After missing first-down pass, Jags run it

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
11:21
AM ET
Pretend for a second you are a run-first offense.

But you throw on first down.

And the pass in incomplete.

Do you go back to what you do best? Or do you throw again?

Run it, odds are you wind up in third-and-long, the most predictable passing situation there is. So I like your chances of extending a drive a lot better if you throw it on second down.

So far, the Jaguars disagree.

In fact, through two games, they are the only team in the NFL that, after throwing incomplete on first down, has run it on second down every time.

Five-for-five.

The Redskins have done it five times in six chances (83.3 percent). Four other teams have done it at least three-quarters of the time -- the Chargers (75 percent), the Jets and Steelers (71.4 percent and the Vikings (66.7 percent).

The numbers are courtesy of Elias, via ESPN Stats & Information. No, they are not a giant sample size. But after watching the Jaguars' aproach against the Texans Sunday, I wanted to take a look. And I don't like the small trend.

It seems pretty stubborn, and really sends your offense a signal with that first-down throw: Miss, and it’s a two-down series, and the first of those two is going to be a run.

The rest of the AFC South does a better job here:
  • Indianapolis, four of nine for 44.4 percent
  • Houston, one of six for 16.1 percent
  • Tennessee, one of six for 16.1 percent

Even if you’ve got Arian Foster or Maurice Jones-Drew, a second-and-10 run isn’t likely to land you in a good spot to have your best chance at a new set of downs.

And those unpredictable Jaguars might want to throw on their next second-and-10, just to catch a defense by surprise.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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