There were a lot of things to be frustrated about in the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. A lot of people are upset about the defense giving up so many rushing yards (I’m not, really...), but a large chunk of fans are upset with the offensive play calling, in particular how the Jaguars seem to use fourth-overall pick Leonard Fournette during the flow of the game.
I’ll go ahead and out of the gate say that I am fine with the Jaguars rotating running backs between Fournette and Chris Ivory, even mixing in some Corey Grant. Ivory has been effective as a spell for Fournette, but Fournette still gets the majority of the carries. I don’t think there is really a complaint that they don’t give the ball to Fournette enough, but some of the situations in which the team chooses not to give it to Fournette is curious.
You drafted Fournette with the fourth overall pick with the idea of him being the center piece of your offense so...
Why on Earth are you yanking him from the game on critical downs?
I’ll give Ivory credit in that he’s been solid on short yardage picking up first downs for the most part, but still isn’t that why you picked Fournette? Shouldn’t that guy be the one getting those important carries?
And then, when you’re in the red zone... why isn’t the fourth overall pick in the game? I know he got dinged on a play on Sunday and came out for a play where the team threw the ball. I get that. Totally fine. But why didn’t you give it to him right after that?
I don’t get it.
I’m not going to blast the play calling, because I don’t think that’s really the primary issue, but the times at which they give Fournette a breather seems to be curious, at best, and at worst a lack of game awareness by the coaching staff. Those situations are why you drafted him.
I understand wanting to manage his carries, to not blow him out his first season in the NFL, but there’s got to be a better way to manage these carries than pulling him in critical situations.