Countdown to Jaguars Football: No. 46 and a Peculiar Game of Rushing Production

In a game vs. the Arizona Cardinals in 2013, the Jaguars and Cardinals combined for the least amount of rushing yards in any game in team history, a strange occurrence for the ages.
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In fewer than 100 days, the Jacksonville Jaguars will return ... at least as things stand today.

While there is still some uncertainty surrounding the start of the NFL season, the league office has made it clear that they are planning to kick the season off on Sept. 10 and then have every other team play on Sept. 13.

By going off that timeline, we are now just 46 days from watching the Jaguars take the field against the Indianapolis Colts for the first regular season game of 2020.

In an effort to countdown to the start of the season, we will now be going from 95 through 1 to determine the best players to don the teal, black, and white for the Jaguars at each specific number.

Since only one player has ever worn No. 46 in the Jaguars history (former long snapper Carson Tinker) we are instead going to look at how the number relates to the Jaguars moving forward.

For the Jaguars, No. 46 represents the least productive rushing game between two teams in franchise history. A team long known for its history of running backs, namely Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, one game in 2013 was the perfect storm for the Jaguars and the Arizona Cardinals to combine for just 46 rushing yards .... on 40 carries. That is just 1.15 yards per carry. 

As it stands today, Jacksonville's Nov. 17 loss to the Cardinals in a 27-14 bout is one of only two games in team history in which the Jaguars and their opponent failed to reach 100 rushing yards. The only other game was a 2001 game vs. the Green Bay Packers, but the Jaguars and Packers combined for 99 yards, nearly 50 more than the Jaguars and Cardinals. 

2013 was, by all accounts, a long year for Jaguars coaches, players and fans alike. The team went 4-12 in head coach Gus Bradley's first season as the Jaguars' leader, all the while being outscored by opponents 247 to 449 and having games quarterbacked by Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. 

A look back at some of the box scores from that season will reflect some of the disastrous statistical occurrences which took place in 2013, but the game against the Cardinals was perhaps the strangest. 

In a loss that dropped Jacksonville to a 1-9 record, and 0-5 at home, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was 30 of 42 for 419 yards and two touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception for the first time that entire season. But while Palmer shredded the Jaguars' flimsy pass defense, it was the Cardinals rush offense that was historically inept -- and the Jaguars weren't much better.

Arizona's running backs carried the ball 24 times for 14 yards, leading to a staggeringly awful 0.6 yards per rush. The Jaguars, meanwhile, rushed 16 times for 32 yards ... a marginally better 2.0 yards per carry. 

Rashard Mendenhall led the Cardinals' rushing attack that day, rushing for 14 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Andre Ellington was completely shut down by Bradley's otherwise weak defense, however, rushing nine times for three yards (0.3 average).

Meanwhile, Maurice Jones-Drew was in his final year as a Jaguar and turned in a day similar to Mendenhall, rushing 14 times for 23 yards (1.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown. That touchdown was just the second touchdown the Jaguars had scored at home that season, with the first being a first quarter touchdown pass by Chad Henne on that same day. 

The Jaguars have played 400 regular season football games in 25 years, but none other have seen two rushing attacks be proven so fruitless and ineffective than that game in 2013 vs. the Cardinals. Bradley's Jaguars teams would struggle for the entirety of his tenure, especially when it came to establishing a rushing attack, but no games were ever defined by the number 46 like this was.