- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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Red zone inefficiency: Perhaps the Jaguars’ biggest offensive issue in 2013 is their ineffectiveness in the red zone. They scored just one field goal on three trips inside the red zone on Sunday, turning the ball over twice on downs after an incomplete pass and a 1-yard reception by Maurice Jones-Drew. “Red zone really killed us,” quarterback Chad Henne said. “We moved the ball down the field [and] did a good job. We need to capitalize and score touchdowns.” That’s not out of character for this team, though. The Jaguars have scored only five touchdowns on 21 red zone trips this season. That’s a TD conversion rate of just 23.8 percent. Henne has led the Jaguars to just one touchdown in nine red zone trips in the last three games and is riding a streak of seven consecutive red zone trips without a touchdown. He has thrown incomplete passes, been sacked, and failed to run for what would have been an easy first down in one instance.
Robinson sighting: The Jaguars seem to have settled on having Denard Robinson work at running back. He carried the ball four times for 15 yards, including a 7-yard run; not great production, but solid work. Coach Gus Bradley said they wanted to take a look at Robinson at the spot because he has practiced well enough to move up the depth chart ahead of Jordan Todman and Justin Forsett. The Jaguars drafted Robinson in the fifth round and had hoped to use him as a Wildcat quarterback and receiver to take advantage of his speed and elusiveness, but he has had issues with his hands. Using him as a running back appears to be the best solution.
Slow start: The defense never gave the team a chance on Sunday, giving up touchdowns on the 49ers’ first four possessions. San Francisco drove 76, 49, 57 and 63 yards to take a 28-0 lead in the second quarter and converted all six third-down attempts in those four drives. Sunday’s performance was a continuation of a trend that started against Denver on Oct. 13. The Broncos scored TDs on their first two possessions and San Diego did the same a week later. That’s putting a lot of pressure on an offense that still struggles to run the ball and convert in the red zone.
Mojo improving: Lost in the rout was the fact Jones-Drew had his best game of 2013, rushing for a season-high 75 yards (including a 30-yard run) and catching six passes for 47 yards. Jones-Drew said earlier in the week that the ankle he sprained against Oakland in Week 2 would probably never be 100 percent all year because he keeps playing on it, but it didn’t slow him down against San Francisco. He appears to have some of his old explosiveness back.