The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t all bad. No NFL team is. And that’s what makes Aaron Schatz’s latest piece at ESPN worth reading. He attempts to find what all 32 teams are good at on offense and defense that typically flies under the radar.
And what does Schatz say about the Jaguars?
Offense: Red zone efficiency
Though the Jaguars' offense struggled overall, ranking 26th in DVOA, they were very good in the red zone. Jacksonville ranked ninth in red zone DVOA and 11th with touchdowns ending 60 percent of its red zone drives.
Jacksonville's young defense has improved its tackling significantly. In 2015, the Jaguars allowed 122 broken tackles and ranked 26th in broken-tackle rate. In 2016, they tied the Packers with a league-low 79 broken tackles, and ranked second in broken-tackle rate behind Denver.
For a team that was pitiful in the run game as the Jaguars were in 2016 (five touchdowns and 904 yards by their top two running backs combined) it’s surprising the Jaguars were this efficient. Granted, they had trouble driving the ball so maybe they were efficient because they weren’t there as often as other teams? Whatever the reason, it’s cause for optimism.
As far as tackling, the fundamentals can never be overrated. If you can’t get the simple things right, you’ll never be able to build — so this is an encouraging stat as well.