In some ways, the 2009 season was a rebound year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Following a playoff appearance in 2007, they fell to 5-11 in 2008, and Jack del Rio was rumored to be on the hot seat heading into the 2009 season. Although the Jags started the season 3-3, winning 3 of their next four games showed that they seemed to be headed in the right direction with a 6-4 record. Unfortunately, they dropped 5 of the last 6 to finish 7-9. In my continuing series on 2009 NFL Season Reviews, we’ll try to determine what aspects of the team led to that downfall. We’ll also discuss what positions the Jags may want to target to improve for next season.
Before going further, you should take a look at the Season Reviews Informational Post, if you haven’t already. It describes the methodology and data presented in the following tables. Now that you have reviewed the methodology behind this data, let’s take a look at the data, and I will discuss it below.
|Team Offense||Value||Rank||Team Defense||Value||Rank|
|Pass Yards||3356||19||Pass Yards||3774||27|
|Pass TD||15||27||Pass TD||28||26|
|Pass INTs||10||4||Pass INTs||15||16|
|Rush Yards||2029||10||Rush Yards||1863||19|
|Rush TD||19||6||Rush TD||12||14|
Table 1: Season Overview
|Jax Pts||Opp D||Opp Pts||Opp O|
|Opp||Score||Avg Pt||Diff1||Score||Avg Pt||Diff2|
|St. Louis Rams||23||27.25||-4.25||20||10.94||9.06|
|Kansas City Chiefs||24||26.5||-2.5||21||18.38||2.63|
|New York Jets||24||14.75||9.25||22||21.75||0.25|
|San Francisco 49ers||3||17.56||-14.56||20||20.63||-0.63|
|New England Patriots||7||17.81||-10.81||35||26.69||8.31|
Table 2: Points Comparison
|Jax Yds||Opp D||Opp Yds||Opp O|
|Opp||Gained||Avg Yd||Diff1||Gained||Avg Yd||Diff2|
|St. Louis Rams||492||372.81||119.19||262||279.38||-17.38|
|Kansas City Chiefs||426||388.19||37.81||301||303.19||-2.19|
|New York Jets||347||252.31||94.69||322||321||1|
|San Francisco 49ers||357||326.38||30.63||284||290.75||-6.75|
|New England Patriots||275||320.19||-45.19||464||397.31||66.69|
Table 3: Yards Comparison
|Jax P-Yd||Opp D||Opp P-Yd||Opp O|
|Opp||Gained||Avg Pa||Diff1||Gained||Avg Pa||Diff2|
|St. Louis Rams||326||235.25||90.75||207||167.88||39.13|
|Kansas City Chiefs||253||231.69||21.31||241||182.63||58.38|
|New York Jets||208||153.69||54.31||212||148.75||63.25|
|San Francisco 49ers||261||229.38||31.63||232||190.75||41.25|
|New England Patriots||177||209.69||-32.69||267||277.25||-10.25|
Table 4: Pass Yards Comparison
|Jax R-Yd||Opp D||Opp R-Yd||Opp O|
|Opp||Gained||Avg Ru||Diff1||Gained||Avg Ru||Diff2|
|St. Louis Rams||166||137.56||28.44||55||111.5||-56.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||173||156.5||16.5||60||120.56||-60.56|
|New York Jets||139||98.63||40.38||110||172.25||-62.25|
|San Francisco 49ers||96||97||-1||52||100||-48|
|New England Patriots||98||110.5||-12.5||197||120.06||76.94|
Table 5: Rush Yards Comparison
Looking at Table 1, the first thing that jumps out at me is that Jacksonville only sacked opposing QBs 14 times, worst in the league. In fact, it was one of the worst seasons in the last 30-40 years in terms of defensive sacks. So, at first glance it seems that pass rusher is the biggest weakness and highest need for Jacksonville this year. The main strength of the team looks like rushing offense.
Looking at the points and yardage comparisons, it seems that both offense and defense were below average in terms of how they matched up with opposing teams’ seasonal averages. Neither were horrible, but neither was an overall strength either. It’s when we break it down by passing and rushing that we see a better indication of where the strengths and weaknesses lie.
Both passing offense and passing defense were relative weaknesses for this team while rushing offense and defense were relative strengths. I suppose this makes sense as a reflection of del Rio’s desire to be a physically dominating team that can run and stop the run when needed. I guess the problem for him is that while both were strengths, neither were elite.
So, that comes back to the question of what direction might they target in this year’s draft? As I said earlier, that sack total is very low, so they may target an elite pass rusher. On the other hand, the passing game needs some help too. But, is there really a top ten worthy WR coming out this year? It seems that they most likely will try to continue to improve the defense, either by looking for an edge rusher, or trying to get a disruptive force in the middle. It may be unlikely that an elite DT is available when they pick, but that would improve the rush defense and should help the outside rush as well by tying up 2-3 blockers in the interior of the line.
Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars