Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has his work cut out for him, but a key focus should definitely be on getting more first downs and finishing drives with a score.
With 143 first downs (16th in the NFL) it doesn’t seem like the Jacksonville Jaguars have a particularly hard time moving the ball. Then, when looking at third down conversion percentages, the Jags’ 30.3 percent (32nd) looks a whole lot worse.
The Jaguars simply can’t sustain drives right now. They’re racking up enough first downs to move forward down the field but then they stall. This is further reflected by the team’s 139 points (23rd in the NFL). The Jags score touchdowns on 54.5 percent of red zone trips (17th) but only get 3.1 red zone trips per game. That’s not the way to score points in the NFL.
The Jags either need to improve in the red zone or they need to keep moving the ball forward and get in position to put more points on the board. Hopefully they can do both.
It’s easier said than done and it’s much easier to simply point to the drives and say “get more yards” than it is to actually fix the problems. Nathaniel Hackett has a lot of work to do and the changes likely won’t be immediate as he replaces Greg Olson. Fortunately for Hackett, the Jaguars can only go up.
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Running the ball and balancing the offense is a good first step. If Hackett can shit things around to play to Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon‘s strengths, the Jags may see increased production. The running game was incredibly vanilla through the first seven games under Olson and could use some complexity added to it. Yeldon and Ivory are experienced enough to take the changes in stride.
Similarly, the passing attack needs some adjustment. The wide receivers haven’t been utilized effectively. There have been some drops, but the team also isn’t making the jobs of Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Marqise Lee easy either. Hackett will need to formulate a plan to get these players open more frequently.
By playing to the team’s strengths and shifting the offense, the Jags will hopefully be able to move the ball better. This could lead to increased third down efficiency, longer drives, and hopefully more scores. Staying the course would only have made things worse under Olson, but Hackett can play around to try and make things happen. Becoming more efficient in the red zone and keeping the chains moving are measurables to focus on to make that happen.