Air it Out: How Has the Jaguars' Offense Distributed the Ball Through 7 Games?

How has the Jaguars offense passed the ball through seven games? Who have been the most reliable targets? We examine here.
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At the bye week, the Jacksonville Jaguars' season is nearly half over. The 1-6 Jaguars have just nine games left, but we have begun to see some true patterns begin to develop.

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 254 targets to their skill players through the first 7 games. Here is how those targets have been divided. It is important to note that DJ Chark has played only six games. We will also list target market share, which shows the percentage of targets a player has gotten.

PlayerTargetsTarget Market Share

DJ Chark

41

16.14%

Keelan Cole

40

15.75%

Laviska Shenault

38

15%

James Robinson

32

12.6%

Chris Conley

26

10.24%

Tyler Eifert

23

9%

Chris Thompson

19

7.5%

James O'Shaughnessy

18

7%

Collin Johnson

11

4.33%

Bruce Miller

2

0.78%

Tyler Davis

2

0.78%

Dede Westbrook

1

0.4%

After a two-game stretch in which DJ Chark has seen 21 targets, he has finally jumped to to the top of the targets list. Considering he missed a game in Week 3, his gap could be even wider. The offense runs through him, or at least it has tried to recently, with the usual suspects behind him.

James Robinson has become a target-monster at running back, with most of his catches coming on checkdowns or designed short passes in the flat. Otherwise, no real surprises here. 

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 (997) and air yard percentage? We use PFR data to find the answer.

PlayerAir YardsAir Yard %

Keelan Cole

272

27.29%

DJ Chark

249

25%

Laviska Shenault

145

14.55%

Chris Conley

141

14.14%

James O'Shaughnessy

102

10.23%

Collin Johnson

50

5%

Tyler Eifert

48

4.8%

Chris Thompson

25

2.5%

Dede Westbrook

4

4%

Tyler Davis

0

N/A

Bruce Miller

-1

N/A

James Robinson

-30

N/A

Keelan Cole and DJ Chark are still the leaders in this area. Chark would rank much higher if this calculated intended air yards, but since it only counts completions, Chark and his one catch barely made much of a difference compared to last week. 

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

255

9.4

Laviska Shenault

179

6.2

Keelan Cole

102

3.6

Chris Thompson

86

5.4

Chris Conley

83

5.5

James O'Shaughnessy

45

3.0

Tyler Eifert

45

4.1

DJ Chark

42

1.6

Collin Johnson

10

1.7

Bruce Miller

3

3.0

Dede Westbrook

0

0

Tyler Davis

0

0

James Robinson and Laviska Shenault continue to dominate for the Jaguars in this department, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has watched the Jaguars' offense. Shenault had a huge play in terms of YAC against the Chargers, taking a short third down pass for over 30 yards thanks to breaking several tackles. 

What is jarring is seeing how few yards after the catch that Chark has gained this season, which is a direct reflection of Jacksonville's usage of him. He is averaging 7.0 yards after the catch per game solely because he isn't being put in spots to win after the catch. 

First Downs/First Down %

Another self-explanatory one, this will keep track of first downs recorded by each skill player and which percentage of the team's first downs that they hold. According to PFR, the Jaguars have recorded 95 first downs through the air.

PlayerFirst DownsFirst Down %

Laviska Shenault

19

20%

Keelan Cole

18

19%

DJ Chark

18

19%

Chris Conley

11

11.58%

James Robinson

10

10.53%

James O'Shaughnessy

6

6.3%

Tyler Eifert

5

5.3%

Collin Johnson

5

5.3%

Chris Thompson

2

2%

Bruce Miller

1

1%

Dede Westbrook

0

0

Tyler Davis

0

0

Laviska Shenault is quickly become Jacksonville's go-to receiver when they need a first down, in large part because he is physical enough to churn out the tough yards on third-and-short receptions. He is the closest thing the Jaguars have to a "possession receiver", as made evident by his amount of 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 

James Robinson

116.8

Keelan Cole

114.0

Laviska Shenault Jr.

110.0

Chris Thompson

108.6

James O'Shaughnessy

100.7

DJ Chark

98.7

Dede Westbrook

83.3

Chris Conley

82.9

Collin Johnson 

62.7

Bruce Miller

56.2

Tyler Eifert

55.2

Tyler Davis

39.6

If there is any stat that will show how much the Jaguars need to upgrade at tight end, it's this one. James O'Shaughnessy has a high rating but Tyler Eifert and Tyler Davis have the two lowest on the team, a direct reflection of the team's struggles to get production out of the position. 

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 seven weeks.

PlayerAverage Depth of Target

Chris Conley

13.60

Tyler Davis

13.5

DJ Chark

13.2

Keelan Cole

11.0

Collin Johnson

8.5

Tyler Eifert

8.0

James O'Shaughnessy

6.7

Laviska Shenault 

5.8

Dede Westbrook

4.0

Chris Thompson

2.6

James Robinson

-0.9

Bruce Miller

-1.5

DJ Chark and Chris Conley are getting a lot of deep targets, with Conley catching a deep score in Week 7 and then having a deep target on his only other target of the game. Laviska Shenault's average depth of target, however, shows just how little the Jaguars try to get him the ball downfield, which could be a reason he isn't targeted much late in games.