After Sunday's lose to the Giants, most every fan agreed that out of the many mistakes that were made in the second half that not running the ball more was one of the biggest mistakes. Entering half time the Jaguars had rushed for 145 yards on 20 carries already and looked like they could run at will. On most weeks this would seem like a solid first half, except this week it was exceptional. The Giants were a Top 5 defense, even higher against the run. Maurice Jones-Drew was questionable and was suffering an abdominal injury. MJD, with help from Rashad Jennings, carried the Jaguars on his shoulders again Sunday but for some reason the Jaguars didn't put the ball in his hands when they needed to in the second half.
To start the second half the Jaguars threw the ball 6 times and only ran it twice on their first 2 drives, result was 1 INT and on the second drive the Jaguars didn't even make it to Giant territory. On the third drive they started to get back to the run, running on the first 4 plays and even moving the ball all the way to the Giant 38-yard line. A sack and fumble by Garrard would force the Jaguars to punt but this drive showed that the MJD needed the ball in his hands, he was willing the Jaguars down the field. Next drive, same game plan....result was a FG and the Jaguars took back the lead. The final 2 drives were once again pass heavy, the last one obviously due to being behind. The Jaguars simply got away from their game plan to start the half. If the Jaguars had simply given the rock to MJD to start the second half the Jaguars would be looking at 7 - 4 right now.
MJD has literally been carrying the team the last 4 weeks. Garrard has played decent, but MJD has consistently been great. He has 4 straight games of over 100 yards rushing and seems to be on a hot streak. The clincher is that he is doing this all why he has been hit by a string of nagging injuries from his ankle to his abdomen. He truly is Hercules, he has put out this great performances no matter what the caliber of the defense has been and all while injured. Now look at the caliber of run defenses the Jaguars face for the rest of the season:
Titans: 17th, Oakland: 29th, Indianapolis: 30th, Washington: 27th, Houston: 9th
With the exception of Houston (which is misleading because they got a huge boost from shutting down Chris Johnson) all of the Jaguar's remaining opponents have terrible or mediocre run defenses. Now with Maurice Jones-Drew on an amazing hot streak and seemingly being able to move the football at will against the Giants, what is he going to be capable of doing against these teams! If I was Dirk Koetter I should be putting the ball into MJD's hands early and often. Am I saying stop throwing the ball completely, of course not. Simply use the first half of the Giants as a guide. Maurice Jones-Drew has simply been on a mission the last four games and I say we give him the ball and just let him continue to be Hercules.
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