The Jacksonville Jaguars can’t afford to live without Josh Scobee. There, I’ve said it. It’s out in the open for all to see.
I touched on why he was so important in my last article about how the Jaguars can beat the Texans in 2012, but really the depth of his importance goes well beyond his ability to kick field goals. Yes, I did just belittle his 92% field goal percentage from 2011, that’s how important his all around special teams contributions are.
Of 64 kickoffs in 2011, 39 were touchbacks. Sure, the kickoffs were moved up five yards on the season, but a 61% touchback percentage is very good and when the team is able to limit the opponent to an average of 24.3 yards when they do take it out of the endzone, the defense is given a good chance to stop the opponent from marching down a short field to an easy touchdown.
24.3 yards isn’t exceptional in the NFL, however. In fact, it’s the 15th highest average in the league. But the longest return the Jags allows in 2011 was a meager 46 yards. Not even across the 50 yard line. In contrast, the 25 teams that allowed more than 46 yards as a season long return all allowed the opponent to cross the 50.
The game of field position is especially important for the Jaguars because the offense is still growing with a young receiving corps and a younger quarterback. Josh Scobee’s impact goes well beyond special teams, it influences the ability of the team to score when they get within his massive field goal range and it influences the team’s ability to defend against their opponents.
Josh Scobee is needed by the Jags, without him, what will the team be doing?
Fortunately, there is rumor of Scobee and the team working on a long term deal. Hopefully they get it done sooner rather than later.
- Luke N. Sims