While Jacksonville Jaguars savior Blake Bortles looks mightily improved after a loaded offseason of training and fixing his mechanics, the players who are supposed to be catching the ball when he throws it are starting to make me nervous.
Yes, it's just the preseason. However, you never want to see a team consistently drop the ball, and that's exactly what the Jaguars receivers have been doing.
Throughout the first two games of the preseason, the Jaguars pass-catchers have dropped the ball six times. Six times!
Put this into perspective: Blake Bortles threw 11 completions on 15 attempts in Week 1 against the Steelers. Without drops from Allen Hurns, Clay Harbor, and Bernard Pierce, Bortles connects on 14 out of 15 passes and a potential touchdown to Harbor.
With the drops, Bortles completion percentage was 73.3% against the Steelers. Without the drops, try 93.3%.
These drops appear to be consistent, too.
Last night against the New York Giants, Jaguars receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson combined for another three drops, contributing to his 8-for-16 night with only 98 yards and no touchdown to show for it. If his receivers didn't drop another three passes, Bortles would have gone 11-for-16, but more importantly drives would have been extended and a game where the starting offense finished with just nine points could have been greatly improved.
Now, these drops could be just a fluky thing as the season starts out, but you can't ever be too sure. As we know, Allen Hurns had problems catching the ball last year, so I'm not too worried about him. On 97 targets last year, Allen Hurns had six dropped passes, a 6.2% drop rate.
Hurns ranked No. 25 in the league last year with his drop rate. This year, he needs to dramatically decrease his drop rate so he can help extend more drives, which will lead to a higher scoring offense.
However, Allen Robinson only dropped the ball once on 81 targets. That's a 1.2% drop rate. Last night against the Giants, Robinson had two drops on two consecutive plays. That's more drops in two plays than Robinson had all last year. If he's looking to be the Jaguars breakout player and No. 1 receiver, the last thing Robinson needs is a nagging drop problem.
If these drops remain consistent, the offense will remain inconsistent. These dropped balls are shortening drives, leaving points on the board, and earning nominations for the HANXED IT award. Not a recipe for success.
The Jaguars need to go over these drops in the film room, hit the practice field, and fix this problem now.