The Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty one-dimensional on offense early in 2017 with Leonard Fournette – can they be more dynamic in 2018?
Adam Schein over at NFL.com went through who he considers to be the most obvious ‘one-man bands’ in the NFL – i.e. which players are carrying the loads for a squad more compared to other players on other teams.
For the Jaguars, he went with the guy literally carrying the load.
"7) Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville JaguarsBlake Bortles struggles with the forward pass. Jacksonville’s receivers are young and relatively inexperienced. Yet, the Jaguars, fresh off an AFC title game appearance, are rightly thinking big again in 2018 because of two things. Yes, that ferocious defense is first and foremost. But don’t overlook Fournette, whose tireless work on offense further boosts Jacksonville’s more-vaunted unit.Fournette pounds opposing defenses, even when they routinely sell out to stop the run and try to make Bortles beat them. Also, the beastly back’s ability to move the chains allows Jacksonville defenders well-deserved rest. It’s a lonely, LeBron-like world being the only player on the Jaguars’ offense keeping defensive coordinators up at night."
Of the nine players on this list, Fournette is arguably the least suitable for it. The perception of the 2017 Jaguars is they drove everything on offense through Fournette and the passing game was an afterthought.
In the NFL in 2018, nobody can be successful that way. The Jaguars made a point to establish the run but they were always willing to pass the ball even if they didn’t absolutely need to. Fournette missed a handful of game last year and the Jacksonville offense, especially Blake Bortles, thrived during his absences.
Comparing Fournette to LeBron is borderline comical – the analogy falls apart quickly trying to juxtapose a 5-man sport to an 11-man sport.
Fournette is an important part of the Jaguars offense but the coaches are smart enough to know he can’t be the entire offense. In 2018, expect the Jaguars to focus on getting Blake Bortles to elevate the passing game and have more games like the ones he had against the Colts and Seahawks, as opposed to the dumpster fire we saw against the Buffalo Bills in the wild card round.