There were plenty of negatives to gather from the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6) game against the Indianapolis Colts (6-5) yesterday, however the play of rookie defensive end Josh Allen was anything but negative.
Multiple times throughout the game Allen created a play on his own or assisted others due to his strength against the pass and stoutness against the run. On the year, Allen has accumulated nine tackles-for-loss which is tied for 13th highest in the NFL. Allen has also netted eight tackles thus far this season which ties a rookie franchise record for sacks in a single season (Yannick Ngakoue). Allen’s eight sacks is also tied for the 11th highest in the league thus far and the single highest total on the team right now.
Week in and week out, the Jaguars defensive end has produced for the defense, and yesterday was no different. Against the Colts, Allen had a key sack which set up the Jaguars’ offense in fantastic field position following a punt. On another play, Allen was a difference maker against the run, yet his snap count reached only 51% on the day (35/68 snaps).
For reference, Ngakoue played 76% (52/68) of the team’s snaps yesterday and defensive end Dawaune Smoot played 37% (25/68) of the team’s snaps. Allen should be closer to Ngakoue’s number, rather than Smoot’s.
During a Monday morning conference call, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone agreed Allen’s snaps ought to be increased. “Before we wanna get things in waves and get our guys in the best situations down-and-distance wise,” Marrone said when asked why Allen received such a low snap count, and whether or not an increased was necessary. “But that’s one of the things we are looking at.”
The Jaguars must use the talent currently on the roster more effectively. To do otherwise would be a disservice to others on the field. Marrone says the team is actively discussing the situation, and an increase for Allen — or others along the defensive line — is something that will likely happen.
“Maybe we gotta look at what we’re doing early on and getting some increased snaps. Now, where those snaps are increased along the line we haven’t gotten there yet, that’s something we’re discussing, but that’s a good point and one that’s been brought up and we’re addressing it today.”
Changes in philosophy during the season are typically frowned upon, however with the Jaguars at 4-6, any change can only be positive for the franchise moving forward. Getting a young, and productive player more playing time will help, not hurt.