Week 6 Recap:
Jaguars at Bears
Jaguars: The Jaguars offensive line is playing much better than they had been but only in the passing game. I kept thinking to myself that Bortles had a long time to throw, but they did not seem to be opening very big holes for the running backs. If you look at their ProFootballFocus grades, only their center and left guard grade out above 75 as a run blocker. I think this is a big part of the reason the Jags continue to struggle to run the ball.
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Kelvin Beachum, LT||31/78||76.0||81.3||50.5|
|Patrick Omameh, LG||18/78||81.6||82.7||80.8|
|Brandon Linder, C||5/34||83.5||81.4||76.8|
|A.J. Cann, RG||39/78||73.4||81.6||49.3|
|Jermey Parnell, RT||26/78||78.3||83.6||50.5|
Quarterback: Blake Bortles has been struggling this year, and that continued against a pretty bad Bears defense. He completed 20/33 for 271 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 1 fumble. To be fair, his INT should have been a touchdown pass to Allen Robinson. His fumble came on a play where he held onto the ball too long and was not aware of a defender in the pocket. The majority of his throws were off target, and his receivers are constantly having to save him. What makes this more puzzling, is that he has so much time to throw. He seems to do better when he’s scrambling or out on bootlegs, but until Bortles can become more consistently accurate I can’t see him as anything more than a second QB in a 2 QB league.
Running Back: The Jaguars rotated Yeldon and Ivory seemingly at random. Both backs were in on plays inside of the 5-yard line. Yeldon did not get any goal-line carries in this game, but Ivory got one that went for a touchdown. It is difficult to tell if this will continue to be how the work is distributed. Ultimately, neither running back got much room to work. They were consistently met in the back field because the Jags offensive line is unable to generate any push. The Jaguars have called pass plays on 65.92% of their snaps this season*, and they do not seem to be willing to try to commit to the run.
Neither running back looked significantly better than the other. At least, not well enough to truly claim the lead back role. I really like Yeldon’s tape. He shows good power on several snaps, but he also has the ability to make a player miss. He consistently makes something out of nothing. Yeldon had a very nice, powerful run at 6:23 in the 4th quarter. If you watch the tape, you will stop believing the narrative that Yeldon is bad in short yardage situations. Ivory put down some good tape as well. Overall, I think he looked pretty similar to Yeldon, but he’s not quite as quick as Yeldon. Ivory was more willing to meet contact. They’re both good players, but neither one looks to be good enough to truly claim the lead back role. Until we see otherwise, they are both flex plays moving forward.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back touch breakdown against Chicago Bears Week 6.
Wide Receiver: Ultimately, I believe the Jags wide receivers all need to be downgraded. Bortles is playing really terrible. They work miracles to catch some of the passes Bortles flings in their general direction. Robinson nearly disappeared in this game, but it was not due to playing poorly. The Bears definitely tilted coverage towards Robinson, but there were plenty of opportunities for Bortles to get the ball to him. Robinson only had one really bad drop in the game. Bortles hit him right in the numbers for what should have been an easy touchdown, but somehow Robinson did not make the catch. Instead it popped up into the air and the Bears picked it off. The other two “drops” were poorly thrown balls by Bortles. He should be able to get it done against the Raiders in Week 7. If he doesn’t, though, he’s got to be considered a flex play.
If Bortles had been a little more accurate throughout the entire game, Hurns could have had a much better day. He did manage to connect with Hurns on a few deep shots when they were trying to come back, but the Bortles factor limits him to a WR3/flex play. The Jaguars wide receiver I was most impressed with was Marqise Lee. He made some very tough catches throughout the game. He’s clearly their number three option now. He tends to get targeted on the shorter routes, but I am worried that Bortles will get him killed with his ball placement. Since Week 2, Lee has received 6 – 7 targets each week, and he caught a minimum of 66.7% of those targets. He’s not going to get high yardage, so his productivity is very limited outside of PPR leagues. In PPR, I would be comfortable using him as a bye-week fill in or possibly stashing him if you’re in a deep enough league. Arrelious Benn was only on the field for four plays and he was targeted once. It was a complete fluke, so don’t buy into it.
Jacksonville Jaguars receiver target distribution against Chicago Bears Week 6.
Jacksonville Jaguars receiver target distribution in 2016.
Tight End: Julius Thomas looked alright in this game. He’s a big body in the middle of the field, but Bortles still manages to miss him. I think the emergence of Marqise Lee ultimately is eating into Thomas’ production. I no longer see Thomas as a must start TE, but I would be willing to play him in the right match up.
