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Jan 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Houston won 30-6. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars

With the NFL recently releasing their preseason schedule, the Jacksonville Jaguars are going into a test for the regular season with full momentum.

After being put on injured reserve back in August of 2015, former Florida Gator and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. is back and will finally get some playing time this season.

Quarterback for the Jags Blake Bortles set single-season franchise records for yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns. Bortles says the team has tremendous potential and he can’t wait to see what the season will bring.

The Jags kick off the preseason with week one (Aug. 11-14) facing the New York Jets. Receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker combined for 189 catches for 2,529 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2015. With those numbers, this receiver duo leads the NFL. If the Jaguars are going to make a difference in defense for 2016, fans would notice it in this game. The Jags will look to free safety Tashaun Gipson and newly-signed cornerback Prince Amukamara to defend against the impressive Jets offense.

Next, the Jags will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week two (Aug. 18-21). The Bucs and Jags will hold some joint training camp sessions according to preliminary reports. These joint training camps will most likely happen in the days leading up to the game. Last season, the Bucs defeated the Jags 38-31 behind 123 yards and two touchdowns rushing by Doug Martin. Martin is back with the Bucs and will be joined by newly added guard J.R. Sweezy to make the Bucs running game stronger. In this match-up the Jags will look to their star free agent pick up Malik Jackson and see how the newly added defensive tackle can lead the rush defense.  Bortles says he is excited to what Jackson will bring to the team.

Week 3 of the preseason (Aug. 28) will be a true challenge for the Jaguars as they welcome the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals didn’t make it far in the post season losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-16 but this will be a test to see how Jacksonville sizes up against a playoff team. Cincinnati racked up 423 yards, including 191 rushing, in a 33-23 victory over the Jaguars in their last meeting back in 2014.

For the last week of the preseason (Sept. 1) the Jags will visit the Atlanta Falcons. The Jags have played the Falcons more than any other team in the preseason (11 times). This will be their sixth time meeting in the last seven years. What will make this game interesting is seeing the bubble players fighting for a spot on the final roster. There should be some interesting battles that might not be finalized until this game.

The 2016 regular season schedule is still pending for the Jags. The NFL regular season will kick off on Thursday, September 8.

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