Toby Gerhart had a disappointing debut with the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Gerhart accumulated just 42 yards on 18 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s just 2.3 yards per carry for those of you counting at home. For his efforts he came away with an ankle sprain.
I’m high on Gerhart and think he can be an effective runner.
But the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offensive line was absolutely terrible last week and there is no reason to believe they will be better in week two.
Gerhart will have to prove that he can shoulder the load and that he can overcome some of the worst run blocking I’ve seen on a football field in recent memory. Guard Austin Pasztor is still out with injury so the offensive line is still without one of its primary starters.
If Gerhart can succeed with a suspect offensive line, he’ll need to show it on Sunday. The Washington Redskins allowed 115 yards on the grounds last week, letting Arian Foster eclipse 100 by himself. Gerhart will need to build on that. The Texans employ a zone blocking scheme and were able to move the blocking where they wanted. The Jaguars will need to win at the point of attack for Gerhart to burst through.
But Gerhart is also a hard-nosed runner who can punish the defense all day. His ankle will have to hold up, but if he can keep bashing away at a strong defense for more than three yards per carry, this could be just what the Jaguars need. They need to get above three yards per carry to be effective and to make the defense respect the run.
Nobody is expecting Gerhart to average five or six yards a carry behind this offensive line. The offensive line needs to show that they can at least get him enough room to be the battering ram the Jags expect him to be. Those holes don’t need to be gaping, but they do need to exist. Let’s see if Gerhart can be an effective runner this week.