The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in part because they couldn't get their running game going. Some of that had to do with the fact that rookie Storm Johnson was ruled out due to injury, starting running back Toby Gerhart suffered an ankle injury early in the game, and the team's inexplicable non-use of Denard Robinson. But the root of the team's running problems can be traced back to one simple thing:
The Jaguars couldn't run block worth a damn.
According to Pro Football Focus, no one on the Jaguars had a positive rating when it came to run blocking. The team had 25 rushing attempts, gaining 64 yards, and the longest run of the day was only 11 yards. The team's average was 2.6 yards per carry, but if not for Henne's 8-yard option run the average would have been an even more dismal 2.3 yards per carry.
The left side of the line held it down the best, with Luke Joeckel and Zane Beadles both grading out at -0.7. But the right side of the line was a disaster, with right tackle Cameron Bradfield receiving a -3.2, right guard Brandon Linder receiving a -3.7, and center Jacques McClendon also receiving a -3.7.
Tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Mickey Shuler didn't help matters with -2.9 and -2.1 ratings, respectively,
As a whole, the Jaguars ranked dead last with a cumulative -17.0 run block rating, a full six points worse than the Kansas City Chiefs and more than twice as bad as the Doug Martin-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The pass blocking, however, wasn't nearly as bad with the team ranked 18th through Week 1. Linder may have been the team's worst run blocker, but Pro Football Focus gave him a 1.9 rating as a pass blocker -- the team's highest rating. Beadles and Bradfield also graded out positively with a 0.5 and 0.4 ratings, respectively.
And it showed on the stat sheet. Henne was only sacked three times and had plenty of time to throw on most throws, including risky plays like a 48-yard pass to Allen Hurns out of his own end zone, or important moments like a 4th-and-short miss to Lewis.
The Jaguars will hope to right their run blocking ship against their next opponent who gave up 115 yards on the ground in Week 1. Washington allowed 3.5 yards per carry to the Houston Texans last Sunday, despite the fact that the Texans graded out negatively with a total -0.7 in run blocking.