The Jacksonville Jaguars will either face an injured Andrew Luck or backup Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts. For different reasons, conventional wisdom might say, "We need to blitz. Let's exploit a hobbled Luck or a weak-armed and inexperienced Hasselbeck."
But more blitzing might not be the answer for several reasons.
Who's actually good at blitzing for the Jaguars? Six players -- Davon House, Paul Posluszny, Dan Skuta, Sergio Brown, Telvin Smith, and Peyton Thompson -- have been used as rushers for a total of 21 blitzes this year when opposing quarterbacks drop back. Brown is the only one who's been effective in getting to the quarterback and he only did it once in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.
Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers saw six blitzes on Cam Newton drop backs. The result? 4-for-5 passing for 56 yards and one rush for 10 yards. The lone incompletion didn't come because of any pressure.
Week 2 was the only week where blitzing worked. Ryan Tannehill was blitzed 14 times, forcing 3-for-9 passing for 14 yards, one penalty for 15 yards on the Dolphins, and one sack by Brown.
Week 3 was a disaster, both in terms of inefficiency and lack of creativity. Four blitzes on Tom Brady resulted in 3-for-3 passing for 31 yards and one touchdown. The fourth blitz was a penalty for 10 yards on the Jaguars.
Outside of Week 2 against a worse-than-we-knew-then Dolphins team, blitzes have resulted in higher completion percentages, increased yards per attempt, zero pressures, and one sack.
So, what's the answer? Well, with a defense that's only missing Sergio Brown, the coverage should (in theory) be back to what it was the first two games -- that is to say, not bad enough to where a good performance by the offense can't overcome it. Rush with four, drop everyone else back in coverage, press the receivers, and blitz with the frequency of somewhere between Weeks 1 and 2.
As far as when they blitz, the few times it's worked have been when they've combined a linebacker up the middle and a safety or cornerback on the edge. The least effective blitzing has been Posluszny up the middle, so... I don't know, really, just do something other than that.
What do you think? Should the Jaguars just keep blitzing? Or is there another strategy you'd go with?