The Jaguars offense is reeling.
Blake Bortles is floundering. He hasn't looked like a competent QB since week four.
Nate Hackett isn't even calling running plays. The Jaguars ran the ball just 9 times in their week eight loss to the Eagles (not including Blake Bortles scrambles).
The O-line hasn't been the strong group we expected, partially due to injuries and partially due to just flat out poor play from players that were expected to do more. In terms of pass blocking, protection has been decent, but the offensive line has gotten very little push in the run game.
The Jaguars receivers have dropped 23 passes this year, seven more than any other team in the NFL.
Why have things been so screwy on the offensive side of the ball?
Well, for one, there just isn't enough talent or consistency from the QB and WRs.
But another explanation might be the absence of Leonard Fournette.
According to a report from Adam Schefter the Jaguars expect Fournette to return from a hamstring injury following the Jaguars bye week.
Fournette was selected by Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft and paid big dividends from the start. An offense centered around LF27 led the NFL in rushing in 2017 and came within minutes of the team's first ever Super Bowl appearance.
But in 2018 Fournette has been hampered by a nagging hamstring injury and has appeared in only parts of two games.
Will his return magically make Blake Bortles throw better, the receivers catch passes, and the O-Line open up holes?
But Fournette's return, along with the addition of bruising RB Carlos Hyde, should allow the Jaguars to bring a renewed focus on the running game. And boy, do they need it.
And if Leonard Fournette is able to get the running game going everything is likely to fall into place. There has been way too much pressure put on Blake Bortles and the passing game this season. Nate Hackett and the Jaguars coaching staff have got to make running the ball the priority moving forward.
It's possible that we will see more of the same from the Jaguars offense, even after Fournette returns, and if that does happen there will need to be mass changes from the offensive coaching staff to the players on that side of the ball heading into 2019.
But it's also possible that Fournette's return will help spark a change that could get the Jaguars offense moving in the right direction. After all, in the two halves that he's taken part in this season the Jaguars have scored an average of 14.5 points and have won both games.
What do you think? Will the return of Leonard Fournette help the Jaguars offense get going?
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