Jacksonville Jaguars Bye Week Report Card: Running back


More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the bye week at 2-5, a stark contrast from where they’ve been 7 games into recent seasons. While 2-5 would be a discouraging record for most teams, it signals improvement for a team that only won 7 games in the last 2 seasons, and it’s somehow good enough to stay in the hunt in a downright horrific AFC South.

As we slow things down for the bye week, we can take some time to look back and grade out each position group to help piece together how the Jaguars got to this point.

Let’s start with a position very important to the Jaguars offense – running back.

Here are each of the running backs’ statistics after 7 games:


  • T.J. Yeldon – 101 attempts, 401 yards, 4.0 yards per attempt, 1 touchdown
  • Denard Robinson – 13 attempts, 47 yards, 3.6 yards per attempt, 0 touchdowns
  • Bernard Pierce – 6 attempts, 11 yards, 1.8 yards per attempt, 0 touchdowns
  • Toby Gerhart – 20 attempts, 44 yards, 2.2 yards per attempt, 0 touchdowns

Looking at the pure statistics above, the most startling thing to me is the overall rushing touchdowns – just one. It should be two (thanks a lot Toby), but it just goes to show just how much Blake Bortles has had to carry the load on offense, particularly in the red zone.

The Jaguars have had struggles rushing the ball, but rookie running back T.J. Yeldon has made it look a lot easier than some of the other running backs. Denard Robinson is still getting back into a rhythm from injury so it’s not fair to judge him too harshly, but the rest of the rushers have been awful. Toby Gerhart in particular has been a monumental disaster, building upon the case he made last year of being one of the worst free agent signings by general manager David Caldwell.

Even though Toby only has 20 carries, he has a very defined role as a short-yardage back and he’s been terrible in those packages. All the evidence you need is him going 0-4 on attempts from the one yard line to score last week against the Buffalo Bills. Hopefully the Jaguars aren’t in a position where they actually need to rely on Gerhart later on this year.

Let’s go back to T.J. Yeldon for a little bit and talk about what has been the second best rookie running back in 2015. Todd Gurley has been electric, but after him, Yeldon has clearly been the next best guy. Even missing a game, Yeldon has the second most rushing yards among rookie running backs by a comfortable margin. He’s showing he can be a building block on this offense moving forward.

Bye Week Grades: Running backs overall – B

  • T.J. Yeldon – B-plus
  • Denard Robinson – Incomplete
  • Bernard Pierce – Incomplete
  • Toby Gerhart – F-minus

Next: Bye week grades - quarterback

More from Black and Teal