Every Thursday I’ll present an interesting (to me, anyway) stat, break it down, and try to provide some context heading into the game the following weekend.
Before and after
Why are the Jacksonville Jaguars 3-1 since the bye? Because they’ve played significantly better defense since the break. Linebacker Paul Posluszny said the coaching staff simplified things. They’ve concentrated on the alignments, coverages, stunts and blitzes the players do well and are relying on those instead of trying to be too creative.
The result has been a defense that’s much better than it was in the first eight games. With the exception of passing defense, the Jaguars have improved their rankings in the NFL in over the last four weeks.
The Jaguars have improved on offense as well, but the discrepancy between the first nine weeks and the last four isn’t as significant. For example, the Jaguars ranked 32nd in total offense (286.5 yards per game) in the first nine weeks and rank 28th (283.8 yards per game) over the last four.
The two areas in which they did improve significantly are third-down conversions -- going from 32nd (29.5 percent) to 23rd (32.2 percent) -- and red zone efficiency, going from 32nd (25 percent) to 10th (60 percent).
But the defensive improvements are even more striking. Here’s a breakdown of where the Jaguars’ defense ranked in six major statistical categories through the first nine weeks and where it ranks among NFL teams in games played over the last four weeks:
Weeks 1-9 (0-8)
Total defense: 392.2 yards per game (27th)
Rushing defense: 161.8 yards per game (32nd)
Passing defense: 230.5 yards per game (12th)
Third-down defense: 44.8 percent (28th)
Red-zone defense: 62.2 percent (26th)
Scoring defense: 33.0 points per game (32nd)
Weeks 10-13 (3-1)
Total defense: 358.8 yards per game (17th)
Rushing defense: 67.8 yards per game (3rd)
Passing defense: 291.0 yards per game (30th)
Third-down defense: 40.3 percent (23rd)
Red-zone defense: 53.8 percent (16th)
Scoring defense: 22.0 points per game (13th)