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The Jags are on a downward trend. How do they get back on track?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a challenging position. They’ve now lost two consecutive games, and three of their last five outings, possibly throwing their standings in jeopardy. What needs to change for the team to turn things around?

For one, the offensive line needs to protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence better. The front unit has allowed a total of 33 sacks heading into week 15—six more than the 27 average given up by opponents they’ve faced this year—including four sacks each in their last two games. It’s not a favorable statistic, as Trevor Lawrence has been playing with an ankle injury suffered in a week 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.   

The Jaguars offensive line has had a tough time protecting Trevor Lawrence, giving up eight sacks in their last two games. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

A focus on short, check-down passes would likely resolve this issue. Trevor Lawrence could get the ball to his receivers much faster, alleviating some pressure on his pass blockers.

Regardless of the lack of pass protection, the Jaguars offense is still one of the most fluent in the NFL. Each of the last three Jags outings has witnessed over 20 points scored offensively, but the team still lost two games due to the defense not pulling its weight.

In the last three games, the Jaguar’s defensive front has given up 11 touchdowns, at least three in each consecutive outing. Six touchdowns were retrieved in the passing game, leaning much of the blame on the defensive secondary.

A potential solution for this would be to emphasize defending the long pass. Four opposing passing touchdowns in the team’s previous two losses have been from 30 yards or more, so putting an extra defensive back out on the field might prevent this stat line from increasing.

Lastly, the Jaguars defense has struggled to get off the field on crucial fourth downs. In the team’s last two outings, the Cincinnati Bengals (2/2) and Cleveland Browns (3/3) were perfect on fourth down—quite the disheartening slate from a defense that features Pro Bowl tacklers in Josh Allen and Foye Oluokun.

A gameplan fix that could provide success on fourth down would be to run some zone blitz schemes. That way, a linebacker or edge rusher could fill in gaps on a rush attempt while most of the secondary could play in-zone to prevent the short pass.

Things are only getting more difficult for Duval’s finest in week 15. The Jaguars will host the 10-3 Baltimore Ravens at TIAA Bank Stadium on Sunday night, with kickoff set for 8:20 p.m.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Jacob Justice, Sports Editor
Jacob Justice is a third-year multimedia journalism major at the University of North Florida. First joining as a sports reporter, Jacob is now Spinnaker's sports editor. Jacob has a passion for sportswriting and hopes to write as a journalist for a sports media company in the future. In his free time, he tends to enjoy playing guitar and bass as well as spending quality time with friends.
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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