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O-Zone Late Night: Saints 24, Jaguars 20

JACKSONVILLE – Preseason Week 1 Ozone Late Night.

Let’s get to it …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I’m making a projection here, but I think I am looking at the best team in the league. If Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles can sit back and sling it around like this and have a plethora of receivers making catches, I don't see anyone stopping them. Not with this defense. I think possibly the Vikings, Eagles and Patriots could compete and very few others. This is a very nice squad. I feel confident in saying I will be watching them here in February.

The early part of Thursday’s 2018 preseason opener was cool for Jaguars fans. Many of them liked it. And why not? If Thursday was defined by anything, it was the efficient play of not only the Jaguars’ first-team offense, but of the reserves who replaced the starters and played throughout most of the second and third quarters. Bortles and the starters were as efficient as possible on a 79-yard game-opening touchdown drive. Backup quarterback Cody Kessler, after a solid week of practice, led scoring drives on three of his first four possessions. There wasn’t a whole lot spectacular, but there was a lot of production. Considering the expected strength of the defense, that means this team looks very good right now. That doesn’t make it automatically the league’s best. But it makes it dangerous. Bottom line: if you were making a list of things you wanted to see from this game from the Jaguars, impressive performances from Bortles and Kessler would have been near the top of the list. Good start.

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

At first, I thought, “Man, he hardly pushed him for unnecessary roughness.” Then my wife corrected me and said it was a significant push. To which I replied, “Yeah, he brought D Payne on that one…” Making yourself laugh is cool.

Don’t I know it. If I was as funny as I think I am, I would be successful(er).

Wade from Westside

I am looking forward to seeing more D.J. Chark Jr. and Dede Westbrook this season. Blake was awesome, and I was impressed with Leon Jacobs. I do believe! I do believe!

Chark and Westbrook did look good Thursday, which is right in line with how the two wide receivers have looked the first two and a half weeks of 2018 Training Camp. A lot of things the Jaguars had been doing well in training camp appeared to translate to the preseason opener. That’s what NFL insiders refer to as “a good thing.”

Travis from High Springs, FL

Watching the game tonight got me thinking about something other than football. What do the starters do on a night like this when they're done playing? Are they required to hang out on the sidelines with the rest of the team, or do they watch film inside the building, or do they just take showers and go home?

They watch the game from the sidelines.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Cody Kessler looks like a young Drew Brees the way he moves and his ball flight. Nice job on picking him up they stole him. Go Jaguars!

Eeeeeeee-ay there, big fella.

Not Jerell from Funk-E-Town

I know it's nine hours before game time, but it's all-important to get the first comment in. So, here goes: If we win, we are going 19-0 this year and it's because the defense is covering for the offense; and if we lose, we are going 0-16 and it's because of the coaching, boring preseason play-calling – and because we haven't cut Justin Blackmon yet. For gosh sakes, didn't the players know this game was a MUST-WIN!

This wasn’t the all-important first email of the first preseason game, but it was the first email to anticipate the first preseason game nine hours before the first preseason game. It was impressive. Pretty dead on.

Clayton from Gambier, OH

I honestly expected the offense to drive down and score a touchdown right from the get-go. Didn't you?

Sure.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

It feels like the Jaguars have dominated every aspect of this game, but it's Preseason Week One. What does it mean?

It means they looked good and prepared in a game that won’t count in the standings. That’s better than looking bad and unprepared in a game that won’t count in the standings. It means there’s a lot of reason for optimism. None of it means anything unless the Jaguars build from here, but there’s no indication the Jaguars won’t build from here.

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