For the second year in a row, the Jacksonville Jaguars have stumbled out of the gate, once again losing to the Tennessee Titans, thanks a pitiful offensive performance. They got next to nothing on the ground, and David Garrard was pressured and on the run the whole game.
Now, I give all the credit in the world to the Titans' defense, but I have a serious issue with Jacksonville's play-calling. Do the coaches even realize that they have one of the most electric players in the league on their team?
Hey Dirk Koetter and Jack Del Rio, meet Maurice Jones-Drew.
Drew was selected 60th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and promptly led all rookies in TDs and was second in rushing to Joseph Addai. He outplayed that other ex-L.A. college running back, Reggie Bush. He's a touchdown machine, a big play waiting to happen, and a threat to go the distance every time.
So, in a game when the Jaguars are struggling to move the ball with any consistency, their best playmaker touches the ball a total of eight times.
Now, don't get me wrong here; Fred Taylor is a solid running back. But he's lost a step. If holes aren't being opened, he's not going to juke and outrun defensive backs or even linebackers. Jones-Drew can. But he doesn't have much chance if he gets eight touches and only five carries over 60 minutes.
Jacksonville's play-calling today was an absolute joke. They have one of the top-10 playmakers in the league in their backfield, and they just kept him tucked away on the bench, watching Taylor and Garrard get swallowed up by faster, quicker defenders.
Jacksonville was a sleeper pick by many to win the Super Bowl this season. They've still got a phenomenal defense, and they are still very much in the game. But this will be a long season, offensively, unless Del Rio and Co. remember their explosive running back. Maybe he'll get up to double-digit touches next week.
But if today was any hint, I doubt it.