Air it Out: How Has the Jaguars' Offense Distributed the Ball Through 6 Games?

How have the Jaguars spread the ball via the air through the first six games of the season? We examine what it all means here.
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Despite the Jacksonville Jaguars continuing to claim that they want to find balance on offense, Week 6 saw the Jaguars once again decide to rely on Gardner Minshew's right arm as opposed to the ground game. With that in mind, we do now have expanded data for our tracking of the offense's ball distribution. 

Using data from Pro Football Reference we will look at targets, target share, air yards and much more as we dive into Jacksonville's passing game and what it means for the offense moving forward. With that said, here is how the Jaguars have distributed the ball through six games. 

Using data from Pro Football Reference we will look at targets, target share, air yards and much more as we dive into Jacksonville's passing game and what it means for the offense moving forward. With that said, here is how the Jaguars have distributed the ball through four weeks.

Targets

According to PFR, the Jaguars have distributed 230 targets to their skill players through the first 6 games. Here is how those targets have been divided. It is important to note that DJ Chark has played only five games and Dede Westbrook has played in just one. We will also list target market share, which shows the percentage of targets a player has gotten.

Targerts

PlayerTargetsTarget Market Share

Keelan Cole

38

16.52%

Laviska Shenault

35

15.21%

DJ Chark

34

14.78%

James Robinson

26

11.30$

Chris Conley

24

10.43%

Tyler Eifert

23

10%

Chris Thompson

19

8.3%

James O'Shaughnessy

15

6.5%

Collin Johnson

10

4.3%

Bruce Miller

2

0.87%

Tyler Davis

2

0.87%

Dede Westbrook

1

0.43%

Keelan Cole is still leading the pack for the Jaguars in this area, but DJ Chark sees a giant jump after getting 14 targets vs. the Lions, which is the second-highest he has ever seen in a single game. Chark is now just barely behind both Cole and Laviska Shenault despite not playing in Week 3. Meanwhile, Chris Conley, James O'Shaughnessy and Tyler Eifert saw just a combined three targets in Week 6, boosting the target share numbers of a few different players. 

Completed Air Yards/Air Yard %

Air yards is a great stat that shows the yardage a pass travels in the air before it is caught by a player. It essentially helps show the impact that yards after catch have on specific plays and with specific players. For instance, a 50-yard catch looks different if it is a catch-and-run on a screen than it would if it was a downfield pass. The total distance that a football is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage to the point of reception is air yards, and it shows which players are getting the deep shots in the offense. It should be noted that this specific usage of the metric focuses on completions.

So with that in mind, who is leading Jacksonville in air yards (890) and air yard percentage? We use PFR data to find the answer.

PlayerAir YardsAir Yard %

Keelan Cole

260

29%

DJ Chark

223

24.8%

Laviska Shenault Jr.

131

14.55%

Chris Conley

113

12.55%

James O'Shaughnessy

78

8.66%

Tyler Eifert

48

5.33%

Collin Johnson

40

4.44%

Chris Thompson

25

2.77%

Dede Westbrook

4

0.44%

Tyler Davis

0

0%

Bruce Miller

-1

N/A

James Robinson

-21

N/A

After Keelan Cole made two giant catches for 31 and 51 yards on Sunday, it is obvious why his air yards and air yard percentage have both increased. Cole entered Week 6 with 145 air yards in five games, but he had 115 air yards in Week 6 alone. With that said, DJ Chark would have gotten some big air boost numbers had he and Gardner Minshew connected on the two failed deep shots (one interception, one drop).

Yards After Catch/Yards After Catch Per Reception

This one doesn't require any explanation. It is simply the yards a receiver has gotten this year once they have completed a catch. Here is how the Jaguars' skill players have ranked in that regard so far, with their yards after catch per reception in parentheses. Data per PFR.

PlayerYards After CatchYards After Catch Per Reception

James Robinson

228

9.9

Laviska Shenault

149

5.7

Keelan Cole

102

3.8

Chris Thompson

86

5.4

Chris Conley

83

5.9

Tyler Eifert

45

4.1

DJ Chark

42

1.7

James O'Shaughnessy

37

3.1

Collin Johnson

7

1.4

Bruce Miller

3

3.0

Dede Westbrook

0

N/A

Tyler Davis

0

N/A

Thanks to Keelan Cole's big Week 6 performance, he is now the third Jaguars player to have over 100 yards of yards after the catch this season joining James Robinson and Laviska Shenault. Other than that, there was no major movement in terms of leaders in yards after catch for the Jaguars.

First Downs/First Down %

Another self-explanatory one, this will keep track of first downs recorded by each skill player and which percentage of their targets have turned into first downs. According to PFR, the Jaguars have recorded 88 first downs through the air.

PlayerFirst DownsFirst Down %

Keelan Cole

18

20.45%

Laviska Shenault

17

19.31%

DJ Chark

17

19.31%

Chris Conley

10

11.36%

James Robinson

9

10.22%

Tyler Eifert

5

5.7%

James O'Shaughnessy

5

5.7%

Collin Johnson

4

4.5%

Chris Thompson

2

2.2%

Bruce Miller

1

1.36%

Dede Westbrook

0

N/A

Tyler Gibbs

0

N/A

Half of DJ Chark's targets have now gone for first downs, while Chris Conley is getting a first down every 2.4 targets. Jacksonville is led by its top four wideouts in this area, of course, but it is worth noting how much Tyler Eifert and Chris Thompson have struggled to gain first downs. Thompson has received a lot of third-down targets as a check down, but he has yet to turn many of those into first downs. 

Passer Rating When Targeted

One of the most interesting stats of all is passer rating when targeted. It helps put into perspective which receivers the quarterback is having the most success when passing to, while also the ones who are the most disastrous players to target. Here is how Jacksonville's skill group shapes up in this department, via PFR.

PlayerPasser Rating When Targeted 

Keelan Cole

116.3

DJ Chark

113.0

James Robinson

112.7

Chris Thompson

108.6

Laviska Shenault 

106.8

James O'Shaughnessy

98.6

Dede Westbrook

83.3

Chris Conley

67.4

Collin Johnson

57.2

Bruce Miller

56.2

Tyler Eifert

55.2

Tyler Davis

39.6

Tyler Davis got his first-ever NFL targets but Gardner Minshew wasn't able to connect with him on either occurrence. Minshew and Davis weren't on the same page in the end zone in one target, while the second target was broken up by the defender. Minshew's passer rating when targeting Chark dropped by nearly 50 points after he completed only 50% of his 14 targets to Chark, including an interception.

Average Depth of Target

The last metric we will look at is the average depth of target, which explains itself in the name. It is the average distance of a pass when a player is targeted, taking both completions and incompletions into account. It shows which players are getting targeted downfield and which are being used on shorter plays. Via data from PFR, here is how the Jaguars rank through six weeks.

PlayerAverage Depth of Target

Tyler Davis

13.5

DJ Chark

12.5

Chris Conley

12.2

Keelan Cole

11.1

Collin Johnson

8.4

Tyler Eifert

8.0

James O'Shaughnessy

6.4

Laviska Shenault

5.9

Dede Westbrook

4.0

Chris Thompson

2.6

James Robinson

-1.1

Bruce Miller

-1.5

Keelan Cole and DJ Chark both saw their ADOT rise after Minshew targeted each on deep shots fairly often on Sunday. It is also interesting to see Tyler Davis have an ADOT as high as it is, though that will go down with more targets, of course. Laviska Shenault's ADOT is a bit of a concern because it just doesn't seem like the Jaguars are interested in sending him down the field as a vertical threat.