53% is the number that Jacksonville Jaguars receivers, coaches, and quarterbacks will be looking at when they look back at the first two weeks of the season. That’s the percentage of targets that were hauled in by Jags receivers over the two week span that saw the Jags go from 17-0 leaders to being blown out 75-10 over the next six quarters. A big part of that is the fact that the Jags simply can’t bring in the passes.
Now, there isn’t a whole lot of time for quarterback Chad Henne to scan the field and get the ball off. While he has been hanging onto the ball a bit too long in some cases, 10 sacks total against the Washington Redskins show that it isn’t just him trying to do his best Ben Roethlisberger impression. So, when looking at the 81 passes keep in mind that not all are perfect, catchable balls. In fact, some should probably have been intercepted
Some of these possible catches (like Allen Hurns’ big drop on Sunday) should go noted and are a part of the growing process for the Jaguars’ young receivers. Jacksonville Jaguars receivers entered the year with just a handful of starts among four of the five players on the roster. In fact, three are rookies with very limited playing time. Fortunately, drops don’t seem to be too much of an issue but being in the right spot at the right time is.
Timing with a quarterback and receiver is essential to having an effective passing attack. Sometimes there are errant throws, but if the receiver is in the right spot he can usually adjust and (hopefully) make the grab. Unfortunately for the Jags, they just don’t have the appropriate timing down. Watching the games thus far this season it’s pretty apparent that Henne just isn’t on the same page as Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Mike Brown, and Hurns. Even Marcedes Lewis looks like he and Henne aren’t seeing eye to eye on the coverage or plays.
Now I’m putting pointing out that the receivers aren’t catching 47% of the passes here, but the blame stretches far and wide. This lays at the feet of offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, Henne, the offensive line, the receivers, the running backs, and the tight ends. Not one portion of them has found a way to compensate for the simple truth: the Jaguars are still learning.
Make no mistake, this is a rebuild. This is Jacksonville Jaguars Rebuild 2014, year two.
The Jags aren’t competing for a playoff spot.
The Jags are learning.
We can talk about freeing Blake Bortles. We can talk about the terrible offensive line play. We can even talk about bad play calling. But after two weeks, we need to seriously think about what statistics like 53% can tell us. It’s telling us to check our assumptions and remember we’re just two years out from a 2-14 campaign that saw Shad Khan hit the reset button.
Right now the team simply is not at a spot where competing is easily done. The team is too young. They are still learning.