Over the course of two preseason games, we’ve seen the Jacksonville Jaguars do something they haven’t done in a while on the offensive side of the ball – look competent.
There are plenty of reasons to have low expectations for the Jaguars this season (Blake Bortles was the worst quarterback statistically in the NFL last season, he’s in a new system under offensive coordinator Greg Olson, there is almost no experience in the receiving corps, the offensive line was putrid in pass protection last year, etc.), but there is a chance the team can excel this season thanks to some of the upgrades and the development of the young talent on the team.
In two weeks of preseason play we’ve seen some encouraging signs from the offense, but there’s clearly still room for improvement. Here’s how the first team offense has fared during their time on the field so far:
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Despite some drive-killing drops by the young receivers, the Jaguars have moved the ball on their two opponents with startling consistency so far in the preseason. The first-team offense’s shortest drive thus far was a 7 yard three-and-out to open the first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Allen Hurns was the culprit of a pretty indefensible drop to end that drive.
Besides that, Bortles has shown a surprising command of this new offense, averaging about 44 yards per drive. Additionally, most aspects of the offense have looked competent and occasionally terrific. The offensive line looks vastly improved, which means more time for Bortles to throw and bigger, more defined lanes for the running backs.
The only knock so far – and most of the complaints come from the second preseason game – is the lack of touchdowns. Bortles managed to lead 3 scoring drives in last week’s preseason game against the New York Giants, but all 3 scores were field goals. Obviously touchdowns are preferable and a breakdown of the tape shows a better understanding of what caused each drive to stall, but the Jaguars need to improve in the redzone.
We still have 2 more weeks of preseason play to analyze until the real games matter anyway, so there’s no reason to fret, but the play so far has been a positive on the offensive side of the ball.
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