5 Ways to Fix the 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars
0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Ways to Fix it
The Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten off to a terrible start to the 2013 regular season. They have a record of 0-3, and they are widely considered to be the worst team in the NFL. Opponents have been dominating the Jaguars thus far. It took them until Week 2 to reach double-digit points, In fact, the Jaguars have only scored 28 points this season, and two of them were from a safety. To make matters worse, they have allowed 92 points.
Things are not looking good in Jacksonville. Some fans have even pleaded, in various ways, with the Jaguars to sign Tim Tebow so he can replace Chad Henne as the starting quarterback.
On the bright side for the Jaguars, it is only Week 3. There is still a sliver of hope for them to turn things around. The Jaguars are still waiting for one of their key contributors from last season to make an impact this season: wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The NFL suspended Blackmon for the first four games of the season, and he will return for Week 5. In his rookie season, Blackmon had 64 catches for 865 yards and five touchdowns. The sky is the limit for him.
Many people are going to deem the Jaguars to be a team that will have trouble rebounding for a long time, but there is a beaming sign of optimism. The Detroit Lions were terrible in the 2008 season, finishing with a 0-16 record. They were able to build solid talent around superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson by adding players like quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Jahvid Best, tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
In four years, from 2008-2011, the Lions went from being the worst team in the NFL to a NFC Wild Card team with a 10-6 record. The Jaguars have a group of talented players of their own, such as running Maurice Jones-Drew, wide receivers Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, and linebacker Paul Posluszny.
The Jaguars could potentially develop into the next successful rebuilding project. There are five things that they must fix to be competitive for the rest of the season and to build toward a bright future.
5. Trade for Josh Freeman
The Jacksonville Jaguars' current quarterback options are terrible. It is either veteran Chad Henne or young Blaine Gabbert.
Neither one has proven that they can be a franchise quarterback on a weekly basis.
The Jaguars surprisingly decided to squash any rumors of trying to acquire recently deposed Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman can be an immediate upgrade over Henne and Gabbert.
First off, Freeman is playing in a contract year. This means that he is trying to perform well in hopes of a big contract in the offseason.
Freeman’s trade stock is very low, and the Jaguars could probably trade a low draft pick to see if he can blossom into a franchise quarterback. He has thrown 80 touchdowns against 67 interceptions with a 58.2 completion percentage since 2009.
4. New Blocking Scheme
The Jaguars rank toward the bottom in rushing yards per attempt, sacks allowed and quarterback hits. Ranking toward the bottom in these statistics usually suggests a disastrous offense, which is the case in Jacksonville.
Head coach Gus Bradley needs to develop a new pass-blocking scheme so quarterback Chad Henne can have time in the pocket to throw the ball. Bradley also needs to develop a new run-blocking scheme so running back Maurice Jones-Drew can find running lanes in the opposing defensive front-seven.
3. New Run Defense
People tend to assume that the Jacksonville Jaguars' entire defense is terrible because of how many points they have allowed thus far. However, the pass defense ranks ninth in passing yards allowed per game.
The Jaguars’ run defense is dreadful, ranking last in rushing yards allowed per game. They have given up an average of 167.7 rushing yards per game.
That includes Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor and running back Darren McFadden rushing for a combined 179 yards in their Week 2 victory against the Jaguars.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich needs to develop a blitzing scheme so the defensive front-seven is able to overpower the offensive line. This would allow the Jaguars' defense to prevent long runs.
2. Get Justin Blackmon Assimilated Beginning In Week 5
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon will return from his substance abuse suspension on October 6, in time for the Week 5 matchup against the St. Louis Rams. Blackmon is hoping to build off a very good rookie season in which he had 64 catches for 865 yards and five touchdowns.
Blackmon will be a perfect complement to wide receiver Cecil Shorts. Right now, defenses are game planning to stop Shorts because no other wide receiver on the Jaguars is a huge threat.
Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch should try to get quarterback Chad Henne to throw the football to Blackmon at least 10 times on Oct. 6 so he can continue his development at wide receiver.
1. Give Maurice Jones-Drew 20 Touches a Game
Typically, teams tend to feature their running back if their running back is very good. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars have failed to utilize running back Maurice Jones-Drew to his full potential.
MJD has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in three of the last four seasons. This season, the Jaguars have only given MJD 44 carries through three games, gaining 115 yards. He had 19 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown against the elite Seattle Seahawks defense on Sunday.
A team will have the best chance of winning when their best player is playing at an elite level. MJD needs at least 20 touches a game so he can get into a groove and produce.
It does not matter if the Jaguars are down by 40 or up by 10 in a game. Their success is dependent on MJD producing like an elite running back.