Bears: At the time I am writing this, the Bears have already fallen to the Packers in Week 7. I will try to sprinkle in some analysis of the statistics from the Thursday Night Football game, but I was only able to watch the second half and will not speak much to the film from that game. Hoyer is also now injured, so it is really tough to say what the offense will look like moving forward. To make matters worse, the bears lost Sitton at the end of the game in Week 6, and they lost Kyle Long in the first half of the Week 7 matchup against the Packers.
Strictly in Week 6 against the Jaguars, the Bears offensive line played alright. I’m not sure if the Colts defense is that bad, or if the Jags defense is actually starting to play a little bitter. Whatever it is, the Bears offensive line did not generate as much push, and Hoyer was pressured much more frequently than he was against the Colts. The ProFootballFocus numbers are a little skewed now because the Bears have already played in Week 7, but they still match fairly well with how I felt the line played last week.
Chicago Bears offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Charles Leno Jr, LT||43/78||71.5||78.1||48.2|
|Josh Sitton, LG||4/78||79.6||84.8||73.6|
|Cody Whitehair, C||9/34||81.7||77.3||77.4|
|Kyle Long, RG||20/78||79.6||84.8||73.6|
|Bobby Massie, RT||68/78||44.8||41.0||58.1|
Quarterback: In the week 6 matchup against the Jaguars, Hoyer was pressured much more than he had been against the Colts and Lions. Most of his production against the Dallas Cowboys came in garbage time. He was starting to turn into a bit of the Hoyer I came to know and love as a Houston Texans fan. When he gets pressured he becomes much less accurate, and this showed up on the film. Hoyer was attempting to give Bortles a run for his money with some of the poor throws he made. He overthrew Jeffery for one, possibly two, long touchdown passes.
Running Back: In the game against the Jaguars I felt like Howard looked as good as he did during the previous two weeks. He got the tough yards, but the line did not seem to give him much room to work. Carey, on the other hand, always seemed to have huge lanes to run through. That’s not to say Carey did not look good on his carries, because he looked every bit as good as Howard. There was one play where he could have easily had a long catch and run, but he dropped a ball that hit him in the hands.
Overall, I don’t really see anything on film that suggests that Carey really deserves more of the work than Howard, and at worst it should be a 50/50 split. That being said, when you look at their statistics it’s tough to not say Carey is the lead back. He out-snapped and out-touched Howard against the Packers, and his production was better than Howard’s. Carey was also the number two back behind Langford going into the season. I still think I would prefer Howard, but it is tough to speculate now that Hoyer is out. The Bears are also missing their starting guards for the foreseeable future. To complicate things even further, Langford is due back in the next few weeks. This is shaping up to be an ugly backfield moving forward, and I would get out while I still could in redraft leagues. If you have to get someone, I think I might go with Carey. We really just don’t know how the offense will look.
Chicago Bears running back touch breakdown against Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6 and the Green Bay Packers in Week 7.
Wide Receiver: Well, that was the Alshon Jeffery we were hoping to see. Hoyer was more comfortable throwing it Jeffery’s way. Jalen Ramsey was left on his own to cover Jeffery, and it was a fun match-up to watch. Jeffery was overthrown on what could have been two different touchdown catches. He looked really good running around and cutting. So I don’t think he’s dealing with any soft-tissue issues. Overall, Jeffery had himself a nice game against the Jags, and I would have felt good starting him against the Packers on Thursday night. Jeffery received the large majority of the targets, but I can’t speak to the quality of those targets. Now that Hoyer is out for a while, I would expect Jeffery to become the leading target for the Bears offense once again. I think I would play him in Week 8, but the Bears are facing the Vikings on Monday Night Football. I would certainly understand if you want to avoid that match-up.
Meredith still saw more targets than Jeffery did in Week 6, but the disparity between the two was not nearly as great as it had been in previous weeks. Meredith got a lot of targets on shorter routes which are typically higher percentage throws. Meredith’s route running is decent, but he lacks consistency in this part of his game. He shows good quickness, but it’s not elite level quickness. The Bears really like to throw him bubble screens, and the play looks nearly identical every single time. You have to expect that if I can see that, then NFL defensive personnel have figured out how to stop it. I did not see much in Week 6 that led me to believe that Meredith would be able to sustain his success. To some extent this looked to be the case on Thursday night, but with Hoyer leaving in the first half it is impossible to say how the targets would have been distributed. I don’t know that I will be looking to play Meredith in Week 8 against the Vikings, but I believe he could maintain WR3 value Week 9 and after.
Chicago Bears receiver target distribution against Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6 and the Green Bay Packers in Week 7.
Tight End: Zach Miller is still the only Bears tight end that I want anything to do with. He’s reliable, and Barkley seemed to target him quite a bit. We have seen both Cutler and Hoyer both target him early and often. Again, I am not liking the match-up in Week 8, but after that I would set him and forget him.
* Per www.teamrankings.com.