Week 2 of the NFL Preseason continues tonight and the excitement and anticipation is building. No, not really. I think after a week of preseason football everyone is ready for the regular season to begin. I personally think there should be three preseason games, with the second being the dress rehearsal. The fourth game is a throwaway game. People want to say that coaches are still evaluating, but come on, by that point the roster is already solidified unless something drastic happens. In our second edition of the preseason slate, we begin in Jacksonville where the Buccaneers and Jaguars will take the field.
The only thing that would entice me to go to this game would be tickets that give access to the pool. Other than that, I think I’m going to pass. One of the most glaring moments of Week 1 in the preseason that stood out to me was Roberto Aguayo butchering the field. He was quickly cut and the Bears picked him up to see if a change of scenery will make a difference. Aguayo cost us our bet last week, but like I said, his awful performance will probably end up costing him more money than it did us. We’ll see how he does with the Bears, but he must get his head together if he wants to be a kicker in the NFL.
Nick Folk won the kicking job before the second week of the preseason, so good on him. Jameis Winston got out of Week 1 of the preseason without an injury so in that sense it was a success. He also led the Bucs to a long drive, coming up with a chip shot field goal that Aguayo couldn’t even miss if he tried. Winston connected on 9-for-13 passing in the limited action he had on the field. It’s expected that starters stay out for a little while longer in Week 2 of the preseason. It is not easy getting an accurate game plan of what coaches are going to do in games, but it’s safe to say that most starters will get around a quarter of action.
The Jags looked like they were a bit more motivated than the Patriots last week. The Pats stepped on the field for the first time since beating the Falcons in a come from behind effort that will go down as one for the ages. Needless to say, no one cares about the preseason in Foxboro. Tom Brady suited up but didn’t see a snap.
On the other side, Blake Bortles is in the process of solidifying his tag as a bust. The guy threw not 1, 2, 3, or 4 interceptions in training camp earlier, but an astonishing 5 back at the start of camp. He was given the weekend off because of what was reported as Bortles having a tired arm. Okay then? The Jags are on the look out for a new quarterback after this season, no doubt about it. Chad Henne should see lots of action today against the Bucs. For our free NFL Preseason pick head below.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Betting Odds:
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Buccaneers vs. Jaguars Pick:
The Buccaneers didn’t have too much of a problem moving the ball last week, their problem was finishing drives. Winston, Fitzpatrick, and Griffin all had their moments. The only one who was really flawless was Jameis, though. Fitzpatrick threw an interception which provided some speculation that Griffin is creeping up on the backup job. I can’t disagree there, but Griffin is out weeks with a shoulder injury. It’s a win for Fitzpatrick who probably won’t have to worry about fending him off now. Expect to see a lot of him on Thursday. I don’t think he has to prove himself after being in the league this long. But what I think he must show is that he still has some motivation to suit up.
The Jaguars will be looking closely at Bortles, too. He still has the regular season to figure things out, but it would be nice for him to give the fans some hope. Henne has starting experience and has shown the ability to control an offense. Nothing flashy, but when Henne has been counted on to fill-in he’s done a reasonably competent job. I really do like the starting experience in this game, from starters to backups. Rookie Sefo Liufau moved the ball effectively for the Bucks late, connecting on 4-for-5 passing. He is the only guy the hasn’t seen regular season action in the NFL in this game.
The only thing that catches my eye this evening in the NFL is this total. I really like the quarterback rotation we’re getting on both sides of the ball. Bortles is not a good starter and I have a hard time differentiating him from Blaine Gabbert. I think their careers are going to end up on the same page. However, Bortles has something to prove, so he should be looking at the preseason as an opportunity to feast off vanilla defenses and defenders who are just trying to stay healthy.
There is some motivation for him to put together some type of respectable preseason. Henne went 5-for-6 last week, with a touchdown and 139 yards against the Patriots. I expect him to clean up against backups. Brandon Allen has also looked good this camp, and hit a touchdown last week, too. I like the OVER in this preseason matchup on Thursday.
PICK: OVER 40.5 (-110)