T.J. Yeldon is quietly leading all rookie running backs in total yards through the first four weeks of the 2015 season.
In fact, Yeldon is quietly having an excellent season. Currently 12th in the NFL with 259 yards on the ground and averaging a decent 3.7 yards per attempt, the Jacksonville Jaguars have got to be satisfied with the way he has been playing.
Expect him to continue to impress on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs feature the league’s third-worst rushing defense, allowing 547 yards on the ground through four games this season. Teams have noticed how weak the rushing defense is and Tampa is the second-most rushed against defense int he NFL with 138 attempts against them so far this season.
Expect T.J. Yeldon to continue the Bucs’ streak of futility against opposing rushers.
Last week the Buccaneers allowed 133 yards on the ground to Jonathan Stewart and the Carolina Panthers. The week before, they allowed a monstrous 186 yards to Alfred Blue and the Arian Foster-less Houston Texans.
T.J. Yeldon has more than enough talent to continue that trend of big gains on the ground.
In fact, the Jaguars should rely more on Yeldon in this game as there is a clear advantage to running the ball against the Bucs over passing against them.
The Buccaneers, for all of their rushing defense woes, have the second-best ranked passing defense in the NFL. They have allowed just 742 yards through the air all season. They have also been passed against a limited amount (5th least in the NFL) in large part because opponents are focusing on running the ball.
In addition, Tampa cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Alterraun Verner are among the better corners in the league right now. Both players are allowing 50% or less of passes thrown in their coverage to be caught.
As the Jaguars gear up for the Buccaneers, there should be a strong emphasis placed on using T.J. Yeldon as the primary offensive weapon in the game. The opportunity for a big day is there and the Bucs pass defense may not be welcoming for a Jaguars offense that has not been particularly threatening through much of the season.
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