The 2021 Jaguars offense could end up as lowest-scoring unit in franchise history

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Jaguars play-caller Brian Schottenheimer did not have enough time during his virtual news conference Thursday to explain all the reasons why one of their most glaring problems went unfixable this season.

The NFL is all about scoring, but the Jaguars have been lethargic in that area. Going into Sunday's final games of the regular season, 24 of the league's 32 teams have scored at least 300 points.

And 24 teams have also scored 34 or more touchdowns after 16 games. The Jaguars, however, have totaled just 227 points for a combined 26 touchdowns scored.

Jacksonville's touchdown total ranks ahead of only the Houston Texans' 23.

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''I think you can point to different things each week,'' Schottenheimer said. ''Last week, we did a really good job in the first half on third down, and the second half we weren't able to sustain drives. I think we were 0-of-4 in the second half last week. You know we've gotten behind in some games. It's bigger than one thing.''

The most points the Jaguars have scored this season came during their 23-20 win against the Miami Dolphins in London during Week 6. Six times this season, they scored 10 or fewer points, including a 20-0 shutout defeat to the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 12, which turned out to be Urban Meyer's final game before he was fired.

What's apparent is that the Jaguars need more playmakers with speed and a likely overhaul of their existing starting offensive line that did not meet expectations this season. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was under too much pressure in the pocket and the receivers had too much difficulty getting open.

Perhaps those needs will be addressed under the new coaching staff in the upcoming draft and free agency.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) gets off a pass during the first half against Houston on Dec. 19.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) gets off a pass during the first half against Houston on Dec. 19.

Offense on verge of becoming lowest-scoring unit in franchise history

But for now, even with an extra game added for the NFL's first 17-game season, the Jaguars will have to score more than 16 points against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday to avoid becoming the lowest-scoring offensive unit in franchise history.

The 2011 team scored 243 points in 16 games to set the franchise for lowest-scoring team in franchise history. That team, which went 5-11 during Jack Del Rio's final season as head coach, had four games of scoring 10 or fewer points but never suffered a shutout defeat.

The 2018 team scored 245 points that ranks as the second-lowest, and the 2013 team totaled 247 points the third lowest.

“That’s not something that we want to be a part of and it’s something that’s very frustrating for myself, all the offensive coaches, all the offensive players,'' interim head coach Darrell Bevell said. ''We expect more. We expected more as we went into the season and we’re not happy with anywhere that we are right now. We know that we have more in us. We’ve seen the glimpses of where we did play well, we just didn’t do it enough.”

The Jaguars have depended upon Lawrence's passes, James Robinson's runs before he was lost for the season with a torn left Achilles tendon on Dec. 26 against the Jets, and catches from Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones. Nothing, however, turned into a scoring spree for the Jaguars.

Jaguars' highest point total is 23

The most points they scored all season came during their 23-20 win against the Miami Dolphins in London in Week 6. Six times this season, they scored 10 or fewer points, including a 20-0 shutout defeat to the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 12, which turned out to be Urban Meyer's final game before he was fired.

Last week, the Jaguars trailed 50-3 before Lawrence connected with running back Dare Ogunbowale for a 28-yard touchdown on a screen pass with just more than three minutes remained in the game.

''You can see it on the field. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and some things that worked for us, some things haven’t and just trying to find our way,'' said Lawrence, who was intercepted three times by the Patriots. ''It’s been frustrating obviously because the best teams in this league usually score a lot of points. I feel like a lot of games, we haven’t held up our end of that deal. That falls, obviously, on my shoulders as the quarterback."

Jaguars fewest points scored in a season prior to 2021

2011: 243

2018: 245

2013: 247

2014: 249

2012: 255

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jaguars offense could end up as worst in Jacksonville history

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