Hello readers and happy victory week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars just blanked their division rival, the Indianapolis Colts, to move to 1-1. Doug Pederson coached a masterpiece in a 24-0 thrashing of his former assistant Frank Reich and former Jaguars HC Gus Bradley. And Trevor Lawrence had a career day.
Trevor Lawrence generated a career-high +16.5 EPA assists in the Jaguars’ 24-0 win over the Colts in Week 2.
– Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 19, 2022
These are the last two paragraphs of last week’s recap (insert shrug emoji):
To conclude, I was impressed with the overall structure of the offense. Maybe it’s because last season sucked so much, but in the season opener last year, the Jaguars were a complete disaster. It feels different – there’s a much higher floor thanks to good game designs and beneficial coaching. Once the pre-snap penalties and blown blocks and dropped passes and missed throw (singular) are fixed, that’s it!
Big mistakes have killed the Jaguars in the past and it killed them again in Week 1. But once the team cleans up those early season mistakes, they have a legitimate offense waiting to be executed. . I buy on Trevor Lawrence and company.
And here is the offensive cinema of week 2:
Pederson was a little tired on first and second downs in the first 30 minutes against Indianapolis. It was no surprise given that Jacksonville’s passing game action was largely ineffective in the first half of Week 1, and James Robinson was not used much due to an early deficit.
However, those first halves against the Colts didn’t quite work out. Jacksonville had seven such carries in Week 1 and doubled on Sunday, but the team averaged just 3.9 yards per carry and -0.15 expected added points (EPA) per game, according to rbsdm.com.
They won five first downs but also only had five two-yard runs, and James Robinson’s 37-yard touchdown was the only first-half carry that lasted more than six yards.
The Jaguars were later bailed out by Pederson and Trevor Lawrence. The guy with the hair made quick and smart decisions to get the ball out quickly and help his offensive line while the guy with the visor called big plays (like the one explained below) to help his talent players.
It helped Bradley execute a notoriously predictable program. That said, Lawrence and Pederson made their worth clear throughout a rainy afternoon in Jacksonville. The Jags had seven first-half pass attempts on third or fourth down, and five attempted a first down (a third being converted on the next play).
Lawrence averaged 6.7 yards per attempt and 0.7 EPA per play on those passes, which isn’t crazy, but it kept the ball moving and allowed the Jaguars to control both the clock and dashboard.
Here is another great calling and throwing game.
it’s some dastardly Doug Pederson stuff. start with the UC 13P three-man box with Agnew in a tight right split, so IND has his DL and safety down the side of the three TEs. switch to shots, now Agnew is a No. 3 speed at a linebacker because the IND will just check at C3 from the base pic.twitter.com/Lg2SLO8n8b
—Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 19, 2022
(As I’ve noted in both offensive theaters so far, the lack of a downline threat is what caps the ceiling on this offense. Christian Kirk looks great on the inside, though.)
That was the story of the first half. The running game continued to be underwhelming throughout the second, but Pederson’s creative calls kept the ball moving enough to also keep the clock running and his defense on the touchline.
Jacksonville showcased a wide array of running concepts, which makes me think Pederson was throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall to see what stuck when he had a multi-score lead in the second half. Or maybe the Jaguars will just have a very diverse racing game the rest of the season, which would be even cooler. I’ll have more on last week’s rush attack in another article #soon.
As for the passing offense in the second half, as previously noted, Pederson did enough cool stuff to keep the chains moving. But we noticed how some of the concepts that came through looked dry.
I choose to believe that Pederson was keeping goodies in his bag for Brandon Staley and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, or maybe he was even just playing with Bradley and those poor Hoosiers. It’s better than the alternative, which chews on the thought of another predictable play caller in Jacksonville.
But it looks really different this time.