Jacksonville Jaguars have opted for a balanced running back rotation

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 01: Leonard Fournette
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 01: Leonard Fournette /

Even with the selection of Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars have chosen a more balanced rotation at the running back position.

The Jacksonville Jaguars viewed Leonard Fournette as a workhorse running back that they could count on to gain big chunks of yardage on the ground, and just four weeks into the season Fournette has already lived up to the billing.

But so far in the 2017 season, the Jaguars have decided to stick with a more balanced approach at the running back position, splitting snaps between Fournette and Chris Ivory.

Pro Football Focus did a breakdown on running back snap counts in week four, and as you can see, Fournette and Ivory had nearly the same amount of snaps on Sunday against the New York Jets. Now obviously Fournette had more carries, and rightfully so, but Ivory also got his share of time on the field.

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Personally, I think the Jaguars’ even rotation of backs has been a positive from a frequency standpoint, as Fournette is still churning out productive performances, while Ivory has been more than formidable as a reliever.

But while not having much of an issue with how often the Jaguars switch backs, there has been a major concern with WHEN the Jaguars have decided to take Fournette out of the game or just not give him the football.

I touched briefly on the subject in a post-game article after the loss to the Jets, but in that game alone Fournette was not on the field for a crucial 3rd-and-1 with roughly four minutes to go and the Jaguars down 20-17. Jacksonville opted to hand the ball to Chris Ivory instead and was stopped short of the marker. Then on their next and final possession in regulation, the Jaguars drove the ball to the Jets six-yard line with under two minutes to go still down three and procceded to throw three straight times instead of giving Fournette a carry. A short-yardage situation with the game hanging in the balance seems like a perfect time to go to your first-round pick, but the Jaguars thought otherwise.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have found a nice balance with the running back rotation, but need to learn to give the ball to their workhorse back in crucial situations as the season goes on.