T.J. Yeldon put in a solid game on Sunday afternoon, but it is overshadowed by the general ineptitude of the rest of the offense.
While it sounds harsh to come out and say it like that, it is really tough to look at the completeness of the team’s offensive approach in the preseason and see it come out so incredibly disjointed, dysfunctional, and ineffective in Week 1. The preseason is the preseason and most of us got sucked in.
But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t positives from Sunday. There were.
Buried beneath the general incompetence were some things to latch on to for hope. We’ll dive into them here.
Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive back Kurt Coleman (20) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) during the first quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1) T.J. Yeldon, running back, Jacksonville Jaguars
T.J. Yeldon had himself a solid first NFL regular season game.
Entering the game with just 10 yards on eight carries in the preseason (see, don’t get sucked in!) Yeldon showed that he belonged in the NFL during his regular season debut. He put together a very nice game with 51 yards on 12 runs. By my count, he had three runs of over 10 yards.
A consistent 10+ threat at running back is exactly what the Jaguars could use on offense.
My primary complaint regarding T.J. Yeldon was that the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t use him enough. In a game that seemed to unravel in the second half, the team abandoned the running game rather than trying to stick to a game plan with a healthy amount of touches for Yeldon and fellow backs Denard Robinson and Bernard Pierce. That falls on offensive coordinator Greg Olson and head coach Gus Bradley.
T.J. Yeldon showed that he is worthy of more touches as a runner than just 12 per game. The Jags need to give it to him, especially after saying they were committing to the run in 2015.
Yeldon also added 16 yards on a three receptions.
All in all, the result could have been better but Yeldon showed that he is a valuable player for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Next: A fine linebacking performance from the captain of the defense