Jackson, Baltimore defense strong in shutout of Jaguars
BALTIMORE (AP) — Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives in three possessions and the Baltimore Ravens’ defense throttled Jacksonville Jaguars backup quarterback Gardner Minshew in a 29-0 preseason victory Thursday night.
The Jaguars played without quarterback Nick Foles, the 2018 Super Bowl MVP who was signed as a free agent in March. Foles was one of 32 players who were either injured or rested by coach Doug Marrone in the preseason opener, which came after the teams held two joint practices earlier in the week.
Preparing for his second NFL season, Jackson played the first quarter and went 4 for 6 for 59 yards and a touchdown. Looking to pass rather than flash the speed that enabled him to rush for 695 yards last year, Jackson completed a 30-yarder to Chris Moore on his first throw of the night to set up a 52-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.
Jackson’s second crack at the ball resulted in a four-and-out, but not long after that he capped his brief night of work with a 6-yard TD pass to Willie Snead for a 10-0 lead.
“It was a good first three series,” Snead said. “We got a lot of things done.”
With Foles on the sideline, Minshew, drafted in the sixth round out of Washington State, proved to be fodder for a defense that last year was ranked No. 1. Minshew lost his helmet when struck on a first-quarter foray out of the pocket, and in the second quarter he got hit a whole lot harder after mishandling a snap. Minshew quickly picked up the ball, just an instant before Kenny Young swooped in untouched and applied a crushing tackle that separated the quarterback from his helmet — again.
Minshew was mercifully lifted after going 7 for 14 for 46 yards. Tanner Lee started the third quarter and was immediately sacked twice before throwing an interception that Cyrus Jones returned 19 yards for a touchdown for a 26-0 lead.
Jacksonville’s only entry into the end zone, on an early kickoff return by Keelan Cole, was wiped out by a penalty.
Former Penn State quarterback and sixth-round draft pick Trace McSorley made his NFL debut for Baltimore, completing 9 of 22 passes for 85 yards and an interception.
The Ravens haven’t lost a preseason game since 2015, winning 14 straight.