Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: A Wrecking Ball to the 2010 Season?

Jeremy AlpertSenior Analyst IIJune 14, 2011

Wrecking ball image is from:
Wrecking ball image is from:

2010 Review:  Maurice Jones-Drew, No. 32

Was that Maurice Jones-Drew I was watching last season, or a four-month biopic on Eddie Murphy's career?

The whole Jenna Jameson experience MJD gave us in 2010 (think teal see-saw in shoulder pads) left me a little lost as to where to start, so I think I'll just give it a go from the preseason.

First of all, it needs to be noted that MJD loves his fantasy football. His addiction is so severe that not only does he play in leagues during the year, but he also even hosted his own weekly fantasy show on Sirius Radio called “Runnin’ with MJD.”

Think what you want, but if that’s not a true commitment to his fantasy owners across the country, I don’t know what is.

Another show of his love for football (fantasy or otherwise) was his decision to forgo knee surgery in August, instead opting to play out the season with a painfully torn meniscus.

Controversial and maybe a bit Mad Hatter? Absolutely, but the surgery necessary to fix his knee would have sidelined him for a considerable chunk of the season—an option the Wrecking Ball would not invite over for tea.

So, with the guts of a daytime burglar, MJD strapped on his cleats and made it through the first 14 games of the season before finally succumbing to his affliction.

Again, was it the smartest move he could have made?  Probably not, but those who spent a first-round fantasy pick on him were, I’m sure, quite thankful for the decision.

Adversely, when we strip away the silver lining, Jones-Drew had the most inconsistent season in his five-year career.

Normally known as a touchdown machine (54 TDs in 63 career games), MJD scored just seven times in 2010 over the 14 games he participated in. Meanwhile, the little big man also averaged 94.5 yards rushing and 117.1 total yards per game; his career averages during the previous four years were 62.3 and 90.6 yards, respectively.

In addition, whereas MJD has been known to start out of the gates fast and end up fading down the stretch, 2010 proved to be the opposite.

In his first seven games, the Jaguars RB collected just one 100-yard game, three TDs, 17 receptions and a mere 650 total yards—as opposed to his final seven games where he compiled six consecutive 100-yard games, four TDs, another 17 receptions and 990 total yards.

Needless to say, fantasy owners who decided to stand by their selection were well rewarded during the second half of the season.

The word out of Jones-Drew’s camp this offseason is that his surgery went off without a hitch and that he is well ahead of his recovery schedule. In all likelihood, MJD will be 100 percent healthy by the start of 2011, so there’s no reason to believe he will fall out of the top five fantasy RBs this upcoming season.

In fact, with Maurice being just 26 years old and in the prime of his career, I’m going to take the red pill before my draft once again and hope the NFL Network doesn't show a Scott Baio biopic this time around.

(Brought to you by PYROMANIAC.COM)

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Pros and Cons for 2011

(+) After a slow start to the season, MJD rewarded owners who held on to him by putting together a streak of six straight 100-yard games (with four TDs) heading into the fantasy playoffs

(+) With his low center of gravity, Jones-Drew is one of the toughest RBs to tackle in the NFL

(+) With his own fantasy football talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio, is there a guy in the league who pays more attention to his fantasy stats than MJD?

(+) Played through the entire season (14 games) with a torn meniscus, yet still managed to carry the ball 300 times and put up his second straight 1,300-yard rushing season (1,640 total yards)

(+) Plays in warm weather for most of the year

(+) When healthy, Jones-Drew is still one of the few every-down backs in the league

(–) As a 5’7”, 208-pound running back who doesn’t shy away from contact, injuries finally caught up to him, causing him to miss crucial games at the end of the season

(–) Supposedly his knee injury from last year is said to take at least four months to recover from

(–) A very mediocre passing attack allows defenses to stack eight men in the box against him

(–) The “Touchdown Machine” finally came back down to earth—after averaging 13.5 total TDs per year over his first four years, MJD put up just seven in 2010


For the rest of Maurice Jones-Drew's Player Profile, CLICK HERE

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