NFL Pre-Season Week 3: Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-2)
Venue: Ralph Wilson Stadium – Orchard Park, N.Y.
Date/Time: Saturday, August 27 – 7 p.m. (Eastern)
TV: Blacked out locally (WBNG 12 in Binghamton will carry the game live), Online at NFL.com (must buy preseason package), replays on
Radio: WGRF 96.9 FM (Buffalo), WOKC 960 AM (Jacksonville)
Last time out: The Bills lost in Denver 24-10 last Saturday in a game that was even uglier than the score suggested. The Jaguars rebounded from a beatdown by the Patriots in the preseason opener with a 15-13 win over Atlanta.
Playing Time for Starters: Chan Gailey has indicated the starters will play at least through the first series of the third quarter. Don’t be surprised if that ends up stretching through most of the quarter.
Jacksonville’s starters should get a similar amount of time on the field.
What to watch for (Bills):
– Running back. Fred Jackson is upset at a perceived lack of respect from the Bills’ organization, and he’s very interested to see how he’ll be used tonight. If I’m the Bills, I’m giving Jackson the ball a ton tonight just to reassure him.
– Left tackle. Incumbent starter Demetrius Bell was awful in the Denver game, and needs a better performance tonight in order to save his job. Look for usual starting guard Andy Levitre to take some snaps out at tackle.
– The offensive guard situation. Andy Levitre has apparently locked down a starting role (unless he has to move to tackle, but Kraig Urbik has not looked great thus far at right guard. Chad Rinehart will likely get a look at that spot at some point tonight.
– Wide receiver. This group is a M.A.S.H. unit right now, as Roscoe Parrish, Donald Jones, and Naaman Roosevelt aren’t playing. This should open up a lot of time for guys battling for roster spots: Craig Davis, Felton Huggins, new acquistion Ruvell Martin, or maybe even undrafted rookie Kamar Aiken.
– Making their preseason debuts tonight (possibly) will be rookies LB Kelvin Sheppard (UPDATE: Sheppard will not play) and CB Justin Rogers. Sheppard’s on the team regardless, but Rogers really needs to show something if he hopes to stick.
– Outside linebacker. Chris Kelsay won’t play tonight, and neither will Shawne Merriman. So we’ll see how Danny Batten, Antonio Coleman, Jammie Kirlew, and Robert Eddins handle the extra work.
– Believe it or not, punter. This makes me very sad, but undrafted rookie Reid Forrest has a very real chance to unseat Brian Moorman as Buffalo’s punter. Keep an eye on any punts tonight.
– UPDATED: Not playing tonight due to injury: Kelsay, Jones, Roosevelt, Parrish, Merriman, Sheppard, LB Arthur Moats, TE Shawn Nelson, LB Chris White, RB Johnny White, OT Ed Wang, DL Kellen Heard, and TE David Martin.
Rogers, Davis, DE Marcell Dareus, and OT Chris Hairston will reportedly play.
What to Watch For (Jaguars):
– It’s been an ugly preseason for the Jaguars on offense so far, so look for the team to really go after some points tonight and treat this very much like a real contest.
– David Garrard is still officially the quarterback of this team, and head coach Jack Del Rio has named him starter for Week 1. But rookie Blaine Gabbert, the team’s first-round pick, will be looking to make an impression.
– Former Bill Paul Posluszny doesn’t have to wait long to make his return to Buffalo. The Jaguars’ new starting middle linebacker will be looking to “say hello” to his former teammates, no doubt.
– This game is not sold out and blacked out locally, so it’s going to be tough to watch it live if you’re in the Buffalo area. However, WKBW-Channel 7 in Buffalo will air the game on Sunday at 8 p.m., WTVH-Channel 5 in Syracuse will air the game on Sunday at 11 a.m., WHAM-Channel 13 in Rochester will air the game on Sunday at 7 p.m.
If we can find a way to watch, be sure to follow along with us tonight on Twitter (@BuffLowDown).