Simple directive for Jaguars: run the ball, stop the run

Jags haven’t won in Nashville since 2013

(Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars need to run the ball more.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

When you are a team built around the running game and you only attempt nine rushes in a game, you can’t expect much success.

A conversation has been had between Jaguars’ running back Leonard Fournette and the offensive coaches, so expect a much different approach Sunday when the Jaguars face the Titans in Nashville.

“We all sat down and talked to try to get our plan together,” Fournette said. “We’re going to see coming out this Sunday.”

As frustrated as Fournette was after the game in Indianapolis, he’s clearly taking a “trust but verify” approach to the game plan this week. For his part, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo did as head coach Doug Marrone did earlier in the week and took the blame for the Jaguars imbalanced offensive approach.

“That’s on me. That’s on the execution. That’s on everybody,” DeFilippo said. “We win and lose as a team. So when you go back and look at it, we need to do a better job of staying on the field and converting third down. Because when you do that you can run the ball more, you can throw the ball more, you can have more offense.”

Make no mistake about it. Coaches are feeling the pressure this time of year. When Shad Khan stated last December that a season like 2018 would not be acceptable in 2019, he put everybody on notice in the usually cutthroat world of the NFL, the situation in Jacksonville comes with even more of an expectation for better performance.

That’s why the game in Nashville is so important. If the Jaguars win out and finish the season 10-6, there shouldn’t be many changes in the off-season. Shy of that, there is a full spectrum of potential changes that we could see at the end of the season.

But for the present, run the ball and stop the run is the mantra for the Jaguars this week. After allowing consecutive 200-yard rushing games by the Texans and Colts, the Jaguars have to lock down Derrick Henry and company on Sunday.

“It’s frustrating to us as a staff,” defensive coordinator Todd Wash said Thursday. “It’s frustrating to (the players). The last couple of games, we’ve played pretty well in the first half, and then it’s gotten out of hand in the second half. Put it on myself. I have to get them in better positions to make plays.”

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