No NFL team goes into a game expecting to lose. Players are wired to give their best and win, so it’s fair to say that the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t thrilled to fall to the Washington Commanders in Week 1 of the NFL season.
Outside linebacker Josh Allen said it best when he told the media that losing to the Commanders hurt because this Jags’ defense was built to win. On the other hand, not everything was doom and gloom in the season opener and there were some positive things. With that in mind, here are three positive stats from their Week 1 loss.
3. The Jaguars ran the ball efficiently (18 carries, 123 yards, 6.8 avg)
Running back James Robinson played his first game since tearing his ACL late in the 2021 season and he picked up where he left off, racking up 11 carries for 66 yards. Having the former Illinois State Redbird back in the backfield was big. However, he wasn’t the only running back that had an impact against the Commanders.
Travis Etienne, making his NFL debut, also toted the rock four times for 47 yards. Just like Robinson, the former Clemson Tiger showed no ill effects of the Lisfranc injury that cut his rookie campaign short in 2021.
Looking back, it’s easy to see why the Jags drafted Etienne 25th overall last year. Conversely, his selection was kind of puzzling precisely because they already had Robinson. Either way, they both give the Jags’ a dynamic running back tandem moving forward. On just 18 carries, they logged a combined 123 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Robinson also added a 3-yard touchdown reception that eventually helped the Jaguars briefly take the lead. The coaching staff must now keep feeding their young backs.