Jaguars’ snap counts from Week 4 loss to Cincinnati

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Jacksonville is certainly making progress, that much is clear. Against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night football, the team led 14-0 at halftime, and starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence didn’t turn the ball over. But the Jaguars’ defense couldn’t hold up in the second half, and the team falls to 0-4 to start the season.

Still, the Jags showed signs of improvement, and they’re starting to hammer down the way they’re using their personnel. They’re subbing fewer players in, and the starters are (for the most part) playing the majority of the game.

Here’s what we can learn from Jacksonville’s snap counts in Week 4.

*The following info was obtained by (NFLGSIS).

Offense

Analysis

  • Right guard A.J. Cann had to exit the game with a knee injury in the first half, and he was replaced by Ben Bartch, who played on 62% of offensive snaps in this game. Those are important reps for Bartch, who likely represents the team’s future at the position with Cann playing on an expiring contract.

  • Receiver D.J. Chark Jr. was carted off the field on the team’s opening drive, and as a result, the majority of the receiver reps outside of Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. went to Tavon Austin, who appeared on 73% of offensive snaps in his Jaguars debut, though he managed just one catch for eight yards. Assuming Chark is unlikely to return this season, Austin could be a starter moving forward.

  • The Jags had success on the ground early on, but they moved away from it in the second half, largely because Carlos Hyde was inactive with a shoulder injury. Starter James Robinson was on the field for 95% of offensive snaps, with Dare Ogunbowale seeing just three snaps and two carries.

  • With James O’Shaughnessy on the injured reserve, Chris Manhertz is playing the most reps of any tight end. But Dan Arnold, who was acquired this week in the C.J. Henderson trade, was No. 2 in his Jags debut, and he was the only tight end with multiple catches. He should play a bigger role in the offense moving forward.

Defense

Analysis

  • Jacksonville’s starting four in the secondary never left the field, but it was interesting that nickel corner Tre Herndon, who made his return from injury against the Bengals, was on the field for every five-DB set. Chris Claybrooks didn’t even see a rotational role on defense, but that could change moving forward, as Herndon struggled in coverage and gave up one of the touchdowns. Safety Rudy Ford saw seven reps at corner, but it mostly came in dime packages.

  • Linebacker Myles Jack was on the field for every defensive snap, and Damien Wilson was on the field for 51-of-58. The Jaguars currently aren’t rotating anyone else at linebacker, as Dakota Allen and Chapelle Russell only saw special teams action. The starting pair at linebacker is probably the strength of this defense at the moment, for what that’s worth.

  • Though the depth chart doesn’t show it, Jihad Ward is essentially starting over K’Lavon Chaisson at edge rusher. Ward has seen more reps in every game this season than Chaisson, and he’s been a little more productive too. There’s still time to turn things around, but with one of Jacksonville’s two 2020 first-rounders not working out, it seems the other is also in jeopardy as Chaisson struggles to find his footing in the NFL.

  • Taven Bryan continues to be the low man on the totem pole in the interior defensive line rotation. He’s seeing fewer reps than both Malcom Brown and DaVon Hamilton, and while he’s had a few productive plays this season, it continues to appear as though the Jaguars plan to let him walk after the season.

  • Safety Andrew Wingard faced a lot of scrutiny when he made the final roster and was subsequently named the starter at safety opposite Rayshawn Jenkins, but he has played fairly well the last few weeks, and the gap between Wingard and rookie Andre Cisco seems to be widening. For the second week in a row, Cisco didn’t see the field on defense, only getting special teams reps.