While the Jaguars haven’t shown to have the greatest firepower in the league, they do face a lower end defense this week in Indianapolis. Considering the talent on the roster, the team should run the ball as much as they pass for a few reasons. Contributing factors have been injuries to the offensive line that has lead to poor offensive line play, as well as players like Justin Blackmon adjusting to NFL speed and Maurice Jones-Drew playing catchup with a new offense.
The offensive line has suffered immensely with Eben Britton and Cameron Bradfield’s injuries, and playing a tough Texans defense did not help last week. Neither did the match up of “JJ Swat” against Guy Whimper. However the Colts are now rebuilding and their defense is ranked in the lower end of the league. One thing I learned from playing high school football is that you never want the stat sheet to have your defensive backs making most of the tackles on your team; practices get much harder that week. The reason being is because it means you’re allowing the offense to reach the second level and eat up the field. The top 4 players making tackles for the Colts according to NFL.com all happen to be defensive backs save Jerrell Freeman, he however is listed at three because of assists.
The Jaguars have upgraded their offense this year with receivers Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon who were a free agent pick up and the number five draft pick respectively. Robinson struggled early in the preseason only having one catch as many other passes were thrown in tight windows or simply overthrown. He has since become the leading receiver on the team with eight receptions for 115 yards. He has yet to record a touchdown but with the looks he gets he should score this week against the Colts. Blackmon on the other hand has preformed opposite of Robinson by flashing in the preseason recording multiple catches and a touchdown, but has since struggled only recording three receptions for 24 yards. He could have scored in the Vikings game as he ran free in the end zone, yet he did not record a single reception against the smothering Texans defense. Blackmon has struggled, but he has way too much talent and a team dedicated to passing the ball more under an improved Blaine Gabbert and a newly coached offense.
The final piece of the puzzle is Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD has been learning the playbook for the past month after holding out for a new contract. With more time with the playbook and getting into football shape by experiencing contact in practice and games. In week three he should be back up to speed and as the main man in the back field, he should have no problem doing what he does best.
- Antonio Furgiuele