For the past few seasons the offensive formula for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been simple – too simple.
Jaguars fans have gotten used to seeing running back Maurice Jones-Drew and fullback Greg Jones in the backfield on almost every snap, making the Jaguars offense a somewhat predictable run-first affair. Now with their starting backfield out on Sunday, the Jaguars may be forced to change their offensive formula.
Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey ruled out Jones-Drew (foot) and Jones (hip) for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Without those two in the game, the Jaguars may be more likely to pass on early downs.
The Jaguars had more success last week against the Green Bay Packers sustaining long drives while they were throwing the ball more on first down and getting ahead of the chains. For the past few seasons, the Jaguars have given the ball to Jones-Drew almost exclusively on first down and had short gains in the rushing game put them at second and third and long situations.
Throwing more on first down will not only make the Jaguars offense less predictable, but will give them a chance for more favorable third-down situations.
Without Jones-Drew and Jones, the weight of the Jaguars offense will fall squarely on the shoulders of second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert is coming off of his first career 300-yard passing game, and the Jaguars front office and coaching staff has nine games left in the 2012 season to evaluate his performance to decide whether or not they want to move forward with him at quarterback.