Quarterback David Garrard did little to solidify his starting spot and rookie Blaine Gabbert was equally unimpressive Friday night for the Jacksonville Jaguars as Jacksonville narrowly the Atlanta Falcons 15-13.
Garrard completed 7 of 12 passes for 99 yards, with an interception in three series. Gabbert, the 10th pick in the April draft, completed 11 of 23 passes for 96 yards in seven series. Gabbert was plagued by several drops, including three on one second-half series that forced the Jaguars to settle for a 54-yard field goal.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan’s receiving corps had similar issues, but Harry Douglas turned a short crossing route into a 76-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Ryan finished 7 of 15 for 116 yards.
Ryan, who led the Falcons to a field goal on the team’s opening drive, played the entire first half as Atlanta built a 10-3 lead. Michael Turner ran seven times for 14 yards, and Roddy White had a 13-yard reception. Douglas caught two passes for 87 yards.
The touchdown catch by Douglas is another reminder that Atlanta's offense will be more open than it's been in previous seasons, making Matt Ryan one of the more desirable quarterbacks to get after all of the studs are off the board. It would probably be better for Jacksonville's offense if Garrard starts on opening day.