Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Recap: Clayton Thorson takes over for injured Cody Kessler and leads Eagles to 24-10 win

It was not a surprise that the reps at quarterback were split between Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson. The surprise came on Thursday night when Kessler was knocked out of the game on the opening series with a concussion, paving the way for Thorson to play the rest of the game. Thorson was up to the challenge, completing 16 of 26 pass attempts for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception as the Eagles beat the Jaguars, 24-10.

Here's how the game unfolded:

1. On the opening drive of Thursday's game, Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones came in unblocked and hit Kessler, who went to the medical tent and eventually to the locker room to be evaluated for a head injury. Kessler is in the concussion protocol. Thorson, the fifth-round pick of the Eagles in the spring, came into the game.

Kessler had the Eagles on the move, netting three first downs, before the injury.

With Carson Wentz getting the night off, Kessler and Thorson were the only two healthy quarterbacks available against Jacksonville.

2. Wide receiver Greg Ward, a former quarterback in college, came up with the first touchdown of the night on a fourth-and-4 from the Jacksonville 38-yard line with 14:05 remaining in the first half. Miles Sanders did a great job in pass protection, giving Thorson the extra moment he needed to loft the ball down the left side to Ward, who caught the ball over safety C.J. Reavis at the 17-yard line and ran the ball in for the score.

The touchdown capped off an impressive 12-play, 95-yard drive by Thorson.

3. The second touchdown came from Josh Adams on a 1-yard run with 5:30 remaining in the third quarter to make it 14-3. It was a 12-play, 85-yard drive that featured not one, but two successful challenges by head coach Doug Pederson.

And the second challenge was to invoke defensive pass interference on the Jaguars. Thorson threw incomplete into the end zone for wide receiver Carlton Agudosi. However, Jaguars defensive back Josh Robinson clearly had a fistful of jersey and used it to launch over Agudosi. With the ball placed at the 1-yard line, Adams punched it in. Adams also had a 19-yard catch-and-run on third-and-6 earlier in the drive.

4. Sanders and Jordan Howard were the only starters on offense who played, but the new backs showed why fans should be optimistic about the run game this season. Sanders had 31 yards on five carries, including a 16-yard run to open the Ward touchdown drive. Howard converted a third-and-1 with a 3-yard run on that same possession.

5. While the starters on offense had the night off, the first-team defense played two series. Malcolm Jenkins had two tackles and was very active at the line of scrimmage. He also provided pressure to force a Gardner Minshew incomplete pass. Linebacker Zach Brown filled the hole nicely on an Alfred Blue run that resulted in a two-yard loss.

6. The second-team defense provided plenty of pass rush. Daeshon Hall had a pair of sacks, including a strip-sack that was recovered by linebacker Nathan Gerry early in the second quarter. Just as impressive is that Hall had one sack from the left side and another rushing from the right. Shareef Miller's sack of Minshew later in the quarter on a third-and-9 forced a punt.

7. A Jacksonville touchdown pass from Minshew to wide receiver Tre McBride was wiped out on a block in the back penalty by tight end Ben Koyack in the second quarter.

8. The Jaguars finally got on the board with a Josh Lambo 36-yard field goal with five seconds left in the half.

9. Another preseason game. Another long Jake Elliott field goal. His 52-yard field goal extended the Eagles' lead to 17-3 with 14:56 left in the game.

10. The Jaguars made it interesting when Thorson's pass intended for wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins was intercepted with 10:19 left in the game. Thompkins never secured the screen pass and cornerback Picasso Nelson stole the ball at the Eagles' 7-yard line. Jacksonville converted the turnover on fourth-and-goal as quarterback Alex McGough scrambled 4 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-10 with 9:03 remaining.

11. The Eagles answered back with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a 1-yard Boston Scott touchdown run with 4:55 remaining in the game. Scott had a 20-yard run to kick off the drive that tacked on another 15 yards with a horse collar tackle. Donnel Pumphrey had an 11-yard run that shook cornerback Saivion Smith on the possession.

Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 of the preseason.

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