Hello readers and happy victory week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars just shut out their bitter division rival, the Indianapolis Colts, to improve to 1-1. Doug Pederson coached a masterpiece in a 24-0 drubbing over his former assistant Frank Reich and Jaguars former HC Gus Bradley. And Trevor Lawrence had a career day.
Trevor Lawrence generated a career-high +16.5 passing EPA in the Jaguars 24-0 win over the Colts in Week 2.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 19, 2022
Lawrence mostly targeted the short area of the field (0 to 9 air yards), completing 18 of 20 passes for 140 yards & 2 TD (+11.6% CPOE).#INDvsJAX | #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/v5wLbVN3Kx
These were the final two paragraphs of last week’s recap (insert shrug emoji):
To wrap up, I was impressed by the overall structure of the offense. Maybe that’s because last season was so sucky, but in last year’s season opener the Jaguars were just a complete disaster. This feels different — there’s a much higher floor thanks to good play designs and beneficial coaching. Once the pre-snap penalties and blown blocks and dropped passes and missed throw (singular) are corrected, that’s it!
Big mistakes killed the Jaguars in the past and it killed them again in Week 1. But once the team cleans up those early-season blunders, they have a legitimate offense waiting to be run. I am buying on Trevor Lawrence and company.
And here’s the Week 2 offensive film room:
#Jaguars Week 2 Film Room - Offense https://t.co/WD07i5ZTEZ— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) September 20, 2022
Pederson was a bit run heavy on first and second downs in the first 30 minutes vs. Indianapolis. That wasn’t a surprise given Jacksonville’s play action passes were largely ineffective in the first half of Week 1, and James Robinson wasn’t used much due to an early deficit.
However, those first half early down runs against the Colts didn’t really work. Jacksonville had seven such rushes in Week 1 and doubled that on Sunday, but the team averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and -0.15 Expected Points Added (EPA) per play, per rbsdm.com.
They earned five first downs but also had just five rushes go over two yards, and James Robinson’s 37-yard touchdown was the only first-half carry that went for over six yards.
The Jaguars got bailed out on later downs by Pederson and Trevor Lawrence. The guy with the hair made quick, smart decisions to get the ball out quickly and help out his offensive line while the guy with the visor called great plays (like the one explained below) to help out his skill players.
How did Christian Kirk score his first TD against the Colts in Week 2?@Nate_Tice takes 40 seconds to explain the scheme and why it worked.— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) September 20, 2022
Wind the Clock! pic.twitter.com/BawnZkXZ6t
It helped that Bradley runs a notoriously predictable scheme. With that said, Lawrence and Pederson made their value clear throughout a rainy afternoon in Jacksonville. The Jags had seven first-half pass attempts on third or fourth down, and five went for first downs (with one third down being converted on the following play).
Lawrence averaged 6.7 yards per attempt and 0.7 EPA per play on those passes, which isn’t anything crazy, but it kept the ball moving and allowed the Jaguars to control both the clock and the scoreboard.
Here’s another great play call and throw.
this is vile stuff from Doug Pederson. start with UC 13P three-man surface with Agnew in a tight split right, so IND have their DL and down safety to the three TE side. shift to gun trips, now Agnew is a speed #3 versus a linebacker because IND will just check to C3 from base pic.twitter.com/Lg2SLO8n8b— Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 19, 2022
(As I noted throughout both offensive film rooms so far, the lack of a downfield threat is what puts a cap on this offense’s ceiling. Christian Kirk looks awesome inside though.)
That was the story of the first half. The running game continued to underwhelm through the second, but Pederson’s creative playcalling kept the ball moving enough to also keep the clock churning and his defense on the sideline.
Jacksonville showcased a wide array of run concepts, making me think Pederson was throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what stuck while he had a multi-score second-half lead. Or maybe the Jaguars will simply have a very diverse running game the rest of the season, which would be even cooler. I’ll have more on last week’s rushing offense in another article #soon.
As for the second half passing offense, as previously noted, Pederson did enough cool stuff to keep the chains moving. But it was noticeable how dry a chunk of the passing concepts looked.
Doug Pederson ran the same curls concept 8 different times against Gus Bradley lmfao pic.twitter.com/FqI41eKfLh— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) September 22, 2022
I’m choosing to believe Pederson was saving some goodies in his bag for Brandon Staley and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, or maybe he was even just toying with Bradley and those poor Hoosiers. That’s better than the alternative, which is chewing on the thought of yet another predictable play caller in Jacksonville.
But it really seems different this time.
Protect Dougie P at all costs #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/Ef5b9sfS8A— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) September 18, 2022