According to the Florida Times-Union this morning, Maurice Jones-Drew has missed his fifth consecutive practice, hobbled by a knee injury. He claimed earlier this week that he was not slowed by the knee, and refused to make that excuse for his play. Still, I saw him on the bench a lot more than usual, and we all know MJD wants to be in the game if he can. Mojo has been an absolute stud for the Jaguars. He's been our workhorse all year, but against the worst defense in the NFL, will we really need Mojo to carry the load?
I know the answer to this question seems obvious. If you watch ESPN, the Jaguars are a punishing, power running football team. Still, the Jaguars have had an impressive amount of balance this year, and Garrard and the passing game have been effective moving the ball. I mean, if the Jaguars were a one dimensional team, would we have been able to come out in the second half against the Colts and put up yardage throwing? The Colts challenged the Jaguars to throw and the Jags responded and brought the game close by throwing the ball. The Redskins allow just short of 400 yards per game. They are 31st against the pass and 27th against the run. Both of those things... at the same time... So basically the Jaguars should be able to do whatever they want. So now the question is: what do we want to do?
There is a very real chance that MJD could be at least slowed, if not sidelined, this week due to his knee trouble. After a game in which Rashad Jennings had 10 touches to Mojo's 17, and the two seemed to be on the field for almost equal amounts of time, wouldn't it make sense to rely less on a player who will likely not practice all week and be listed as questionable come sunday? The Jaguars strive for balance, and they have done a wonderful job of maintaining it this year. I am not suggesting that we turn around this week and throw the 50 times, just that we take the 50-50 playcalling split and make it a 60-40 in favor of the pass.
The Redskins are in the first year of their new 3-4 defense. No one EVER does well in the first year of a switch to a 3-4. As if that isn't bad enough, they recently put two of their starting defensive linemen on the IR. The Redskins defense is reeling. There will be no pass rush. If the Jaguars wanted to score against the Redskins, they could probably call their targets. Mojo needs some rest. He's been beat up all year. Rashad Jennings has showed himself to be a more than suitable backup, but he hasn't proven he can carry the load. Against the worst defense in the league, why should we feel any pressure to run the ball. Let's just pass.