The second and only possible thing I can think of is the lack of trust this coaching staff has in the offensive line and its ability to establish a good running game. We saw this with the inability to protect Trevor and take down the field shots; it showed as they tried to run screen plays as a replacement for the run game, and we saw Trevor get hit time and time again when he dropped back in the pocket. An inability to have trust in the offensive line will not help this team succeed whatsoever and will only prove to be its Achilles heel as the season goes on.
The questionable play calling goes hand in hand with the inability to run the football. There is no need to go for it on 4th and 5 if the running game gets good first down yardage. All play callers look like geniuses if the defense doesn’t know if it is a pass or a run, and the chiefs, knowing they were going to pass the ball the majority of the time, opened up their defensive play calling and gave them the ability to get to the quarterback and keep the Jaguars in the endzone.
The other thing about not being able to run the ball that hurts the Jaguars is how incompetent they looked in the red zone. The team was an underwhelming 0/4 in the red zone and left 28 points on the board. Trust me, you’re not going to beat the Chiefs kicking field goals. While we can talk all day about the play calling in the red zone, the one I want to focus on is when the Jaguars had the ball, first and goal at the one, and kicked a field goal. They ran a run play; it looked like a read option. Trevor kept the ball, ran to the outside, and lost 4 yards. He could have handed it off easily to the running back and gotten the jaguars in the end zone. Trevor did two things wrong on that play: he should have given the ball off to the running back, and he should have just thrown it out of the back of the endzone. He did neither of those things and suffered a 4-yard loss. The inability to trust the offensive line and just run the ball up the middle is going to hurt this team if they can’t figure it out.
My other takeaway is why Doug Pederson does not look at what his former team is doing in Philadelphia and implement the push play. That play scores easily on the 1-yard line and is next to impossible to stop. Until the NFL finds a way to take that play away, all teams should be running it as much as possible. And before you try to say Trevor will get hurt, we don’t want to injure our star quarterback. I say to you this: Trevor is a big and strong guy, and he stands in that pocket, gets blown up, and seems to be fine so far. Also, the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, ran this play all the time in New England. If the Patriots aren’t worried about Tom Brady getting hurt, then the Jaguars definitely shouldn't be worried about Trevor getting hurt.
The last and final thing I want to talk about is different ways to implement a running game while the team lacks trust in the offensive line. I think the Jaguars offensive coordinator should implement some more draw-run plays into his offensive play sheet. The draw play works because the defense is expecting a pass, and the quarterback then hands the ball off to a running back. It is almost the opposite of the play action and could really help this offense. This play call could work well with a young, inexperienced defense in Houston. Trevor and Etienne ran a similar draw called a sprint draw pretty often in college, and it proved to be very effective.
In conclusion, the run game needs to become an integral part of the offense in a big way, and it needs to happen fast. It all starts with building trust in the offensive line and getting creative with the play-calling. For the run game to be successful, the team needs to stick with it, and this defense has proven itself to be good enough to pick up some of the slack. If the Jaguars can’t establish a run game soon, we can kiss all this optimism that we had coming into the season goodbye.