Thursday, December 8, 2011
In limited offense, MJD production amazing
By Paul Kuharsky
Maurice Jones-Drew has a 3-yard lead on LeSean McCoy for the NFL rushing title.
It’ll be a nice accomplishment if the Jaguars' running back wins it, but it’ll also be used as evidence of how being a top running team doesn’t equate to being a top team -- or even a winning team.
If he wins it, it’ll be particularly impressive since the Jaguars have the league’s worst passing offense. Since defenses do not fear Blaine Gabbert or his downfield weapons, defenders are typically willing to key on MJD.
And still, he’s churning out 4.5 yards a carry and has taken a league-high 250 rushing attempts.
I asked ESPN Stats & Information for other instances in which the league’s top running back was on the NFL’s worst passing team.
They got this from Elias:
With Simpson and Lewis, you have to assume for a guy to run for that many yards the passing game was de-emphasized. The Titans were 23rd in pass offense in 2009 when Chris Johnson ran for 2,006 yards.
That’s obviously not what’s going on in Jacksonville, where rookie Blaine Gabbert is struggling and has no threatening downfield weapons. Jones-Drew is very much a one-man gang. The Jaguars are playing from behind a ton. And he’s still got a shot at being the league’s most productive running back.
That’s impressive work.