Answering your scheme questions on the Jaguars’ Week 10 game against the 49ers.
Welcome to the Week 10 edition of our Jacksonville Jaguars film room mailbag!
Thank you to everyone who answered questions on Twitter. Let’s get into it.
what did the Jags do different to get Foye in the backfield for 2 sacks and 2 QB hits? (via @JaeSpida)
The Jaguars didn’t do anything different with Foye Oluokun specifically — he wasn’t even a designated rusher on his first sack.
Oluokun and Devin Lloyd crept up as if they were going to blitz, but after the snap, they and Josh Allen dropped back in coverage. Just three Jaguars players went after the quarterback, and pressure from the right side from Travon Walker forced Brock Purdy to scramble left, where Oluokun was ready to trigger down and drag Purdy to the turf.
On the second sack, Jacksonville put seven defenders on the line of scrimmage and sent six, leaving just five players in coverage. The secondary held up well, and Oluokun made an outstanding play to topple Purdy before he could get a pass off to George Kittle.
Oluokun also recorded 1 tackle for loss, the only such play by Jacksonville all afternoon. And it was all him on this one.
Do you think time to start pushing the ball down the field instead of using just short route combinations? your limiting yourself offensively. (via @JesiahWaldner)
Doug Pederson admitted Wednesday the team can do a better job of calling downfield shots, but a) that’s easier said than done and b) deep passes shouldn’t have to solely rely on scheme.
Jacksonville has the quarterback, and enough good receivers, to be able to let the ball rip — but they haven’t been able to do so because of protection. Trevor Lawrence is throwing the ball or getting pressured in 2.1 seconds on average. That’s tied with 2020 Ben Roethlisberger for the shortest ‘pocket time’ of any player in Pro Football Reference’s database (since 2018).
As a result, the Jaguars can’t let their pass-catchers run long-lasting routes (which is, of course, Calvin Ridley’s specialty). From Ben Solak of The Ringer:
According to Next Gen Stats, only 7.4 percent of the Jaguars’ routes go further than 20 yards downfield—that’s last in the league by a comfortable margin. When looking at routes from just wide and slot alignments (i.e., removing routes that are typically shallow, from inline tight ends and backs in the backfield), the Jaguars are the only team with an average route depth (9.9 yards) under 10.
Until Jacksonville can block better up front, this offense will continue to disappoint.
What was the point of trading for Ridley if he isn’t a true X receiver that this offense seems to need (via @jphuffine)
To help out Lawrence without spending significant resources. Trent Baalke is a huge ‘buy low’ guy, as evidenced by his trade deadline deals in 2022 (Ridley) and 2023 (Ezra Cleveland) as well as the deals he hasn’t made (the Jaguars were interested in adding a pass rusher since the summer but never found a favorable price).
Jacksonville is spending the second-most money on wide receivers this season, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. The position room is desperately missing another big body in Zay Jones’ absence. Someone like Jones or the 2019 version of D.J. Chark, who wasn’t a game-breaker but could beat press coverage and stretch the field, would allow Ridley to play at his more natural ‘flanker’ spot. Jacksonville’s lack of size on the perimeter also hurts its running game.
Still, the Ridley acquisition remains a good move, even if his production hasn’t met expectations. We shouldn’t have assumed that he would have the same impact as someone like Stefon Diggs, and we also shouldn’t have assumed he’d be working in a perfect environment. Sure, Ridley has a talented quarterback, but Lawrence’s knee isn’t 100% and the Jaguars’ other offensive players (bar Travis Etienne) largely aren’t doing their part. The Bills are having their own issues this season despite rostering a superstar quarterback/receiver duo.
3 targets in a blowout loss is inexcusable for a player of Ridley’s caliber, even if he isn’t Diggs.
Is Trevor Lawrence the problem? (via me)
There was a big online debate a few years ago about whether pass rush or pass coverage is more important. Like many answers in life, it’s somewhere in between.
This was Mike Caldwell’s response last season to a question about Darious Williams’ performance after moving to outside cornerback.
“It really goes hand in hand. D Will, he’s really done a great job the last couple weeks and early on in the season. It’s a pass rush with a coverage. He has tight coverage and allows the pass rush to get there. When the pass rush gets there, it helps him out in coverage, so it goes hand in hand, but he’s doing a good job for us, and we’re happy.”
The same idea applies to the other side of the ball. Offensive lines must hold up long enough to give receivers time to run downfield, but that just isn’t happening in Jacksonville.
Lawrence has not been performing as well as he’s capable of, though it’s much more the team’s fault than his own. The coaching staff has told their quarterback to cut down on negative plays, but when the offense isn’t producing positive gains, Lawrence (understandably) feels like he has to start forcing some.
And again, his lingering knee injury is also a bigger deal than most of us realize. Pederson said on Wednesday, “One of the things that we haven’t been able to do because of Trevor’s condition with his knee is just move him a little bit more. Sometimes, you can create things off of that. He’s been limited that way.”
Lawrence added, “It’s feeling better. It’s finally getting to where I’m not going to really think about it as much and won’t be as much as an issue. I feel like I’m starting to move pretty fluid and it’s not bothering when I do much. Obviously, it’s still a little bit here or there, it’ll get aggravated. But that’s a good question, I’m starting to feel comfortable and I’m happy about that with the progress I’ve made. We’ve been able to protect it the last few weeks and I’m excited to hopefully finally get going and just play normal, move around, all that stuff.”
Is there any conceivable way DP realizes Press is a problem (via @micah7844611188)
I’m sure Doug Pederson is aware of such claims. I’m not sure he’s gonna do anything about it.
Thank you for reading!
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Title: Jaguars mailbag: Week 10 film room
Author: Gus Logue