The Jacksonville Jaguars have entered the souls-searching portion of the season. After a lackluster performance, the Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans 37-17. So what’s wrong with the offense and how do the Jags fix it?
The most obvious issue is the execution needs to match the talent. Until that happens, change will be hard to come by. This team is far too talented to be constantly not finishing routes, dropping passes, not getting two feet in bounds, and missing throws.
One of the biggest perceived issues coming into the season was the offensive line. While they’re not where the Jaguars need them to be just yet, they’ve performed better than expectations. Part of the reason for that is the play of Travis Etienne. The way Etienne is running, he’d make any line in front of him better. You’d be hard-pressed to find a player across the NFL running harder than Etienne is right now. He’s a man possessed, and also the only player on the Jaguars offense performing at a high level.
Now it’s time for the rest of the team to catch up. But how?
Aside from executing more consistently, the Jaguars need better play-calling. The running game is working solely because of Etienne, not because of the scheme. And the passing game is easily defended against because the concepts are bare bones.
There is very little imagination and creativity being used in the passing game. So while Doug Pederson is talking about the players reading their own press clippings, the coaching staff seems to be relying on those clippings to make plays.
Calvin Ridley is far too talented to be running hitches on 3rd and mediums. That signifies a coaching staff relying solely on a player's talent. It also makes life easier for a defense since it limits the offense's ability to make chunk plays. Ditch the hitch and start using more routes downfield for your best receiver.
Lastly, players need to start holding themselves accountable. After watching the film, there are far too many examples of receivers not finishing their route. You’ll often see a receiver give up if they’re covered out of their break. This can’t happen if you want to be successful on Sundays.
Case in point, Trevor Lawrence’s interception against the Texans. While it wasn’t the greatest read on Lawrence’s part, Jamal Agnew never gave him a chance. As soon as Agnew broke inside on a dig, he stopped running. Had he been at full speed he might’ve been able to hit the window past the middle linebackers.
Behind the numbers
Personnel Groups: 3
Run Concepts: 5
3-Step Drops: 9
5-Step Drops: 12
Top Coverage Faced: Cover 4
Top Run Concepts: Duo, Zone
Middle 8: Jaguars 7 — Texans 3
Can the Jaguars bounce back against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4?