Jaguars defense is struggling to stop opening drives

The Jaguars defense has bounced back in 2011 following several years of severe struggles. They are now the league's 8th ranked unit and has given up 13 touchdowns on 71 of their opponents' drives. The average drive against the 2011 Jaguars defense goes for 27.5 yards.

Yet, the Jaguars have struggled to stop teams on their opening possession. In four of their six games so far this season, they have allowed a long, 60+ yard drive that resulted in touchdown on their opponents' first time on offense. That's over 30% of the touchdowns allowed by the defense coming on opening possessions that make up less than 9% of the opposing drives. Here are the opening drives against the Jaguars defense so far this season:

Week Team Plays Yards Result
1 Titans 3 1 PUNT
2 Jets 6 65 TOUCHDOWN
3 Panthers 11 39 PUNT
4 Saints 9 62 TOUCHDOWN
5 Bengals 12 69 TOUCHDOWN
6 Steelers 10 87 TOUCHDOWN

 

Against the Jets and the Bengals, the yards and points given up in the opening drive were essentially the only thing the offense was able to do all game. The Bengals were only able to tally 170 yards on their next 12 possessions, yet accumulated 69 on their first.

The problem is one that Jack Del Rio was asked about during his media availability on Monday, but had no answer for, saying:

"Believe me, if we had the answer to that and we could avoid having any kind of downturn, we'd be all over it. I promise you."

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