The Jacksonville Jaguars have shown growth in the last four games. Although they haven’t won yet, they will if they keep getting better in the next following weeks. One area in which they’ve improved is running the ball, as they have gotten James Robinson more involved in the offense. They need to keep feeding him the ball moving forward.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer’s debut in the NFL didn’t go well. The Jags looked unprepared in their 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans, committing several penalties, and having to burn timeouts just to line up. They quickly fell behind and abandoned the run early, leaving Robinson with just five carries. Things got a bit better against the Denver Broncos in Week 2. The Jags once again lost but looked a bit more polished. The former Redbird even got 11 carries, which wasn’t much of an increase but it was a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Then Week 3 happened. The Jags had a more balanced game plan and remembered they had Robinson on the roster. This time, he carried the ball 15 times for 88 yards and one touchdown. Moreover, he added six receptions for 46 yards for a total of 134 yards from scrimmage. The second-year running back wasn’t done, and he toted the rock a season-high 18 times for 78 yards and two trips to the end zone.
While Jacksonville couldn’t hold on to their third-quarter lead and ultimately to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football, Robinson was one of the reasons why they had a fighting chance to begin with.
James Robinson showed the Jaguars he can carry a heavy workload.
Robinson showed last year that he can tot the rock, racking up 240 carries for 1,070 yards. He was also a reliable target in the passing game, catching 49 receptions for 344 yards. All in all, the Illinois State product totaled 1,414 yards from scrimmage, the by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
In spite of Robinson’s production, the Jaguars selected running back Travis Etienne 25th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Clemson Tiger showed explosiveness and burst during training camp, so it might not have been a bad pick. Robinson and Etienne would have split the workload, giving them the chance to stay fresh. But the plan came to a halt when E-T-N suffered a Lisfranc injury that ended his rookie campaign before it started. That left Robinson as the lead back once again.
It’s possible that Etienne’s injury affected the Jaguars’ game plan early in the season. There’s also a chance the coaching staff has adjusted and has made Robinson a focal point of the offense. You won’t win many games just running the ball nowadays. However, you will also struggle to score if you have a one-dimensional offense. Robinson gives the Jags a chance to keeps things balanced.
The Jaguars will face off the Tennesse Titans in Week 5. They are currently the top team in the AFC South. It will be a daunting task to beat them but if Jacksonville wants to stand a chance, they will need to feed Robinson the ball.