When the Jacksonville Jaguars came into this season, the thought was that the explosive offense was going to carry a young, but rebuilding defense. Five games into the season, it couldn't be anymore the opposite.
The explosiveness we thought the offense would give the team has fallen short, and the run game has been nothing short of pathetic. Yet, the defense has stepped up, The Jaguars are 8th in the league in yards given up per game, and a surpassing fourth in the league in yards given up per play. The defense has shown its potential, now it is time for the offense to do so as well.
There is no better team right now for the Jaguars offense to breakout against then the Oakland Raiders. Not only have the Raiders given up the most yards per game at 445 yards a game, but their efficiency on defense is the worst in the league at the moment too, giving up 6.9 yards per play.
The Jaguars offense has lacked the big plays, especially in the passing game this year after leading the league last year with 72 pass plays of 20 yards or more. This year they rank 19th in the league with 16 passes of 20 yards or more, which would be on pace for 51 chunk plays, a significant difference off last years total.
Well, the Jaguars are in luck, as the Raiders also are the worst in the league in giving up passing plays of 20 yards or more, giving up 28 of them already this season. Sean Smith, one of their bigger offseason signings (and also someone many people on BCC wanted for the Jaguars) has struggled against faster receivers, and has given up a significant amount of chunk plays. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns both have the ability to get behind defenders, and whoever is matched up vs Smith could have a big day getting down the field.
Now one could say, ok Jimmy they could maybe fix this passing game, but what about their close to league worst run game? No one will respect their passing game until they can establish the run. Well, once again the Jaguars are in luck, as the Raiders rank third to last in rushing yards given up per game ( 132.2), and tied for third last in the league on yards given up per carry (4.8). Another interesting stat is that the Raiders have given up the second highest amount of run plays that end in first downs for the offense, giving up a first down on a run 27.8 percent of the opposing teams run.
Basically, the Raiders defense has been pretty dreadful so far. There is talent on the defense, and they could start to bring it together during the season as their new acquisitions get accustomed to their scheme. However, if the Jaguars offense can't get going against the Raiders, there is a serious problem.
Sure, Bortles has had some regression, and the run game has been a huge issue. But there is still time for this offense to get into rhythm, and take advantage of the riches of playmakers they have.
If there is a day where Chris Ivory finally beats down an opponent, and the Allen brothers finally make multiple big plays combined in a game, this Sunday is where it will happen. This one will most likely be a shootout, and the Jaguars need to make sure they are fully loaded.