The St. Louis Rams visited the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday for the teams’ final preseason game of the year.
The Rams came into the game on a roll at 3-0, hoping to end the preseason undefeated.
The Jaguars, on the other hand, entered the game at 1-2, still with several questions at the quarterback position and apparent holes in the offensive line.
The Rams ultimately defeated the Jaguars, 24-17. Though the score appeared to be close, the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
With the victory, the Rams improved to 4-0 while the Jaguars fell to 1-3.
With the season beginning next week, the Rams appear to be a team on the rise and a real playoff contender in the division. The Jaguars may contend for the playoffs as well, but if they do, they will have to fill some holes.
The Rams looked sharp on offense and defense, and second-year quarterback Sam Bradford looked confident and ready to lead his team in the upcoming regular season.
In limited action, Bradford completed 7 of 11 passes for 133 yards and had one touchdown pass. He looked confident in the pocket, but he also appeared to be at ease when the Jacksonville defense applied pressure.
On the other side of the ball, starting quarterback David Garrand was running for his life most of the night, as the Jaguars’ offensive line looked porous.
In his limited action, he completed 1 of 5 passes for 11 yards. At one point on the sideline, it appeared he was encouraging his offensive line to keep defenders off of him.
Veteran Luke McCown relieved Garrand and looked better than the starter, completing 4 of 9 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, saw most of the action Thursday night, going 9 for 18 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and no picks.
There were two bright spots for the Jaguars. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was on the field for 10 plays and rushed five times for 14 yards. Also, the Jaguars appeared to have no injuries during the 60 minutes of play.
Rams running back Steven Jackson, who also saw limited action, looked like he was ready for the regular season to begin, getting a big 27-yard reception during the Rams’ first offensive possession.
In other Jaguars news, former running back Fred Taylor announced his plans to retire. On Friday, he will sign a one-day contract with Jacksonville so he can retire as a Jaguar.
Taylor played 13 seasons in the NFL, 11 with the Jaguars. He leaves the game as Jacksonville’s leading career rusher with 11,271 yards.
For more photos from the game, go to www.coastalcourier.com.