In the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-17 overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers, the team appeared to have abandoned the run game late in the game and tried to rely on Blake Bortles to get things done offensively. With that plan the Jaguars offense sputtered late in the game and ended up turning over twice in the final two minutes, which apparently is the first time in NFL history that a player has thrown two interceptions while trailing after the two minute warning.
Before yesterday, there were only two INTs in TOTAL in our database (back to 1994) thrown by a player trailing after the 2 Minute Warning in a game they won. Bortles had 2 yesterday https://t.co/1YDFBquLzf https://t.co/0pmpd7yYdd— ProFootballReference (@pfref) November 13, 2017
The issues late with the passing game of course led to many fans frustrated and confused why the team went away from the run game, and especially why Leonard Fournette was not in the game almost the entire fourth quarter and overtime period.
“We saw he had a little bit of a limp, rolled his ankle. You want to make sure you’re cautious,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Monday when he was asked if Fournette was still feeling his ankle injury. “You want to make sure you’re putting the best guys out there and they’re healthy and ready to go. We were just monitoring that situation.”
The big question for fans was why the team abandoned the run game on Sunday, and in truth they abandoned it because they had to. The Chargers sold out to force the Jaguars to pass the football and about mid-game the Jaguars relented and started passing the football. The Chargers came at the Jaguars like the Los Angeles Rams did a few weeks ago, but the Jaguars were stubborn with the run in that game and didn’t really change it up. Sunday the Jaguars did and were able to tie the game, with arguably the best drive that I can remember from Blake Bortles as a Jaguars player.
Excluding the fake punt, the Jaguars ran for a team total of 79 yards on Sunday, with 34 of that coming from Bortles scrambling. Fournette was limited to just 33 yards on 17 carries and both T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory were ineffective in their limited snaps. The Jaguars ended up passing the ball 51 times, which is the polar opposite of what they want to do, but sometimes teams force you into doing what you don’t want to do and that’s exactly what happened on Sunday. In some good news however, very few teams have the ability to sell out for the run while also having two great pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram like the Chargers.
Expect to see more of that kind of game plan going forward, especially with Fournette back in the lineup.