Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 Extra Points

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

5 Extra Points

Article excerpt


If the Jaguars can't establish their running game, the offense is in deep trouble. They entered the New England game averaging 4.1 yards per carry but just as importantly, averaging 27 attempts through the first two weeks. New coordinator Greg Olson can be committed all he wants to calling run plays, but they have to work for him to continue calling them. The Patriots were gashed for a 5.7-yard average in wins over Pittsburgh and Buffalo. But the Jaguars were held to 2.9 yards per carry (20 attempts, 57 yards) and the sledding was tough for rookie T.J. Yeldon (11 carries, 33 yards). "We saw a lot of eight-man boxes to deter us from running," coach Gus Bradley said.


New England had only 39 rushing attempts for 136 yards in its first two games and the Jaguars' defense figured to have an edge in that area since they allowed only two rushes of at least 12 yards against Carolina and Miami. But the Patriots rumbled their way to 125 yards on 32 rushes. LeGarrette Blount bulldozed his way to three touchdowns (all one-yard runs) but also had a 22-yard gain. The Jaguars' pass rush is struggling as it is; it won't do anything if teams can have a consistent run game. "Anytime you're giving up runs of over 2-3 yards, you're upset," defensive end Jared Odrick said.


The Jaguars are never going to be a blitzing defense. Let's establish that (again) as fact. They rushed five or more just 15 times in 85 drop-backs (17.6 percent) through two games. But did they even show blitz against Tom Brady once Sunday? It was a steady diet of four-man rushes, which the Patriots blocked (aside from two sacks), allowing No. 12 to throw for 358 yards. Great quarterbacks dissect defenses that have a predictable game plan. "A lot of his big plays in the past occurred versus pressure," Bradley said. …

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