Bortles and Henne; wide receivers Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Arrelious Benn, Keelan Cole, Allen Hurns and Rashad Greene Sr.; tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Mychal Rivera; running backs T.J. Yeldon, Leonard Fournette, Corey Grant and Chris Ivory; center Brandon Linder; right tackle Jermey Parnell; left tackles Cam Robinson and Josh Wells; and fullback Marquez Williams.
Defensive players out:Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Doran Grant; free safety Tashaun Gipson; strong safety Barry Church;  linebackers Myles Jack, Telvin Smith and Josh McNary; middle linebacker Paul Posluszny; defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr., Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell and Dawuane Smoot;  nose tackle Abry Jones and defensive tackle Malik Jackson. …
Offensive starters for the Jaguars: Allen, running back Tim Cook, tight ends Ben Koyack and Alex Ellis, Westbrook and Shane Wynn and Omameh at left tackle, Earl Watford at left guard, Tyler Shatley at center, A.J. Cann at right guard and Jeremiah Poutasi at right tackle. …
Defensive starters for the Jaguars:Defensive ends Maliciah Goodman and Carroll Phillips; defensive tackles Sheldon Day and Stefan Charles; linebackers Lerentee McCray, Andrew Gachkar and Hayes Pullard III; safeties Jarrod Wilson and Peyton Thompson; and cornerbacks Tyler Patman and Brian Dixon.
Notable:Greene, Grant, Williams, McNary, Wells and Rivera missed because of injuries. … Notable Jaguars players playing: Cann, left guards Luke Bowanko and Omameh; Westbrook; and nickel corner Aaron Colvin. Bowanko and Omameh are battling for the starting left-guard position; Westbrook has been dealing with an injury; Colvin missed the first three preseason games while returning from injury. … Watford played for the first time this preseason, starting at left guard.
Injury report:Jaguars safety Jarrod Harper sustained a head injury early in first quarter and was carted from the field. He was being evaluated for a concussion late in the quarter. Jaguars safety Jeron Johnson sustained a fourth-quarter groin injury.
What's next: The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston Sunday, September 10, in the 2017 regular-season opener.
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