In case you missed it, Maurice Jones-Drew put up a whopping 177 yards on Sunday while beating the Colts almost single-handedly. Getting no support from a struggling Blaine Gabbert, MJD put the team on his shoulders and pounded out the 177 yards on 28 carries (6.3 yards per attempt) and tacked on a touchdown to boot. The Colts didn’t seem to have answers to Jones-Drew as he bullied the defense all day. The Jags turned to other runners only twice, resulting in -3 yards. Cecil Shorts and Greg Jones didn’t need to touch the football though.
Even with Gabbert failing to provide balance for the offense, Jones-Drew was able to move through the first level of the defense and dictate play throughout. He ripped off a beautiful 59 yard scamper and demoralized the defense enough for Gabbert to put the ball in Cecil Shorts hands later in the game for the victory. Of course it isn’t true to say that he won it entirely by himself (football is a team sport after all), but this guy really put the team on his back and got them in a position to win it.
Despite struggling after returning from a long holdout, it looks like Jones-Drew is comfortable in the new Jaguars offense and could be back to his league-leading ways. He proved on Sunday that without him it will be next to impossible for this Jaguars team to win football games. With backup Rashad Jennings out with an injury, MJD delivered. If he keeps playing like he did against the Colts, then the Jaguars will probably reward him with a big pay day at the end of the season – this is the kind of play that would justify a big extension.
As the Jags turn toward a much tougher part of the schedule, it will be important for them to remember big wins like the one against the Colts. It will be important for the team to not forget its identity just yet, especially since MJD is looks like he’s still able to add a little flash to his strong running style.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims