Empty backfields not big for Jags, Titans

June, 30, 2011
6/30/11
11:20
AM ET
The Jaguars and the Titans are running back-based teams who lack a deep, threatening pool of proven receivers.

So it’s no surprise to find in Football Outsiders’ breakdown of empty backfield sets, they are the teams that went empty the least often in 2010.

The Titans were empty 0.7 percent of the time and the Jaguars had no one in the backfield 0.4 percent.

The Texans are more balanced, though not as deep at receiver as they might like. They were empty on 5.7 percent of their offensive snaps, but only averaged 4.0 yards per play in those situations. That was 24th best in the league and it’s a department where Houston should fare better if a team like Pittsburgh is getting 7.2 yards.

I’m surprised the Colts had no one in the backfield only 3.1 percent of the time and that they averaged only 5.4 yards (which ranked them 13th). It tells me backs factored into the passing game as targets and as pass protectors even more than we might think.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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