The Jacksonville Jaguars are surging forward but desperately need to get touchdowns in the red zone if they want to win more games.
The last 14 trips in the red zone have resulted in just four touchdowns for the Jacksonville Jaguars (according to this AP story’s measurement). This was especially noticeable in the Week 11 victory over the Tennessee Titans as the Jag settled for four field goals and were only able to score when set up on the five yard line after a monster punt return.
Team Rankings has the Jaguars listed as the 27th team overall in scoring a touchdown when in the red zone. Their measurements have the Jaguars scoring a TD on just 43.75 percent of attempts in the red zone. The only contender with a worse percentage is the Minnesota Vikings (29th) at 42.31 percent.
Obviously that is something that needs to change for the Jaguars to really become contenders both in the AFC South and in the broader NFL.
Some of it comes back to play calling, like running Toby Gerhart straight up the middle on four straight runs against the Buffalo Bills or running Denard Robinson three straight times up the middle against the Titans. There is also a problem with fade routes for the Jaguars in the red zone as well.
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson should be held responsible for trying to force some play calls to work that simply are not functioning for the Jaguars at this point. He needs to adapt the calling in the red zone for the strengths of the team, seeking mismatches like Julius Thomas on a linebacker during the Titans game.
With three big receivers in Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, and Julius Thomas, there is no excuse for the Jaguars to not be able to find a favorable matchup in the red zone. With a decent running game behind T.J. Yeldon, there are multiple threats for the Jags to take advantage of.
Whatever the issue is, the Jags need to solve it. The Jags have the 13th highest red zone scoring attempts per game at 3.2 (via Team Rankings), capitalizing on those opportunities will alleviate pressure on the defense, help put the game out of reach, and lead to more wins.