Jacksonville Jaguars Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 15

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 12, 2012

Big plays from Shorts are great, but the Jaguars have to move the chains more often.
Big plays from Shorts are great, but the Jaguars have to move the chains more often.Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-11 on the 2012 season and in last place in the AFC South.

In Week 15, they travel to Sun Life Stadium to take on the Miami Dolphins.

The Jaguars rank 30th on offense, 28th on defense and 31st overall in DVOA.


What Went Wrong in 2012

It's hard to classify the meltdown at the quarterback position as a surprise, as before the season most figured Blaine Gabbert would be terrible.

What has been shocking is the complete dissolution of the defense.

The Jaguars are a full touchdown per game worse on defense than they were in 2011.

A lot of that can be attributed to the injury to Daryl Smith. He's long been one of the best (though unknown) linebackers in the league, and from the moment he went down, the defense has had trouble.

The Jaguars pass rush deteriorated this year as well. No Jaguar has more than two sacks, and rookie second rounder Andre Branch has just one.

Injuries have hurt the secondary as Dwight Lowery, Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox have all missed significant time.

Had the defense played up to its previous standards, the Jaguars wouldn't be tied for the worst record in football.


Injury Update

Three Jaguars are battling head injuries: George Selvie, Cecil Shorts and Rashad Jennings all suffered concussions.

There's still no word on Maurice Jones-Drew's foot injury that now seems like it could cost him the rest of the season.

Aaron Ross is questionable with a leg injury as well.

Michael Brewster was placed on injured reserve.


2013 Draft Status

The Jaguars currently stand to inherit the second pick in the 2013 draft. They are tied for the worst record in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

They will likely fall anywhere from first to third in the draft, but second appears the most probable destination. They trail the Chiefs in the strength of schedule tiebreaker by a significant margin that probably won't reverse itself before the season ends.

The Jaguars won't be able to solve their quarterback issues at the top of the draft, but they should be able to land a dynamic defender that will help restore the defense to a top-10 unit.


Stat that Must Improve in 2012

The Jaguars are 31st in the NFL in yards per drive and 30th in punts per drive.

They have to do a better job of sustaining drives and stringing together down series.

No one thinks of the Jaguars as a quick strike offense, but when they have scored this year, it's often been because of long plays.

The Jaguars have six touchdowns of over 40 yards on the season, four by Shorts. That's 20 percent of the Jaguars' points that have come off of big-play scores.

In comparison, the New England Patriots have just four such scores on more than double the total points on the season.

The Jaguars have an explosive element. What they need is the ability to move the chains.

Coaching Watch

Consecutive poor outings by Chad Henne continue to dim the lights on Mike Mularkey.

The Jaguars will likely suffer another humiliation at home at the hands of the Patriots in two weeks, meaning the Jaguars have just two road games left to try and save their coach.

Mularkey isn't to blame for the disaster that is 2012, but if the team finishes the year with just two wins, he won't likely survive it either.