Allen Robinson was expected to pick up the slack during tight end Julius Thomas’s absence.
Instead, we saw the young wide receiver collapse with a couple of bad drops and just one catch on six targets.
It isn’t too late to panic, but he simply must step up.
Similarly, fellow starting wide receiver Allen Hurns struggled in Week for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Considered the next best option, I never thought that I would see Hurns and Robinson struggle in the same game. Hurns almost put it together, but with a drop and a terrible fumble in the red zone, his day wound up going south.
With many of us calling for further emphasis on the running game going forward, in the modern NFL you cannot simply abandon the passing game. As much as I romanticize a 30-carry game for a running back each and every week, that is becoming exceedingly rare in professional football.
So Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns cannot simply fade into the night here. They know that there will be continued opportunities for them in this offense and they will have to step up in order to make sure that the Jaguars passing game can balance its rushing attack.
Last week, I was hopeful we would see an intriguing battle between two receivers hoping to get to 1000 yards in 2015. 67% of readers/fans seemed to think Allen Hurns had the better shot of gaining more yards in Week 1 and they were right. However, it wasn’t really much of a fight.
With just one catch in Week 1, Allen Robinson put up a meager 27 yards. Hurns, in contrast, put together a 60-yard day on five receptions.
If it weren’t for a drop and a fumble, that day would have been quite nice for Hurns. Entering Week 2, it’s his ball skills that need the most work. He simply has to hang onto the ball when he gets his mitts on it. This was his problem during his rookie year in 2014 and has continued to be so through the preseason and Week 1. It’s mostly a matter of focusing and making sure he does the little things right.
For Robinson, it’s clear there is a bigger issue at work. It’s almost as if this is a sophomore slump for the receiver.
It isn’t just that Robinson is already setting a career high for drops in just his first game of the 2015 season. It’s that this is a new, sustaining trend since the preseason. With two drops to his name in Week 1 of the regular season and three drops credited to him through the preseason (via Pro Football Focus), it’s clear that something just isn’t right.
The preseason is the preseason and everything should be taken with a grain of salt, but if we look back to those games we’re seeing Week 1 as the continuation of a frightening trend and not as an aberration.
This is not the sure-handed young receiver we saw in 2014. This is a receiver who is struggling with a basic part of his job.
Allen Robinson has to get his act together. He is expected to be a team leader. He is expected to pick up the slack. He is expected to be an asset and not a liability.
Who knows, maybe the pressure of all those expectations finally got to him? Either way, he must step up or the Jacksonville Jaguars will struggle when they go back to pass.
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