The Jacksonville Jaguars wet the bed. They screwed the pooch. You choose the metaphor, they were a dysfunctional football team on Thursday night. The defense made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like an All-Pro, connecting on his first 12 attempts. And the offense looked sluggish without DJ Chark. The team played well in its first two games, coming away 1-1 against Indianapolis and Tennessee. Even in their loss to Tennessee, the Jaguars were competitive, losing by only a field goal. That team did not show up this week. Gardner Minshew didn’t have the magic this week. But perhaps the biggest problem is the defense. They rarely pressured the quarterback and gave up multiple chunk plays. James Robinson was the lone bright spot for the team on Thursday night.
James Robinson a Bright Spot on Offense
It’s not often that an undrafted rookie running back has an impact in an NFL game, much less starts. However, James Robinson continues to prove all his doubters wrong. The Illinois State product made an impact both on the ground and through the air for the team.
Robinson had 11 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also hauled in six passes for 83 yards. His total on the season is now 43 attempts for 210 yards, which is good for 4.8 yards per carry. He also has 10 receptions for 129 yards in his first three outings. Robinson highlights the youth movement that the Jaguars currently have. He’s a 22-year-old rookie that plays with a lot of grit. Whether he’s hurdling over a defender or stretching out to break the plane of the goal line for a score, Robinson is proving that he’s the real deal.
Chris Conley Was a Liability
Chris Conley is supposed to be a veteran receiver that provides consistency on this young offense. He showed consistently bad play against the Miami Dolphins. The receiver had two bad drops and an offensive pass interference call against him.
Conley was a free agent acquisition in the 2019 offseason. He was previously on the Kansas City Chiefs for four seasons starting in 2015. Conley had 47 receptions on 90 targets for 775 yards and five touchdowns last season. If he continues to play like he did Thursday night, he won’t come close to that number this season.
Where is the Defense?
The Jags’ defense played “bend but don’t break” during the first two weeks of the season. They were a mess on Thursday night. The troubles started on the first drive of the game. The team let the Miami Dolphins march right down the field unhindered. The night appeared to be CJ Henderson‘s welcome to the NFL moment. He failed to touch a defender down on the first drive and missed a tackle on defense. The highly touted defensive back looked nothing like he did in week one.
Fitzpatrick finished the night 18 of 20 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. The Miami offense had no turnovers. Minus a sack by second-year defensive end Josh Allen, the defense didn’t have many memorable plays. They aren’t able to pressure the quarterback and are allowing receivers to have room to make plays. How long can defense coordinator Todd Wash stay employed with performances like this one?
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