Maurice Jones-Drew: Back in Business

JACKSONVILLE FL - NOVEMBER 21: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars breaks out for a big run that would lead to the winning touchdown during a game agaisnt the Cleveland Browns at EverBank Field on November 21 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

A lot of people asked what was wrong with MJD early in the season when his production wasn't nearly at the level we had come to expect from the Jaguars undisputed superstar. About the same amount of people said nothing was wrong. Whichever side you were on, the stats were clearly not there much to the lament of Jaguar fans and fantasy football owners. But those days look like they could be over as Jones-Drew will enter a week 12 matchup against the Giants with a streak of 3 consecutive 100+ rushing yard performances.

Att Yds Y/A TD Yds/Game Rec Yds TD Yds/Game
First 7 games 135 510 3.77 1 72.8 17 140 2 20
Last 3 games 75 367 4.89 3 122.3 7 123 0 41

 

In my opinion, MJD has two people to thank for the midseason turn around.

First, he should thank the Jaguars medical staff for fixing up that ankle over the bye week. For the first time all season, he looks like his usual explosive self with home run potential to compliment his between-the-tackles grit. It was clear to anyone who has watched Jones-Drew the last few years that he wasn't 100% healthy despite what he said and that he was a shell of his former self. I, for one, doubt that the 75 yard screen pass that all but won the game over the Browns would have happened had his ankle been in the same shape it was just a month or two earlier in the season.

Second, he should thank his starting quarterback David Garrard. While Garrard didn't play particularly well against the Browns, his performances in the few weeks prior were nothing short of spectacular. For the first time since 2007, the Jaguars appeared to be building a strong pass game to compliment the perennially strong run game. As such, defenses were forced to take the 8th and 9th players out of the box and put them into coverage. In the recent past, Maurice Jones-Drew was the only threat for the Jaguars offensively and defenses had begun to adjust the gameplan accordingly. If Garrard can continue to play at a level that demands the respect of opposing defenses, expect to see MJD's strong statistics to continue.

I for one hope we get to watch more of this as the season goes on.

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