Can Denard Robinson Keep It Up?


Earlier this week I boldly stated that Denard Robinson was a top-three running back in the NFL. Was it a little premature? Maybe. Was it warranted based on how he is playing right now? Absolutely.

So the question now becomes: Can Denard Robinson keep it up?

The comments led of the previous article led to the extrapolation that if Robinson does keep up his top-three running back play for the rest of the season he will likely be among the top five of running backs from the entire season. This, despite not starting until week six.

I firmly believe that Robinson is in fact good enough to end up in the top five at the end of the season. I also believe he deserves to be in the conversation at top three, especially if he is able to keep it up and leave us all wondering, “What if the Jaguars had started Denard Robinson all season?”

While we don’t know for sure right now and we’ve all seen running backs buckle under even the modest 100 carries Robinson has accumulated at this point in the season, his ability to keep up his ridiculously high level of play is not my concern.

The play calling, however, is.

Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch has shown a tendency to lean toward the pass early when the Jaguars fall behind. We’re not talking 21 points behind when the game is pretty much out of reach (after all, the Jaguars have only scored more than 20 points twice this season). We’re talking anywhere from seven to 14. It almost feels like Fisch gets frazzled by his second quarter deficit and throws the entire game plan out the window.

Right now the Jaguars game plan should read pretty much one thing: “Feed Denard Robinson.”

He’s the highlight of the offense. He doesn’t turn the ball over often (one fumble in 100 carries this season). He makes consistent big plays.

The receiving corps for the Jaguars can’t match his consistency. Blake Bortles can’t match his reliability. Heck, even the offensive line has surprisingly turned run blocking into a relative strength.

Fisch needs to stop turning to the air in order to gain points. There’s no for Robinson to end a game with just 15 carries like he did against the Cowboys, becoming almost nonexistent during the second half. The Jaguars came out of halftime down by 17 (plenty of time left) and proceeded to give Robinson two touches in their nine-play drive. They followed that up with one touch in six plays, one touch in six plays, and one touch in four plays in the following three drives of the third quarter.

The strength of an offense should see more touches than that, no matter where the team is at in a game.

Can Denard Robinson keep it up? Perhaps the better question will be: Will Jedd Fisch let him?