T.J. Yeldon missed the Week 6 game against the Houston Texans and there was a marked effect on the Jacksonville Jaguars offense.
Yeldon, who was one of the better runners in the NFL through five weeks, missed his first game of his career and the Jaguars floundered trying to run the ball behind 2014 starter Denard Robinson and Toby “Two-Yard” Gerhart.
Gerhart finished the day with 26 yards on nine carries, averaging below three yards per carry. Robinson was equally disappointing, providing just 19 yards on seven carries.
Of the 83 rushing yards in the game for the Jaguars, 37 of them came from quarterback Blake Bortles off four scrambles.
Without T.J. Yeldon, the Jacksonville Jaguars offense is far too one-dimensional to compete.
The game against the Houston Texans saw Bortles toss the ball 53 times. He had three touchdowns and another 300 yard game, but he also threw three interceptions. With a “gunslinger” quarterback that likes to take risks, that’s about what should be expected when he throws 53 times in a game. It was just his second game with at least 50 attempts.
Yeldon is critical to the Jags’ offense’s integrity. Without a strong running attack the offense cannot move the ball effectively and threaten even mediocre defenses. This was on full display during Sunday’s game. Yeldon is a gifted runner who is able to make positive plays even when the offensive line allows penetration. Nobody else on the team seems capable of doing that.
It is worth noting that the Jaguars have turned to the pass often in the season because the team has been playing from behind. In Sunday’s game the team had to turn to the pass because the running game simply was not working. This is the first game where the rushing offense has looked completely unthreatening and it showed as the offense struggled as a whole.
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