This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel, a new NFL Network channel. Want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations? Then you need Comcast's NFL RedZone.
The Jaguars: This group has the makings of a team that can be great in the red-zone.
According to Pat Kirwin of NFL.com, here's what it takes to succeed in the most important area of the football field.
With four weeks of the 2009 season in the books, there is enough information to take a look at red-zone production. Also, a number of coaches have explained what it takes to be an effective red-zone team.
Here are the things most mentioned as components to being a successful red-zone team (in no particular order):
1. A mobile quarterback -- The threat to also run the ball in for a score can break down a red-zone defense.
2. An athletic tight end -- Teams need a player who can open up his alignment and take defenders away from the line of scrimmage to open up the running game.
3. A tall receiver -- With size, there is always the threat of a fade route in the end zone.
4. A power back -- Pushing the pile and moving the chains can keep defenses honest.
The Jaguars have every single one of those. Garrard is no doubt a running threat, and can provide TD's with his legs in crucial situations. Marcedes Lewis is starting to look like what we were promised he'd become last year, a tall, athletic, and oversized WR. HE's actually catching the ball, and seems to be on route to a very productive year. Our offensive line is improving every game, and they can push the pile forward, as we've seen first-hand evidence of during games. Top it off with Mike SIms-Walker, and you've got yourself the makings of a powerhouse in the red-zone.
Proof the MJD is better than Chris Johnson: It's all about the "zone"
MJD is the league's premier back, and there's nobody in the NFL I'd rather have in the backfield (No, not even AP). He's a dual threat to receive or run the ball every time he's on the field, and he plays a major role in closing out drives and guaranteeing success on third downs. MJD has 26 carries in the red-zone for 69 yards, a 2.7 YPC average. However, he's gotten a whopping 7 TD's out of those carries. He's stellar in the red-zone.
Chris Johnson is a speed-demon, but he's not a multi-faceted RB the likes of MJD. He possesses the same home-run ability the MJD has, and Johnson's receiving ability is adequate, although clearly inferior. The major flaw in Johnson's game is his inability to slam into a pile, and still gain 3 yards. He doesn't have the power of MJD, and his red-zone stats for the season clearly indicate this. So far, Chris Johnson has only two rushing attempts inside the red-zone, for an average of -2.0 YPC (You read that right, negative two yards on two carries). The team clearly believes that Lendale White is the only goal-line power-back, as he's gotten 6 carries and netted 16 yards (a respectable red-zone average of 2.7 YPC).
If MJD can continue to provide the key to the TD, then the Jags will win again on Sunday.
-Collin Streetm an