One of the big concerns for the Jacksonville Jaguars headed into the 2020 NFL season was the run defense, which in 2019 was atrocious. The team beefed up their defensive line, even with some of the losses, to slant more run stopping but they still took losses with the likes of Rodney Gunter retiring etc. On Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts early on, it appeared that it was just going to be another season of teams gashing the Jaguars on the ground.
But, as Demetrius Harvey noted, the run defense picked up as the game went on and eventually made some key, momentum swinging stops.
The Colts ended the day averaging as a team just 4.0 yards per carry, but some of that was thanks to Marlon Mack going down with an Achilles injury. Prior to that, Mack was raking up chunks of yards and it appeared a big run was on the horizon. That coupled with the Colts seemingly getting a little pass happy when they didn’t need to, so that helped a ton.
While there were good signs, there’s also some concern with how easily the Colts ran until Mack went down, but with how well they were able to pick up passing yardage out of the backfield through checkdowns and screens, which could be a huge issue on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans if not hammered out.
We’ve all seen what Derrick Henry has done to the Jaguars in the past and Monday Night’s Titans game didn’t seem to show any signs of the Titans coming off just feeding Henry the ball. Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash is going to have to scheme them up to slow down Henry and force Ryan Tannehill to beat the Jaguars.