Stats & Info: Rashad Jennings

The Jacksonville Jaguars are playing for a division championship and playoff spot on Sunday, and will likely be without two of their biggest offensive contributors this season -- quarterback David Garrard and running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
Rashad Jennings

With Trent Edwards and running back Rashad Jennings likely filling in for their injured counterparts, how will this impact what the team does offensively against the Houston Texans? Here are three things to keep in mind:

• With Jennings in for Drew, the Jaguars may try to run to the outside more, specifically the left side. Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushes up the middle this season, but Jennings has the capability to go in other directions. In a limited sampling of 20 carries to the left side, he’s averaged 8.8 yards. Even if you take out his 74-yard run against the Raiders, he’s averaged better than five-yards per carry on such runs. The Texans rate slightly better than league average this season on left-side runs, allowing 4.6 yards per rush.

•  One area where Edwards may have an advantage over Garrard is when the Texans bring extra pressure. During the 2008 season in which he was 7-7 in 14 starts for the Bills, Edwards completed 66 percent of his 90 pass attempts against blitzes, with four touchdowns and only one interception.

Admittedly his personnel were different from that which Garrard has worked with the last couple of seasons. In the last two years, Garrard has 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions against blitzes.

• The Jaguars are going to have to find success from someone else in the red zone. Garrard has thrown 16 touchdowns, with no interceptions in the red zone this season, with the fourth-best passer rating (113.8, min. 10 attempts). Garrard and Jones-Drew have also combined for seven of the Jaguars’ eight rushing touchdowns in goal-to-go situations.
Trent Edwards

The Texans did well defending Tim Tebow inside their own 20 yard line last week (he was 0-for-5). This week, their focus will be Edwards, who is 2-for-7 with an interception inside the red zone this season, 10-for-24 with two interceptions over the last two seasons.

The unfortunate thing from a Jaguars perspective is that Garrard and Jones-Drew both have great histories against the Texans. Garrard has completed 67 percent of his throws against Houston in the last three seasons, including 30-of-43 in the fourth quarter. Jones-Drew averaged nearly 100 yards per game against them on the ground in that span.

Sunday will be a chance for a couple of new names to make history and possibly push their team into the postseason.
Maurice Jones-Drew has gotten his share of attention from this blog before, and Sunday, he gave us every reason to write him up again, after his sixth straight 100-yard rushing game and late game-winning score gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a 38-31 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Rashad Jennings
But a teammate of Jones-Drew’s actually did something more statistically impressive, via a check on Rashad Jennings became the sixth player in the last 50 years to average at least 20 yards per rush in a single game (minimum five carries). He finished with 109 yards on five carries.

Jennings had a 74-yard touchdown run, which is by far the Jaguars' longest touchdown run this season. The winning score by Jones-Drew, from 30 yards out, ranks second. Jennings’ run ties for the fifth-longest touchdown run in Jaguars history. It also was the only time in 12 plays against a nickel or dime defense (five or more defensive backs) that the Jaguars elected to run the football.

It was the third time in Jaguars history that they had a pair of players rush for 100 yards in the same game. In both of the other instances, the combination was Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor.

Those two backs weren’t the only ones to have good games in the early afternoon.

• In the same game that the two Jaguars starred, Raiders running back Darren McFadden had a pair of touchdowns of 50 yards or more (a 67-yard reception and a 51-yard rush). He’s the fourth player in Raiders history with a pair of 50-yard touchdowns in the same game, the first since Napoleon Kauffman in 1997. Video review showed McFadden rushed for an impressive 57 yards on five carries when the Jaguars had eight men in the box to defend against the run.

• Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner also came through with a huge day for his team. He tied Gerald Riggs’ Falcons record with his ninth multi-touchdown game, in a win over the Carolina Panthers. Turner has four games with at least three rushing touchdowns since 2008, the most by any NFL player in that span.

• Though the Redskins botched a game-tying attempt to tie the Buccaneers, it was still a big day statistically for running back Ryan Torain. He finished with 172 yards, 121 coming in the first quarter. That’s the most in the first quarter by a running back since Marshall Faulk had 143 for the Rams in 2001.