What We Saw: Week 3

Mike Williams is finally the guy we all wanted him to be, and the rest of What We Saw in Week 3

Cardinals @ Jaguars

Final Score: Cardinals 31, Jaguars 19

Writer: Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter)


The Cardinals came into Jacksonville as big favorites after showcasing their explosive offense the first two weeks, but at halftime, it was the home team holding a 13-7 lead. That lead was partially due to a really strong defensive performance that featured a zone-heavy approach which seemed to frustrate Kyler Murray but was mostly due to the Cardinals deciding to attempt a 68-yard field goal to end the first half. The kick was short, and Jamal Agnew had an opportunity to run it out of the endzone. And run he did, as Agnew returned the kick 109 yards for one of the more exciting touchdowns we’ve seen so far this season. The only thing possibly better than the play was the call by announcer Gus Johnson, which is well worth a listen.



After halftime, the Jaguars still looked to be poised for the upset, especially after a dominant third-quarter drive that saw them push around the Cardinals’ defensive line with a strong rushing attack. But on the ensuing drive, the Jaguars called a flea-flicker that was very poorly blocked for and Trevor Lawrence threw one of the worst passes you’ll see this season, resulting in an easy pick-six. After that, the momentum swung completely in the Cardinals’ favor. The Jaguars had one last push to make it interesting, but Lawrence hit James Robinson with the ball while he was preparing to throw it, which resulted in a fumble that was recovered by the Cardinals and essentially ended the game. The Cardinals survived to win 31-19.


Arizona Cardinals




Kyler Murray: 28/34, 316 yards, INT | 7 carries, 19 yards, TD


After dominating for the first two weeks, Kyler Murray’s MVP campaign hit a snag today. The Jaguars mixed in more zone coverage than usual, with the express purpose of keeping Murray in the pocket and limiting his ability to improvise. The result was a rather pedestrian performance for Murray for most of the game and an uninspiring final stat line. Murray’s lone touchdown was a rushing score that came at the goal line after the defense lost track of him completely.



Murray had more success getting out of the pocket in the red zone, where it seemed like the Jaguars were forced into more man concepts, and was tackled just short of another touchdown. Passing-wise, Murray was efficient once he got going in the second half. His interception was an ugly one on a deep ball into double coverage that makes you wonder what he thought he saw.



The zone looks the Jaguars gave Murray most of the game forced him into more check-downs than usual, and once he accepted that in the second half he was able to methodically move the Cardinals down the field. He obviously didn’t cash in those yards for touchdowns today, but he played a solid game overall.


Running Backs


Chase Edmonds: 11 carries, 26 yards | 8 targets, 7 receptions, 49 yards

James Conner: 11 carries, 43 yards, 2 TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards


The Jaguars were daring the Cardinals to use their running backs today, and the Cardinals obliged to the tune of 30 combined touches and two touchdowns split between Chase Edmonds and James Conner. Edmonds was the more impressive of the two when he got into space, but he struggled a little while running between the tackles. Conner didn’t look particularly explosive, but he was able to pick up the yards that were blocked for him and he clearly has the goal-line role locked up. Neither of Conner’s touchdowns were particularly impressive runs by him, but they didn’t have to be as they were well-blocked and well-designed.



Arizona used a split-back formation on a few plays, but for the most part, Edmonds has a clearly defined role as the starter and the passing down back, and Conner comes in for short yardage in addition to goal-line packages.



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


DeAndre Hopkins: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 21 yards

Christian Kirk: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 104 yards

A.J. Green: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 112 yards

Rondale Moore: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 1 yard | 1 carry, 3 yards

Maxx Williams: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 19 yards


DeAndre Hopkins was questionable all week with a rib injury, and while he did ultimately suit up he didn’t look quite right out there. He did have a reasonably long reception called back on a weak offensive pass interference call against a teammate who nudged Hopkin’s defender, but he never really got going. Christian Kirk and A.J. Green picked up the slack, and both went for over 100 receiving yards. Green had two impressive catches; one where he made boxing out the defender look easy and one where he showed off some nice body control on a diving catch.



