The Jacksonville Jaguars have not been known for their quick-strike ability in years past or their aggressive play-calling when they’re up on a team and they don’t want to take their foot off the gas.
Those days are over.
Time and time again this season, we’ve seen offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett go for the throat, testing the opposing defense with a deep shot and keeping them honest even when up by multiple scores.
After scoring a touchdown and making the game 24-0 with less than a minute to go, T.J. Yates was intercepted by Barry Church near midfield. With 37 seconds to go, the Jaguars could sit on a 24-0 lead and go to halftime or they could take advantage of a winded and underwhelming Texans secondary.
They chose rightly.
Play #1: 1st and 10 at HOU 45
The formation is loaded to the left with Jaydon Mickens furthest from the ball, Keelan Cole to the right of him, and Dede Westbrook just left of the offensive line. The Texans are in single-high for some reason (maybe they expected a run?) and Westbrook begins his route by selling the deep route. The route combination between Mickens and Cole gets the slot cornerback out of position and the safety is looking at Westbrook. That leaves Mickens wide open with his defender sucking wind.
I love you, Nate.
Play #2: 1st and Goal at HOU 9
Before we begin, can we talk about how the Jaguars are in a four-wide formation with quite literally only three healthy receivers? I’ve seen Marcedes Lewis out wide before but this is just Hackett telegraphing his desire to dominate this Texans defense.
After a delay of game penalty, Bortles stands tall in the pocket until the last possible moment — Jadeveon Clowney gets a good hit on him, but he’s delivered a strike to Cole in the back of the end zone.
The sideline view above shows just how out of position the Texans secondary was again, with the slot cornerback leaving the zone Bortles threw at to come up and help a linebacker that didn’t really need it. Also, having T.J. Yeldon clearing the middle by selling (albeit not very convincingly) a route out of the backfield away from the intended target.