Hurns has had a few drops in games before, but this week stood out more than most. Looking back at the tape I saw two passes that were dropped and then a third that might be counted but I wasn't sure if the defender got a hand on it. The play that sticks out in my mind came on a screen pass where Hurns appeared to try to catch it one handed but instead it ended as one of the worst drops of the game. Hurns has big play potential, we've seen it a few times so far, but he needs to work on catching the ball before making a play so the Jaguar's can get something out of it.
Each week Gerhart is looking less and less like an every down back and I think the Jaguars are starting to realize it. He has been getting fewer carries each week and it has been giving some of the younger backs opportunities to take his place. This week against the Steelers he only ran the ball four times for a total of nine yards with his longest run going for just three yards. These stats came behind an improved offensive line who were able to create holes for a few big plays for the running backs. The holes are there for Gerhart too, it just seems like he is either unsure of himself or he flat out isn't good at finding an opening. He still runs hard and can be useful in short yardage but he just hasn't been good working with what the O-Line gives him. I don't think the Jaguar are going to give up on Gerhart, but if Denard Robinson or Storm Johnson can step up in an increased role that time might come soon.
The Jaguars only committed four penalties against the Steelers, but they always seemed to be on the biggest plays. Three holding calls negated a total of 49 yards, so the Jaguar's lost 79 yards of field position when accounting for the yards they moved back each time. The fourth penalty came on a delay of game when Jacksonville was in the Red Zone, making it harder for the Jaguars to convert on third down. The amount of penalties doesn't concern me, if we only had four a game from here on out I'd be pretty happy, but the timing led to some killed drives and missed opportunites.
As a whole the defense played very well this week. The Steelers have a very good offense and the defense held them to only 10 points and kept them under their season averages for both rushing and passing yards per game. One of the few bad players this week was Will Blackmon, allowing nearly a third of Pittsburgh's yards through the air and missing on two tackles. Some of the plays made against him weren't entirely his fault, such as Antonio Brown making a great catch in tight coverage, but he was a weak point in the defense this week.
The Steelers were able to convert on third down 8 times in 16 chances. The Jaguars were only 3 of 12. Stopping offenses on third down has been a big problem for the Jaguars this year as they are second to last in opponent third down percentage, ahead of only the Raiders. The percentage isn't even the most worrying thing, it's that on the 8 plays the Steelers converted on they gained 90 yards. The Jaguars weren't just giving up plays that barely got past the first down marker, they were getting beat big in situations they should be getting off the field. I don't know the cause for this but it's possible the Jaguars are focused on guarding the sticks so when players get past them there is no help over top. The defense is improving each week but they haven't made any strides on stopping opponents on third down, something that needs to be fixed for them to have a better chance to win.