The Panthers beat the Jaguars 24-23, and the Eagles got the best of the Dolphins with a final score of 38-31. Here are all of the highlights.
Final score: Panthers 24, Jaguars 23
Panthers 24, Jaguars 23: Blake Bortles orchestrated a 10-play, 60-yard drive and got the Jaguars in the end zone. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
Panthers 24, Jaguars 17: Well, that didn’t last long. The two-point attempt was good this time, too.
Jaguars 17, Panthers 16: THIS IS NOT A DRILL. THE JAGUARS ARE CURRENTLY WINNING.
Panthers 16, Jaguars 10: A pick! Carolina’s Zack Sanchez looked like he might take it to the house, but the Panthers ended up using the field position to score again, anyway. The two-point attempt failed.
Panthers 10, Jaguars 10: A Jaguars field goal tied it all up just before the half.
Panthers 10, Jaguars 7: Chad Henne and the Jacksonville offense get another shot after a Stanley Jean-Baptiste interception gave the Jags the ball back.
Panthers 10, Jaguars 7: A Graham Gano field goal gave Carolina a three-point advantage.
Panthers 7, Jaguars 7: This is not a drill. The Jaguars ran a fake punt in the preseason. And it worked! It got Jacksonville a 51-yard gain. It set up a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Chris Ivory.
Panthers 7, Jaguars 0: Cam Newton hit Kelvin Benjamin for a touchdown early on.
Final score: Eagles 38, Dolphins 31
Eagles 38, Dolphins 31: Another pick! Linebacker Don Cherry returned this one to the Miami 5-yard line. The Eagles turned that into another touchdown.
Eagles 31, Dolphins 31: It’s a tie ballgame in Philadelphia after Jakeem Grant took a 69-yard Brandon Doughty pass into the end zone. Nice.
Eagles 31, Dolphins 24: And a Philly field goal early in the third quarter extended the Eagles’ lead again.
Eagles 28, Dolphins 24: Andrew Franks hit a 56-yard (!!!) field goal to narrow the gap just before the half.
Eagles 28, Dolphins 21: Lots of offense from both teams in he first half but it’s not much without some defense to balance it all out. Mychal Kendricks reminded the Dolphins just that when he nabbed a 31-yard interception for a touchdown.
We interrupt this preseason update with a squirrel on the field. So elusive!
Eagles 14, Dolphins 14: We’ve got a barnburner in Philly with Alshon Jeffery’s first touchdown as an Eagle.
Eagles 7, Dolphins 14: This was very nearly a BIG MAN TOUCHDOWN from 333-pound Jordan Phillips, but it was ruled a fumble and a touchback. It looked like he was down right around the 2-yard line, and it was overturned.
Eagles 7, Dolphins 7: A 72-yard bomb from Jay Cutler to DeVante Parker set up a Jay Ajayi run for a touchdown.
Eagles 7, Dolphins 0: Aside from taking a sack, Wentz is looking pretty sharp tonight.
Eagles 7, Dolphins 0: Philly’s already on the board after a 50-yard touchdown from Carson Wentz to Torrey Smith, who was wiiiiide open.
The preseason rolls on Thursday night with a pair of games between teams with plenty of questions to answer in 2017. The Miami Dolphins rallied from a 1-4 start last year to earn their first playoff berth since 2008, but did so against underwhelming competition. Their odds of repeating as a postseason squad fell after Ryan Tannehill was lost for the year after suffering an ACL injury in practice.
In his place is Jay Cutler, fresh off signing a contract with Fox to be the network’s newest color commentator. The former Broncos and Bears quarterback made his preseason debut last week, throwing only six passes in the process. Expect him to get a bit more of a workout against the Eagles.
Philadelphia is so confident in its revamped passing attack that it traded away 2016’s leading receiver just one game into the preseason. Jordan Matthews was shipped north to Buffalo in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby, strengthening the team’s secondary but putting pressure on new wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith — as well as potentially resurgent third-year player Nelson Agholor — in the process.
Thursday’s second game will pit one of the league’s most stable quarterback depth charts against a budding passer controversy. Blake Bortles had the opportunity to make his case as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback in a nationally televised game last week. Instead, he fired the ball at the feet of open receivers and perpetually appeared in danger of throwing a pick-six.
He’s in danger of having his spot in the lineup permanently usurped by Chad Henne, who gets the start Thursday night. But Jacksonville’s best option may be to look into a total replacement behind center.
The Panthers don’t have such problems. Cam Newton proved he’s one of the league’s elite players after winning the 2015 MVP award. The question is whether a slipshod offensive line can keep him upright long enough to make a difference in 2017. A battered Newton struggled against constant pressure last fall as Carolina fell to a 6-9-1 record.
Newton is coming off offseason shoulder surgery and is expected to make his preseason debut.
Like Newton, Curtis Samuel should also see his first preseason action Thursday. The Panthers drafted Samuel and Christian McCaffrey this spring to give a flagging offense an extra gear. They’ll get the chance to prove they belong when they take on the Jaguars.
Thursday night schedule
Dolphins at Eagles, 7 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
Panthers at Jaguars, 7:30 p.m. ET
LeGarrette Blount is only nine carries into his Eagles career, but he’s already generating his share of hot takes.
The Panthers lost their last preseason game, but that didn’t make them losers.
The Dolphins signed Rey Maualuga last week, which would have been a way better move in 2011.