The Jacksonville Jaguars enter their final game of a treacherous November without much to smile about. Jaguars owner Shad Khan hit the century mark with his 100th loss. The franchise is guaranteed another losing season with last week’s ninth loss. And now they are trotting out journeyman quarterback Mike Glennon to try and compete. Dismal times for sure. Above all, the Jaguars defense has especially lagged behind.
Jacksonville Jaguars Defense by the Numbers
Now, a defense that has struggled to make stops and get off the field all year is battling injuries. The upcoming Sundays are sure to be uneventful and fans might want to start decorating early for the holidays. However, injuries are not the excuse for how abysmal the defensive unit has played up to this point. Looking back on the first ten games, there are three numbers that illustrate just how dreadful the defense really has been this season.
Completion Percentage: 70.1
Opposing quarterbacks are completing 70.1% of their passes against the Jaguars. Only the New York Jets are allowing a higher percentage, the winless Jets. To gain retrospective, compare that to the league leader, the Pittsburgh Steelers. at 54.8%. That’s a huge discrepancy.
Yes the Jaguars secondary is young and vulnerable, but allowing that high of a completion percentage is a good reason why the unit cannot get off the field. Not only is it the high percentage, it is the chunks of yardage through the air. Opponents are averaging over eight yards per pass attempt against the Jaguars. This kind of yield is not an ingredient for success. Certainly there are other factors that contribute to the 70.1% completion rate by opponents, but this is unacceptable.
No More Sacksonville: Nine
The Jaguars defense has only mustered nine sacks this season. Second year defensive end Josh Allen leads the team with 2.5 sacks after his 10.5 sacks during his rookie campaign a year ago. Once again the front office made some highly criticized moves. In an effort to save money, the front office replaced experience with unproven youth by trading defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. Coincidentally, the departed Pro Bowl selections have combined for more sacks (10) than the entire Jaguars defense in 2020.
The lack of quarterback pressure allows opposing quarterbacks to read through progressions and find the open receiver. Of course this does not benefit the before mentioned Jaguars secondary. Opposing quarterbacks have a clean pocket during the game and a clean uniform after the game. Blame it on the scheme or the inability to properly evaluate talent. Whatever it is, that lack of sacks is a concern as the team rebuilds for the future.
Total Yardage: 411
To get information on the Jaguars defensive ranking at the bottom of the league, there is no need to dial 4-1-1. Rather look at the 411 yards per game the unit yields on a weekly basis. Despite giving up 411 yards and almost 30 points a game, Jaguars Defensive coordinator Todd Wash continues to be employed. How is this possible? Under Wash’s guidance, the defense is unable to get off the field and flip field position. Any other professional that performed as poorly as Wash has with the defense would have been relieved of his/her duties months ago.
Obviously the design is flawed. The scheme is imperfect. The players are out of position. Therefore, the scoreboard is being lit up by the opposition. Unfortunately, the 411 yards per game is a fluid number. The Jaguars remaining schedule features top ten offensive units like the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Minnesota Vikings. Couple that with an indifferent attitude from players at the end of a season, look for that number to inflate over the next few weeks.
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