The Jacksonville Jaguars have struggled to recapture the magic they had on offense in 2015, partly because their star receivers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have started slow.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has struggled so far in 2016 – that’s no secret. The third year quarterback is on pace to throw for 26 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, and 4,200 yards (he’s currently averaging a less than stellar 6.85 yards per attempt). Bortles certainly has to play better for the Jaguars to become a serious contender, but he’s not the only problem.
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The Jaguars entered the 2016 season with what most people considered one of the best young receiving duos in the NFL. Through 5 games, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns haven’t been nearly as consistent as they were in 2015. Allen Robinson in particular has hurt the team with drops in key situations. Robinson couldn’t pull in a jumpball at the end of the Green Bay game (a play he almost always made last year) and he handed over an interception on the opening drive last week against Chicago.
Hurns has also been dropping balls at a discouraging rate, but he at least has made a few plays (like the game-clinching touchdown in London against the Colts).
With their presumed top 3 players struggling, it’s easy to see why the offense just can’t move the ball consistently right now.
Even with the difficulties they’ve had to start the year on offense, the Jacksonville Jaguars still have a solid collection of talent at the skill positions. Pro Football Focus agrees, listing the Jaguars at number 6 in terms of receiving corps 6 weeks into the season.
"6. Jacksonville Jaguars (4)Starters: WR Allen Robinson, WR Allen Hurns, WR Marqise Lee, TE Julius ThomasAllen Robinson and Allen Hurns were the deep-ball kings a season ago, hauling in 32-of-70 targets for 1,131 yards (16.2 yards per target) between the two of them. Those numbers have dropped to 4-of-17 targets for 118 yards (6.9 yards per target) this season. Some of that is on quarterback Blake Bortles, but Hurns and Robinson are currently 39th and 56th out of 56 qualifying receivers in drop rate. The talent is still there, it’s just been a down season so far."
It’s clear that Robinson and Hurns still have the talent to be great, so it makes sense to keep the receiving corps ranked so high. If Bortles ever gets back into a rhythm, those two will begin producing at a much higher clip.
A low key addition to the skill position group has been Marqise Lee. No, he isn’t really an addition since he’s been on the team for the last 3 years, but he’s finally healthy and contributing on a weekly basis. He’s done a good job getting open on slants, and you just get the feeling he’s going to break one of those short passes for a huge play at some point.
Overall, this is still a good group of pass catchers that is far too talented to not eventually breakout and have some big games.