The Jaguars offense has an opportunity to use both dimensions on Sunday.
Through six games this season, it’s safe to say the Jacksonville Jaguars Offense has been one-dimensional and reliant on rookie running back Leonard Fournette. The problem with that is that it becomes exceedingly easier for teams to defend the Jaguars offense. Fournette had a 75-yard run on his first carry against the Los Angeles Rams, but after that run he had just 55 yards on 20 carries.
Now Fournette is missing practice and how much he will play on Sunday is up in the air.
With teams totally selling out for the run and Fournette being banged up, you would think that the Jaguars would start to take advantage of the match ups in the passing game, but it’s not quite that simple.
“I think that’s the first thing you think of,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday when asked about throwing against almost goal line defensive looks that the other teams have started showing.
“You know what I’m saying, when you get in and you go, ‘Shoot. They got all these guys up here, we’ve got to go do it,’” Marrone continued. “So I think that’s the first process that goes through your mind, but in the same sense you don’t want to limit yourself to just putting yourself in one dimension. Hey listen if we put this front in there we know they’re throwing the football. You’ve got to be able to come up with some things to try to keep yourself balanced at the end of the day.”
It’s clear the Jaguars don’t trust Bortles to throw the football a lot, unless they absolutely have to, but they cannot keep playing handcuffed every game, especially against a team like the Colts and with Fournette banged up.
The Colts have the second worst pass defense in the NFL, allowing nearly 300 yards per game in the air and in the bottom five in the NFL in sacks. The Jaguars should match up well against the Colts pass defense and it would seem the perfect opportunity to attempt to open up the pass game to open up the run game.
Even against the Baltimore Ravens in London, the Jaguars best passing performance of the season by far, most of the scoring drives were short and setup by the defense. If the Jaguars are going to get their real passing game going this season, Sunday against the Colts seems to be the perfect time for it to happen, if it’s going to.