There hasn’t been anything to write home about when it comes to the Jaguars offense over the past two months. Since the team’s bye week, they’ve only been able to muster up 9.14 points per game on offense, including a goose egg against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
The Jaguars have also only scored one passing touchdown over the past six weeks, a late-game toss from rookie QB Trevor Lawrence to veteran WR Tavon Austin. To say the team’s offense, particularly its passing game, has been anemic could actually be an understatement.
Still, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer stated on Monday that he hasn’t given a thought to changing the team’s offensive play-caller, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, opting instead to offer support for his assistants.
“No. I thought about how to best support our play-caller. My job is to support the coordinators on both sides of the ball,” said Meyer when asked if he’s considered a change.
“I’ve never really done that—I’m not saying I don’t believe in it, I don’t think—if I thought that would help us win a game, I would do it. Brian Schottenheimer and Darrell Bevell work hand-in-hand, they’re the dialogue guys on the headsets. So, my job is to support him and find a way to get some offensive production against Houston.”
The Jaguars currently rank 31st in points per game (13.8), 30th in yards per game (303.1), 27th in yards per play (5.0) and 27th in third-down conversion rate (35.40). Still, there isn’t much that can be done with players that simply don’t appear to be up for the challenge, at least not as of late.
Jacksonville has had issues with running the football, too. On Sunday against the Titans, RB James Robinson carried the football just six times for four yards. The team as a whole ran the football just eight times for eight yards, one of the lowest rushing totals in franchise history.
On Monday, Meyer admitted the offense got away from the run too early, particularly due to the way the team lost the battle at the line of scrimmage with its offensive line against the Titans’ defensive line.
“Whenever the run game doesn’t work, it’s at the line of scrimmage, we’re not moving people and right now, that’s an issue, that’s the biggest issue,” said Meyer.
“I know we missed one cut, we had a chance to jump-cut and get some positive yards. We had a couple positive yards and a holding penalty brought one back. So, it always starts at the line of scrimmage and then if there’s a miscut—which we had both of those. We struggle when we can’t run the ball. That’s two weeks in a row.”
The Jaguars committed five penalties on the offensive line which negated positive plays, including four holding calls and one false start, three of the holding calls was on guard Andrew Norwell. That puts Bevell in a tough position as he works to call plays, especially runs in long down-and-distance, Meyer mentioned.
“What happens is you get down a little bit, you get frustrated, then as a play-caller, you get stuck in second-and-14, second-and-10. [We had] eight carries for zero yards, whatever, eight yards or something like that. We have to establish the run.”
The Jaguars will have to try to establish the run over the past four weeks of the season, along with mustering any kind of offense, and it won’t come from a different play-caller, not this season at least.