JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars failed to get off to a fast start during the team's 24-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field Thursday.
The Jaguars' offense went 1-of-7 on third down in the first half, as quarterback Chad Henne struggled to find consistency against the Panthers' defense in his first start of the preseason.
Henne started the game by leading the Jaguars' offense on a three-and-out. He needed a fake punt run of 51 yards by running back Corey Grant to stay on the field on the offense's second series. The special teams trick play led to points, as the Jaguars were able to score a touchdown on a one-yard run from running back Chris Ivory.
Henne was limited to mostly short passes, but a 37-yard completion to wide receiver Allen Robinson on the Jaguars' last drive of the second quarter put the team in position to add three points before halftime.
Henne completed 8-of-14 passes for 73 passing yards against the Panthers. He led two scoring drives and was sacked three times in the first half.
Henne was replaced by quarterback Blake Bortles on the first offensive possession of the third quarter.
Bortles also led a three-and-out on his opening drive. On the following series, the Jaguars ran the ball seven-straight times after Bortles completed a six-yard pass to tight end Alex Ellis. The Jaguars ran the ball on third-and-17 with Grant for a gain of four yards, which led to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Bortles' third series ended with a turnover. The quarterback threw to wide receiver Allen Hurns, who dropped the ball into the hands of cornerback Zack Sanchez.
The Panthers cornerback returned the ball 48 yards the other way to the Jaguars' three-yard line. The turnover led to a two-yard touchdown run by Panthers running back Cameron Artis-Payne.
Following the Panthers' third scoring drive of the game, Bortles led the Jaguars' offense on a scoring drive of its own. A nine-play, 65-yard drive ended with a four-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to wide receiver Shane Wynn.
Bortles completed 12-of-16 passes for 125 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was replaced by third-string quarterback Brandon Allen with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter.
Bortles' top weapon was Wynn, who caught three receptions for 32 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. Grant led the team with 58 rushing yards on 10 carries.
On defense, the Jaguars' struggled mightily against the run in the first half. The Panthers' run game anchored a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive, which ended with quarterback Cam Newton hitting wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for a nine-yard touchdown completion.
The Panthers ran for 72 rushing yards in the first two quarters against the Jaguars. Carolina finished the game with 120 rushing yards.
The Jaguars lucked out when Newton was pulled from the game after the opening scoring drive. Newton completed both of his throws on the night for 21 passing yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Derek Anderson took his place and completed 10-of-19 passes for 66 passing yards and an interception.
The Jaguars pass rush failed to get to the Panthers' quarterbacks in the first half. Jacksonville's lone defensive highlight came on an interception by cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the second quarter. Jean-Baptiste left his assignment, wide receiver Devin Funchess, to pick off Anderson's pass intended for tight end Ed Dickson.
The interception led to points, as Myers was able to convert a 44-yard field goal attempt on the following offensive possession. Myers, who was facing a make-or-break game, converted all three of his attempts on the night.
The Jaguars committed seven penalties for 56 yards against the Panthers. Five of the penalties were called on the Jaguars' offensive line, which also allowed three sacks on the night. Jacksonville's starting offensive line played until there was 1:03 left in the fourth quarter.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Wide receiver Shane Wynn caught three receptions for 32 receiving yards and a touchdown. Wynn is competing with several others for the Jaguars' sixth wide receiver spot. He also had a 48-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.
STAT(S) OF THE GAME
Chad Henne completed 8-of-14 passes for 73 passing yards.
Blake Bortles completed 12-of-16 passes for 125 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The Jaguars' quarterback competition still has some intrigue.
PLAY OF THE GAME
On the Jaguars' second offensive series, Jacksonville went with a fake punt on fourth down. The ball was snapped to running back Corey Grant, who used his speed to take the ball upfield for a 51-yard gain. The huge pickup led to the Jaguars' first touchdown of the game.
The Jaguars ruled out running backs Leonard Fournette (foot) and T.J. Yeldon (hamstring), cornerback A.J. Bouye (undisclosed), tight end Mychal Rivera (undisclosed) and wide receiver Marqise Lee (ankle) on Monday due to various injuries.
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett (undisclosed), defensive end Dante Fowler (lower body), wide receiver Rashad Greene (back) and cornerback Aaron Colvin (ankle) were also held out of the game.
Cornerback Doran Grant was evaluated for a concussion in the fourth quarter but was quickly cleared. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook suffered from soreness during pregame warmups and did not play.
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