Kirk seems to be thriving in his role as the downfield target this season, and the additions of Green and Rondale Moore seem to have really opened up the field for him. Moore had a quiet day after his breakout performance last week, but he was tackled just short of the endzone on a designed running play for him at the goal line. The Jaguars were doing a good job of rallying to the football, and after they blew up a receiver screen for Moore the Cardinals didn’t seem to want to go back to that look.


Jacksonville Jaguars




Trevor Lawrence: 22/34, 219 yards, TD, 2 INT, 2 Sacks, Fumble | 6 carries, 27 yards


Trevor Lawrence played better than his stats suggest but he is still clearly adjusting to the NFL. He looked good on throws where the play design took him outside the pocket and allowed him to throw on the move. In the pocket, he looks uncomfortable when his first read isn’t available. Sometimes that led him to hold the ball too long, other times it resulted in a forced pass to a receiver that wasn’t open. When he’s making good decisions his arm talent shines through. His throws are delivered with good velocity and he consistently puts the ball in the best spot for his receiver to be able to catch and run. Lawrence also looked good as a runner when the play broke down, and while he didn’t break any big runs he’s clearly comfortable as a ball carrier. His best throw was his touchdown toss to D.J. Chark, which was a very well-placed ball just out of reach of the defensive back in the back corner of the endzone.



Unfortunately for Lawrence and the Jaguars, it was really all downhill from there. His first interception wasn’t his fault at all, as he hit Jacob Hollister right in the hands only to see the ball deflect up in the air and land in the hands of a defender.



It was Lawrence’s second interception that really turned the tide of the game. The Jaguars called a flea-flicker, but when Lawrence got the ball back from Carlos Hyde he was staring down an unblocked pass rusher. Unable to set his feet, Lawrence tried to force a throw off his back foot. The ball floated on him, and it was an easy play for the defender to undercut the ball for a pick-six. It was a classic rookie mistake and the type of play that Lawrence needs to eliminate from his game sooner rather than later. Lawrence’s fumble also wasn’t his fault, as the ball clipped James Robinson, who was blocking on the play, as Lawrence was going through his throwing motion. The talent is clearly there with Lawrence, and as the season goes on hopefully the coaching staff does a better job of putting him in a position to showcase it, but there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road between now and the end of the season.


Running Backs


James Robinson: 15 carries, 88 yards, TD | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 46 yards

Carlos Hyde: 8 carries, 44 yards


James Robinson looked like the best offensive player the Jaguars had, Jamal Agnew excluded. When Robinson wasn’t being hit in the backfield he was decisive in hitting the running lanes frequently turned what looked like small gains into nice chunk runs. As a receiver out of the backfield, he did a good job of giving Lawrence an easy check-down option by settling down in open space instead of just trying to run downfield. Robinson’s touchdown wasn’t a particularly special run, but the plays leading up to it were critical for his future fantasy prospects. Robinson had two nice runs to get the Jaguars into the red zone but rotated off the field for Carlos Hyde. A lot of teams at that point would have let Hyde finish the drive, but the Jaguars gave Robinson exactly one play to catch his breath before sending him back in to punch the ball into the end zone.



Hyde was fine when he touched the ball, with most of his yards coming on one explosive run where he broke out a nice spin move. But Robinson appears to have achieved some separation in the backfield hierarchy and didn’t do anything today to change that trajectory.



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Marvin Jones: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 62 yards

D.J. Chark: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 49 yards, TD

Laviska Shenault: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards

Jacob Hollister: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards


It was a quiet day for the Jaguars receivers, with all three of the big guys contributing but none of them doing enough to stand out. Marvin Jones continues to be Lawrence’s go-to guy on key downs and looked like the first read on most of their passing plays. He had a nice gain wiped out by offensive pass interference on a mesh concept. D.J. Chark caught the only touchdown and seems to have settled into being the primary downfield option. He was wide open on the ill-fated flea-flicker and had the protection held up Lawrence would have had an easy throw to him for a long touchdown. Laviska Shenault continues to be used more as a gadget player than as a traditional receiver, although he did receive a few targets down the field which is encouraging for his future prospects. Jacob Hollister replaced the injured James O’Shaughnessy and had the critical drop that led to a Lawrence interception. Still, Lawrence went back to him throughout the game and the broadcast mentioned that the Jaguars have installed a specific package to get Hollister involved after he joined the team late this summer.


 — Dan Adams (@dadams0323 on Twitter).

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