ATLANTA -- For all the fuss in Jacksonville about whether Blake Bortles will be the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback, a new question might have emerged in the preseason finale, as young signal-caller Brandon Allen played well -- again -- in a 13-7 win over the Falcons.
So who’ll going to be the backup, and should the second-year pro from Arkansas be given a shot at that spot?
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone opened up the quarterback competition a couple weeks ago and gave Chad Henne a preseason start, only to say a couple days later that Bortles will start the regular-season opener.
Allen might have given Marrone and the Jacksonville brass reason to deliberate on the backup position.
He took every snap Thursday. While Allen threw three interceptions, he completed 22-of-31 passes for 265 yards and put up more impressive numbers this preseason than Bortles and Henne.
The downside, for sure, was that all three of Allen’s interceptions came in the red zone, two coming in the end zone on tipped balls.
"Brandon I thought did a nice job outside of those throws," Marrone said. "I don't think to be a good football team you can do that."
Allen finished the preseason completing 38 of 58 passes (65.5 percent) for 416 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions while taking one sack, which came Thursday. He also rushed 11 times for 58 yards in four games.
Bortles completed 23 of 34 passes for 206 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Henne completed 19-of-30 passes for 256 yards and a score.
Allen's 43-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline Thursday night to rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook was perfectly thrown, and he ran the Jacksonville offense efficiently. The Jaguars piled up 415 yards of total offense and earned 25 first downs.
If Allen had practiced better this summer, he might be in better position to play meaningful minutes in the regular season.
"He's been a player now that has played well in games and not practiced as well as he's played, consistently," Marrone told reporters Tuesday. "I think when he gets in there, again, you're looking to see can he keep doing the same thing? Can he make plays? Can he throw the ball? Can he stay in there? Can he take the punishment? Can he take the hits?"