The first game of the 2021 NFL season has already eluded the Jacksonville Jaguars and new head coach Urban Meyer.
The new Urban Meyer regime as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach kicked off with a bang on Sunday. Unfortunately, the ‘bang’ was more of a thud, as the Jaguars were soundly defeated by the Houston Texans 37-21.
For most of the afternoon, the Jacksonville offense looked messy and unorganized, and everyone witnessed it.
From numerous false starts and illegal formations, the Black and Teal were their own worst enemy. In addition, their offensive game plan lacked innovation.
Urban Meyer has the running backs needed to keep pressure off of Trevor Lawrence
When you look at previous NFL playoff contenders, there is one common theme. A balanced offense that can both throw and run the ball. Tom Brady commandeered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense last season, but running back Leonard Fournette (remember him?) truly made the offense unstoppable in the 2020 playoffs.
On Sunday, the Jaguars afforded only 14 carries between both James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. Compared to the Houston Texans’ lead running back, Mark Ingram nearly doubled his opposition’s carries (26) alone. Moving forward, Jacksonville must address this for the sake of many components. Asking any signal-caller, let alone a rookie in his first game, to attempt 51 passes is not a recipe for success.
The Jaguars have a Pro Bowl-caliber running back. It’s time to use him.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ loss on Sunday concerns the fact of the already stated self-inflicted injuries. However, what is even more concerning is that Urban Meyer overlooks what James Robinson did last season. In case you missed it, the Illinois State product totaled 1,414 yards from scrimmage, the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
There is a pattern from selecting former Clemson running back Travis Etienne in the first round to now only affording Robinson to eight touches in the opener. While Hyde is a veteran back, he is not the caliber of dynamic player that Robinson is. Unless the situation changes in Week 2, it is a valid reason why Urban Meyer is giving the team’s best offensive player the cold shoulder.