Jags' on-target drops and explosive plays

September, 25, 2009
9/25/09
4:16
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


Surrounding David Garrard with better weapons was one of the Jaguars’ offseason priorities.

So far it hasn’t really panned out.

Elias Sports Bureau says the Jaguars lead the league in on-target drops through two games.

Jacksonville has 11, Tampa Bay 9, Denver 8 and Green Bay 7.

Here’s the breakdown:

Nate Hughes: 3

Torry Holt: 2

Maurice Jones-Drew: 2

Marcedes Lewis: 1

Montell Owens: 1

Greg Jones: 1

Greg Estandia 1

The guys responsible for four of the 11 are gone. Hughes is now on the practice squad and Estandia was cut and claimed by Cleveland.

Garrard actually had nine passes that qualified as “explosive” against Arizona, a good sign for offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Here’s what Koetter said on the topic earlier this week about explosive plays in an interview with Jacksonville media:

On how David Garrard is playing:

“You know actually I thought David played much better in game two than he did in game one. One of the things that’s a big measurable in winning football is your explosive gains on offense, and next to turnovers it’s the number two most-important factor. Dave had nine explosive passes -- meaning gains of 16 yards or more -- he had nine completions over 16 yards against Arizona last week. Part of that is the style of game it was, as I mentioned, because we were in a throwing mode in the second half. But I would be willing bet that if you looked up the history of Dave as a starter, there hasn’t many games when he’s had more than nine completions over 16 yards.”

On how 16 yards was determined as explosive:

“I didn’t. NFL decides that, it’s a formula that most NFL teams use. Explosive run -- 12 yards or more. Explosive pass -- 16 yards or more. A lot of teams in the NFL subscribe to that theory. Normally if you can get between seven and eight explosive gains in a game, you’ve got a high percentage chance of winning that game. Or if you if you can get over four explosive runs in a game, you have a high percentage chance of winning that game.”

On how many explosive plays he looks for in a game:

“We’re looking for eight. We had 11 last week overall -- nine passes, two runs. Compare that to the Indy game, we had three. Again, somewhere around seven or eight is the magic number. That was one of our offensive goals; that was in the plus column in the Cardinals game, one of the few that was in the plus column.”

On the magic number of seven or eight explosive plays and why it’s magical:

“There’s a mathematical formula. Several teams subscribe to this that if you go through -- and I know you guys have all looked at this -- there’s a chart that says if you start inside your own 10, inside your own 20, inside your own 30, inside your own 40 … Alright there’s also a chart that says within a drive, based on how many explosives [plays] you have in that drive, how much your percentage of scoring goes way up. If you have two explosives in a drive, your percentage is like almost – I don’t have it memorized but I got the numbers it’s over 50 percent. If you have no explosives your percentage is low. Maybe in our next [interview] I can bring my chart and give you the exact [figures] but trust me next to turnovers it’s the most important thing on an offense.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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