JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When undrafted receiver Kevin Elliott arrived in Jacksonville, he had as much confidence as a seasoned veteran.
It raised eyebrows then.
It seems justified now.
Elliott had a 77-yard touchdown reception, likely solidifying his spot on the regular-season roster, and the Jaguars beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-14 in their preseason finale Thursday night.
The teams took vastly different approaches to the game. The Jaguars played their offensive starters into the second quarter; the Falcons played just two regulars: linebacker Akeem Dent and defensive tackle Peria Jerry.
The results hardly showed that.
Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert fumbled on the opening play. Trying to pitch to Rashad Jennings, Gabbert's toss hit fullback Greg Jones in the backside. The Falcons recovered, and Jacquizz Rodgers scored on the next play. Gabbert and his fellow starters stayed in for 25 plays, but failed to score.
Backups Jalen Parmele and Elliott picked up the slack for Jacksonville.
Parmele ran six times for 56 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown to tie the game in the second quarter. Elliott caught two passes for 85 yards, including a nifty catch and run in which he broke two tackles before finding the end zone. He also continued to shine on special teams, breaking double teams and making tackles all over the field.
He left little doubt about his position heading into Friday's final cuts. He likely will be on the 53-man roster, lining up at receiver alongside Laurent Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts. Brian Robiskie also is in the mix.
Elliott caught a slant pass from Chad Henne, slipped between Peyton Thompson and Charles Mitchell and then shook off Robert McClain before gliding in for a score.
Henne completed 4 of 6 passes for 106 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The pick came when running back Keith Toston tipped a pass over the middle that landed in Dominique Franks' hands. The play did little to help Toston land a roster spot.
Parmele's performance didn't help Toston, either.
Parmele averaged more than 9 yards a carry. The Jaguars are looking for a third-string back, someone to fill in while Maurice Jones-Drew continues his holdout. Jennings is the starter, and Montell Owens is the backup. Parmele and Toston have been vying for the final spot.
Toston finished with 71 yards on 13 carries. Jennings carried 11 times for 34 yards before heading to the bench for good. Owens did not play after developing stiffness in a knee earlier this week.
Gabbert completed 7 of 12 passes for 64 yards. Four of his five misses were poorly thrown balls, including a slightly overthrown deep pass to Robinson.
Robinson caught one pass for 11 yards, giving him two receptions in the preseason. Blackmon had two receptions for 16 yards.
Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Atlanta's other stars stayed on the sideline.
Backup quarterback Dominique Davis completed 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He hooked up with Kevin Cone for a 49-yard scored that tied the game at 14 in the third period.
It was all Jacksonville the rest of the way.