All preseason long, the offensive line was the problem spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars. But then the regular season happened and the offensive line looked good. There were some problems in the running game, but I also fault offensive coordinator Greg Olson for drawing up runs that took too long to develop against a run-blitzing team like the Green Bay Packers.
But this column isn't about how the run game did. It's about protecting Blake Bortles and the offensive line did pretty well in that regard on Sunday.
Sack #1: 3rd and 2 at JAX 49, 6:42 left in 1Q
On first glance, this one's easy, right? Clay Matthews gets the sack so Kelvin Beachum is responsible for the sack, right?
Not so fast.
Denard Robinson gets blown up here trying to block Joe Thomas, which prevents Blake Bortles from stepping up into the pocket. We also don't know if Brandon Linder's assignment was to chip at the blitzing linebacker or not. Jermey Parnell isn't safe from criticism either, but I don't think his failure here warrants any credit for the sack.
I'm gonna add in the following a couple of hours after publishing because I should have done a better job of explaining why Beachum is getting co-responsibility. Denard is absolutely the main culprit. He's more responsible than anyone else. But if I'm going to start spreading the blame, I don't want to start splitting up sacks between three, four, or five guys. You could make the case on this play that all by Luke Joeckel and A.J. Cann are responsible, depending on the protection scheme. For sacks where multiple guys are at fault, I want to limit it to the two I believe are most responsible for simplicity's sake in the math. I realize that's going to be open to interpretation on some sacks throughout the year and I'll do my best. I love you all.
Final verdict: Denard Robinson and Kelvin Beachum
Sack #2: 1st and 10 at JAX 31, 11:52 left in 4Q
This one's a little more cut and dry. Kelvin Beachum gets beat pretty badly and although the Packers do a good job of stunting inside to bring Luke Joeckel away from any sort of support, this is all Beachum.
Final verdict: Kelvin Beachum
Sack #3: 3rd and 11 at GB 30, 6:01 left in 4Q
Nick Perry gets the sack for the Packers, but he's simply spying the quarterback and containing him while being double-teamed by Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann. If not for Luke Joeckel's misstep against Datone Jones, Bortles isn't flushed out of the pocket. Who's most at fault for the sack? Joeckel.
Final verdict: Luke Joeckel
2016 sack totals
Next up: San Diego.