2. The Jaguars must get Travis Etienne heavily involved in Week 12
It’s hard to justify using a first-round pick in an era in which NFL offenses are built to throw the football, which is why it was kind of puzzling to see the Jags taking Travis Etienne 25th overall in last year’s draft. The fact that James Robinson was coming off a historic rookie campaign made the pick even more baffling. But one year later but the decision looks better with the benefit of hindsight.
Etienne has racked up 725 yards with four touchdowns on 131 carries and he’s on pace to cross the 1,000-yard mark in spite of his slow start to the 2022 season. From Weeks 5 to 9, he toted the rock 86 times for 536 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry while doing so. However, opposing teams have started to game plan for the former Clemson Tiger.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9, Etienne only averaged 3.9 yards per carry and he was limited to 45 yards on 11 carries against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Doug Pederson met with the local media Wednesday and acknowledged that both the Raiders and the Chiefs were able to take away the Jaguars’ ability to run the ball.
“I thought the last two ball games, with the teams that we played, they did that”, Pederson said. “They took away some of that because early on, that was kind of our strength, right? That was a perimeter game and it forces us to adjust and make some decisions that way. But that’s just game planning”.
Getting Etienne involved hasn’t translated into wins this season. However, the Jaguars’ offense runs more efficiently when he’s an important part of the game plan, so the coaching staff needs to feed him early and often.