Former West player Chris Smith has big game for Jaguars

Published 12:56 am Sunday, August 21, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars talk every day about starting fast.

In two preseason games, they’ve been able to experience it.

Blake Bortles threw two touchdowns passes in three drives and gave the Jaguars an early lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who rallied to win 27-21 in the preseason Saturday night.

Chris Smith, a former West Rowan High School and University of Arkansas standout, had four tackles in the game, one for loss. He also had two hits on the quarterback.

Second in the NFL last season with 35 TD passes, Bortles connected with T.J. Yeldon for a 14-yard score in the first quarter and then lofted a 24-yarder to Allen Hurns in the back of the end zone in the second.

Bortles completed 8 of 11 passes for 85 yards, with no sacks and few mistakes.

Jameis Winston had a slow start, misfiring on his first six passes, but rebounded against Jacksonville’s second-team defense and found Mike Evans on a fade route for a 4-yard score. Winston finished 3-of-10 passing for 28 yards, with an interception.

Tampa Bay (1-1) and Jacksonville (0-2) held two joint practices during the week, so they had plenty of in-person preparation before a mostly meaningless exhibition.


There were four penalties on coaches, including three in the first half. The Jaguars were flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct because of where coaches were on the field, although one of them was offset since Tampa Bay’s staff was called for the same thing. The Bucs were penalized 15 yards for it early in the second half.

“They called it — both ways,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said, laughing. “Yep.”



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck looked fit and flawless for the Colts on Saturday.

In his first start since early November, Luck completed all eight of his passes, led the Colts on two long drives and avoided taking any hits in a 19-18 loss to Baltimore.

Sure, it’s only preseason, but the Colts wanted to see which Luck would show up — the guy who went to Pro Bowls in each of his first three NFL seasons or the turnover-prone quarterback who couldn’t stay on the field in 2015.

Luck was eager to come back, too, after seeing the Hall of Fame game cancelled two weeks ago and being benched in soggy Buffalo last week.



LOS ANGELES (AP) — Todd Gurley rushed for a touchdown in his preseason debut, and the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 21-20 on Saturday night.

Gurley, who was held out of exhibition games last season as a rookie while recovering from a torn ACL, rushed for 20 yards on four carries and scored on a 3-yard run.

With the Chiefs (0-2) holding out four defensive starters, including safety Eric Berry and linebacker Josh Mauga, the starting offensive line played four series and allowed Rams running backs Gurley, Benny Cunningham and Malcolm Brown to rush for 85 yards on 15 carries.

Case Keenum started at quarterback and led the Rams (2-0) to two touchdowns, going 4 of 5 for 53 yards with an 11-yard scoring pass to Pharoh Cooper before giving way to rookie Jared Goff.

The No. 1 overall draft pick mostly struggled for the second consecutive week despite working with the first-unit offensive line for two series. Goff lost a fumble after tripping over left guard Cody Wichmann and fumbled out of bounds while being sacked.