After a sophomore season that had some calling him a top 5 NFL receiver, Allen Robinson has struggled to take the next step so far in year 3.
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The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-3, a record that isn’t as disappointing as it seems if you consider the offense has been an veritable disaster through 5 games. Blake Bortles has shouldered the brunt of the criticism – understandably so since he is the quarterback – but no one on the offense has really excelled so far. The running game has been a joke; the offensive line has pass blocked relatively well but the same can’t be said about the run blocking; and, most distressingly, the pass catchers have been underwhelming.
We’ve discussed the Allens a bit this week and the role they’ve played in holding the offense down, but not everyone thinks the receivers should be ‘receiving’ a reasonable amount of blame.
Chris Wesseling from the Around the NFL folks of NFL.com listed Robinson as one of the top-10 players ‘trapped’ in a bad situation:
"7) Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Buoyed by a breakout season from Blake Bortles, Robinson led the NFL in plays of 20-plus yards last season, using his 6-foot-3 frame, astonishing 42-inch vertical leap and exceptional ball skills to post up smaller cornerbacks. Now Bortles’ sloppy mechanics are backsliding to rookie-year form, sabotaging the offense and leaving Robinson out of the top 50 in big plays."
The offense has stagnated this season and Bortles is a significant reason why, but to say he’s sabotaging the offense and single-handedly keeping Robinson out of the ‘top 50 in big plays’ is ludicrous. Bortles lofted a perfect pass to Robinson in the corner of the endzone against the Green Bay Packers in week 1 to win the game – Robinson couldn’t bring it down. Last week, Bortles threw a dart to Robinson (low and away, exactly what he’s supposed to do on the goalline) on the opening drive for a touchdown – Robinson couldn’t pull it in, and instead tipped it up for an interception.
To be fair, Robinson has made his fair share of terrific catches in 2016, but he’s certainly been inconsistent and some of his drops have cost the Jaguars dearly.
Bortles definitely needs to pick up his play over the rest of the season, but so does Robinson.