Some news and notes from the Jaguars after they knocked off the Giants 32-31 in the preseason opener Friday night:
Comeback makes a statement: Don’t tell coach Mike Mularkey that Friday night’s win over the Giants was just a preseason opener. For him, the team making a comeback from a 17-point deficit was the perfect way to start his tenure in Jacksonville.
“Even at halftime, we said, ‘Hey, this is a good time right now trying to define ourselves as a football team -- nothing would be better than to come back and win this game,’’’ Mularkey told the team’s official website. “They did. I just think this will go a long way. Tonight, I saw a bunch of guys that believe in each other. They believe it is a 60-minute game like it says on the door when we walk out.”
There’s some validity in Mularkey’s comments, but nobody is proclaiming the Jaguars a playoff team yet. A few early turnovers by the starters and the second unit are what put the Jaguars in the hole to begin with. It was the players pretty far down the depth chart, such as third-string QB Jordan Palmer, who got the win. Still, there’s something to be said for the team pulling out a gutty victory after not always showing resolve in 2011.
First drive huge for QB Gabbert: QB Blaine Gabbert’s 5-of-10 performance was shaky at times, but credit the second-year QB for a huge opening drive with all eyes fixed on him.
“No one had more pressure, more on him than anyone in the entire stadium at that moment,” Mularkey told the team’s official website.
Gabbert marched the Jaguars down the field against the starters from the defending Super Bowl champions. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 62 yards and capped off the drive with a TD pass to WR Cecil Shorts.
Getting production from those two players was especially encouraging since they both dealt with serious injuries over the offseason.
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