Off their win in Minnesota last Saturday, the Jaguars return home to take on the Falcons Saturday night.
Here are the story lines that we are watching:
Returns of Fowler and Ramsey
After being suspended a week for their behavior after a post practice altercation almost two weeks ago, defensive end Dante Fowler and cornerback Jalen Ramsey that caused them to miss the Vikings game, they are back with the team.
Fowler specifically is on thin ice, and needs to put the off field stuff behind him. This is especially because, he will be suspended by the NFL for the regular season opener at the Giants. The former Gator and first round pick, Fowler is expected to see some playing time throughout the first three quarters. Because of a shoulder injury, he’s not played a snap in the preseason.
Meanwhile, Ramsey is also back, but may not have to see as much action in this one. He did play briefly in the Saints game two weeks ago. We’ll see how much defensive coordinator Todd Wash wants him out there against the Falcons passing attack.
Top Guard Andrew Norwell expected to debut
The Jags prized free agent, Norwell (above), who signed the most lucrative deal for a guard in NFL history, has been slowed by a calf injury, and held out of the first two preseason games.
He expected to see the field Saturday night. And the Jaguars and their fans want to see him paired with second year left tackle Cam Robinson on the left side of the line. Norwell’s specialty is run blocking and for Leonard Fournette, T.J.Yeldon and company, they are counting on some holes to be opened not just in this game, but obviously, once it all begins for real in September.
The test from Matt Ryan and the Falcons
Traditonally, Atlanta has been explosive. Although without offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in 2017, they struggled to be their usual high flying selves. Yet, Ryan led them, again to a Wildcard berth and even, a playoff win at the Rams.
The Falcons boast one of the top receiving weapons in all of the NFL in Julio Jones. And while Jones was disgruntled and held out briefly this off season, Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff got him some more guaranteed money for 2018 and smoothed it over for now.
Will Ramsey match head to head with Jones? That will be very intriguing to see.
Also, Atlanta has a one-two backfield of DeVonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman that should see some extensive time.
Jacksonville’s top notch defense wants a good test before the opener and they should get it.
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