The ‘Allen Brothers’ Need to Bounce Back in 2017

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The Jacksonville Jaguars offense was set to take off at the start of the 2016 season. Quarterback Blake Bortlesstrong season and his talented young receiving duo had the team dubbed ‘one of the league’s most promising young rosters.’ The “Allen Brothers” had emerged as legitimate playmakers for the Jaguars after causing problems for opposing corners all season. Hauling in a combined 144 receptions for 2,431 yards and 24 touchdowns, the duo was primed to explode. The exact opposite happened, however, as both the receiving pair and Jags offense collectively regressed significantly. The team finished the season with a dismal 3-13 record.

The ‘Allen Brothers’ Need to Bounce Back in 2017

With free agency well underway, and the Jaguars once again seeking to improve the roster, the duo must recover in 2017 to get the Jacksonville Jaguars offense going.

Pro Bowl Potential

It’s no secret who is the most prominent of the two wideouts. A 2015 Pro Bowler, Allen Robinson, took a step backward during the 2016 campaign, recording 73 receptions for 883 yards and just six touchdowns. Whilst those are by no means terrible numbers, the Detroit native saw a substantial decline from the previous year. Harassed by double coverage all season, Robinson found it difficult to make plays in former offensive coordinator Greg Olson‘s system. Fortunately, Robinson did recapture some of his old self in the Jaguars final few games under new head coach Doug Marrone. Recording 14 receptions for 229 yards down the stretch, Robinson will look to continue that form entering next season.

Injuries

While both players saw a fall in production last season, the injuries to Allen Hurns left a lasting impact on the pair. Hurns’ season concluded prematurely after 11 games when he was struck by a hamstring injury in Week 12 against the Bills. Hurns tallied just 35 receptions for 477 yards and three touchdowns, with a series of injuries hindering his performances. The subsequent ailement to Hurns increased the pressure on Robinson, who was targeted more often as a result. If the duo can remain somewhat healthy for the entire season, they will likely regather their stellar play of 2015.

Talented Trio?

Despite Hurns and Robinson suffering a setback last season, Jacksonville can be encouraged by the emergence of receiver Marqise Lee. In the absence of Hurns, Lee stepped up as the Jaguars second receiver and at times delivered in bunches. Hauling in 63 receptions for 851 yards and three touchdowns, Lee also proved effective for the Jaguars in special teams, most notably returning a kickoff for 100 yards and a touchdown as a highlight.

In what was his first fully-fit season for the Jaguars, Lee managed to shed off any doubters. The former second-round pick was a welcomed sight for the Jaguars, in what otherwise proved to be a lackluster showing in Jacksonville. After posting only 52 catches for 613 yards and two scores while missing nine games his first two years, a healthy Lee would give the Jaguars one of the league’s premier receiving corps.

Quarterback Issues

It’s fair to say that the regression of the pass-catchers could, to some extent, be placed in the hands of signal-caller Blake Bortles. After achieving career bests in 2015, Bortles took a vast step back in 2016 in both performance and mechanics. Bortles completed just 58.9 percent of his passes last season for just 3,905 yards. More notably, he threw only 23 touchdowns, 12 fewer than the previous year. His difficulties cost the Jaguars, as Bortles threw 16 interceptions during the season.

However, there is room for Jaguars fans to be optimistic heading into the 2017 season. ESPN writer Michael DiRocco, reported earlier this week that Bortles has been working on his mechanics, including his release and footwork, with 3DQB coaches in California. Bortles is also expected to work with the ‘Allen Brothers’ next week in Arizona. If the former third-overall pick has really improved, this could be an encouraging sign for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Moving Forward

2017 is a crucial year for both Hurns and Robinson. Both have shown extreme promise throughout their young careers, and they will need to rebound this season. The rise of Lee as an additional weapon for an improving Bortles could see the Jags offense revitalize itself this season.

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