The Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense was offensive in 2018. They ranked 27th in total offense, 31st in points per game, and 26th in passing yards. The struggle was real, and one of the reasons they struggled was because they did not have the services of RB Leonard Fournette for most of the season.
Fournette, 24, played in only eight games last season due to hamstring, foot, and ankle injuries. Fournette also was suspended one game by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness, and because of that suspension, Jacksonville voided the rest of the guaranteed money in his contract. He finished the season with 439 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Without Fournette, the Jaguars’ offense and QB Blake Bortles could not get on track.
Conversely, in 2017, Fournette in his rookie season rushed for 1040 yards, including nine touchdowns on the ground, which helped propel the Jaguars to the AFC title game.
In the offseason, the Jaguars found a new QB in Nick Foles, and now there is a lot of optimism in Jacksonville, and according to Fournette, he likes the chemistry he has with Foles and the offense.
“He’s a good guy,” Fournette said about Foles as the team goes through OTAs. “We have been getting together on weekends, working on our code words and stuff like that, just getting better. You see the chemistry of the offense. The flow is different, and I feel great about it.”
During the offseason, Fournette, who was the fourth-overall pick in 2017 NFL Draft, felt that he and the team had to get back to the basics after last season’s struggles.
“After the season we had last year, I think everybody kind of hit the restart button,” Fournette said. “We talked about what was going on. When I went to Dallas, Cam [Robinson] was out there. Me and Yannick [Ngakoue] trained for a minute together. It was kind of like all the players got back to our foundation and where we all started from.”
Jacksonville needed to hit the reset button after last season. The expectations were high in 2018, and the team could not meet them. This season, the Jaguars seem to have more talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball with the additions of Foles, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, and the return Fournette. A quarterback’s best friend is a running game, and the return of Fournette should solidify that position in 2019.