Skip to main content

The Jacksonville Jaguars left their bye week with a win under their belt and momentum off which to build. After six games—and 11 to go—where does this team stand? The first five losses painted a picture of a team with lots of places to improve, but some positives that can be taken away as well.

Through this series, we'll examine each unit; what's worked, what hasn't and what grade they've earned thus far. Next up, the offensive line, a group that had high expectations entering 2021 due to its continuity. 

Positives 

When it comes down to it, few positional units have been as consistent for the Jaguars as the offensive line. There have been issues with the offense, especially at the start of the season, but few of these issues were the fault of the Jaguars' offensive line. They have been boosted by Trevor Lawrence's advanced pocket movement, but they have also done their part. 

Through seven weeks, only seven teams have allowed fewer sacks than the Jaguars, who have given up just 10. Sacks are arguably a quarterback stat, but it is a good reflection of the Jaguars' offensive line that they have faced teams with top pass-rushers like Houston's, Arizona's, Cincinnati's, and Tennessee's and have still not allowed Lawrence to be beaten down like other rookie quarterbacks have been. Through six games, the Jaguars have allowed 17 quarterback hits as well, with ranks No. 11 among all teams. Jacksonville is also No. 9 in adjusted sack rate (4.9%), per Football Outsiders. 

All things considered, Lawrence has been protected well. This is even considering the fact the Jaguars have faced injuries up and down the interior offensive line, with only Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, and Jawaan Taylor starting each game. And when it comes to blocking for James Robinson, the Jaguars have been even better up front.

Read More

According to Football Outsiders, the Jaguars are sixth in the NFL in stuffed run %, allowing only 14% of their carries to be stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, while ranking fourth in adjusted line yards per carry at 4.98. The Jaguars have frequently opened up gaping holes for Robinson, something that shows up both on tape and in the advanced metrics. While Robinson has improved in 2021 and has been excellent at the second-level and beyond, the Jaguars' offensive line deserves its credit for his production.

Negatives 

The biggest negative facing the Jaguars' offensive line this season has been simple: injuries. The Jaguars have had to start three different combinations of starting units over the last three weeks after injuries to A.J. Cann and Brandon Linder. But that doesn't begin to tell the tale of the Jaguars' injury issues along the offensive line.

While the Jaguars started the same five offensive linemen for each of the first five weeks, there has only been one game this season where the offensive line stayed intact from the first snap to the last one -- Week 1 against the Houston Texans. Since then, the Jaguars have had to rely on Shatley, Bartch, and Will Richardson to step into games, with Richardson playing snaps at both left tackle and right guard. 

Injuries happen throughout the NFL and especially along offensive lines, but the Jaguars entered the bye week with two veteran interior linemen on IR in Linder and Cann, while Bartch left the Week 6 victory in the first-half with a concussion. The Jaguars' tackles have stayed healthy all year long, but the interior of the line has been hit hard by injuries. 

Aside from this, the Jaguars' only real negative mark along the offensive front has been that the tackles have been more up-and-down than one would hope for, though each has improved to a degree. Still, Robinson and Taylor have combined for 32 pressures per PFF, though Robinson leads the duo with 18 and is only 15th in pressures allowed among offensive tackles.

Overall Grade: A-

It is hard not to give the offensive line a top grade, even if it isn't a dominating unit. They may not have one blue-chip talent along the unit, but the offensive line has yet to be one of the reasons the Jaguars have truly lost a game. Instead, the unit has been the team's most consistent group of players from Week 1 through the bye week. 

The Jaguars' offensive line isn't a dominant unit that is plowing through defenses like Cleveland's offensive line, but it is getting the job done on the ground and keeping Lawrence upright, especially compared to his rookie peers. The group can get better, but it is hard to complain about it much as things stand today.