Urban Meyer: Fourth and goal play was designed to go to James Robinson

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cincinnati Bengals
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The Jaguars led the Bengals late in the first half, 14-0. Facing fourth and goal, they opted to go for a touchdown in lieu of a field goal. Either would have given Jacksonville a three-score lead.

Coach Urban Meyer didn’t have much to say about the play after the game. On Friday, he talked about it a bit more.

“It was actually designed to get James [Robinson] on the outside,” Meyer told reporters. “We were going to fake like we were going inside because there was going to be a real expectation that it was going to be real heavy defense inside and then flip to James, and the end went up field on us. There were the two thoughts, and you look back now and James is running the ball hard, our offensive line was playing well too.”

Whatever the explanation, the play as executed — a run by quarterback Trevor Lawrence — didn’t work. Meyer was asked whether Robinson could have gotten the yardage needed, if he were simply given the ball on the inside.

“I can’t disagree with you,” Meyer said.

As one source with knowledge of the Jacksonville roster told PFT on Friday, it shouldn’t have taken Meyer four games to figure out that Robinson is the best player on the team, and that they should have just given him the ball. If they were going to go for it.

It’s still a matter of fair debate as to whether they should have gone for it. A 17-0 lead would have changed the complexion of the game. And while it normally makes sense to go for it when facing fourth and goal from the one given the possibility of getting a short field, there wasn’t enough time for the Jaguars to get the ball back or to do anything with it.

While the Jaguars may have still lost even with a 17-0 lead, deepening the hole from two scores to three scores could have led to a much different vibe in the second half. The Bengals may have pressed a little more on the opening drive of the third quarter. And with only one mistake, the Jaguars could have delivered the dagger, and ended their 18-game losing streak.

17 responses to “Urban Meyer: Fourth and goal play was designed to go to James Robinson

  1. The Bengals may have pressed a little more on the opening drive of the third quarter.

    —-

    I don’t know about that. 1st down – incompletion, 2nd down, deep ball to Chase. 1st down 3 yard run. 2nd down touchdown pass to CJ. How could they have pressed more?

  2. As one source with knowledge of the Jacksonville roster told PFT on Friday, it shouldn’t have taken Meyer four games to figure out that Robinson is the best player on the team, and that they should have just given him the ball. If they were going to go for it.

    ————-

    then why draft Etienne?

  3. It’s also possible if Jacksonville kicked a field goal the Bengals could have run the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown. Too much second guessing, let it go.

  4. And you could tell by how hard Robinson was looking for the pitch. Lawrence had decent success with the keeper but regardless of his stature he will eventually get hurt doing it. The Jags need to consider a more traditional approach to offense. Run it through Robinson. Screens, swings, running with a lead blocker. The dude is underrated. Run the offense through him and take pressure off of Lawrence. If this team goes 3-14 there is no one to blame but the coaching staff. The players are flying around and giving effort. You can’t coach that.

  5. Sure is a lot of second guessing from a lot of folks that have never coached a football game in their life. I think Meyer’s got most, if not all, of us beat in that regard. I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt as he transitions from college to Pros.

  6. I know Urban is not a very good person, but Mike’s irrational hatred of him is getting a tad bit predictable.

    OF COURSE he knew Robinson was the best player on the team… that doesn’t mean a damn thing when you are in a hole and unable to run the ball, or keep getting stuffed by superior talent on the other teams line. What a silly uninspired excuse for reporting that was. “A source with knowledge of the JAX roster.” The only thing with a worse record then the JAGS is Mike’s record pretending to be a reporter.

  7. It took a season ending injury to Etienne and a knock to Hyde for Urban to realize what even casual fans already knew: that Robinson is the best player he has on offense.

    That can’t be a good omen for Urban’s future success in the league.

  8. 1) Take the FG. I don’t know WHY these modern coaches hate FG’s. Probably fans and analysts praises coaches when they go for it and hit. But take the money and run. 17-0 likely leads to a win there.

    2) If you’re going for it on 4th and 1, you need time to get the ball back. Getting the ball back after a stop with good field position is part of the analytics / game theory reason to go for it on 4th and 1. Meyer should have known this.

    3) If you’re going for it on 4th and 1, part of the enticement to do so is the DISTANCE, primarily because there’s a thought that power football should be able to get you the 1 yard. I dont understand when team go for it and then throw. If you’re going to throw, why not go for it on 4th and 3, 4th and 5? Its the AND 1 that is the draw there and its because you want to run for ONE easy yard to get the 7 point.

    4) Jaguars should have never drafted Ettienne. Silliness. James Robison is #GoodAtFootball. They should have used that pick on an O-Lineman, a TE, and any one of their several other needs.

  9. So typical of the Meyer I coached great but they played bad philosophy we have heard many times. Always a great move to throw your rookie QB under the bus all in the name of soothing your unhealthy ego . Meyer will be gone at the end of the year because he doesn’t want his legacy to be tarnished by being exposed as a mediocre coach who only wins when he can cheat to ensure he’s got a talent advantage . Bogus health issue on line one Coach Liar , lol .

  10. Building a huge lead when you have the opportunity is always a good thing, but this isn’t Ohio State against Our Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother either.

  11. Poor Urban. Feels he has to explain all things to the world so that nobody thinks it was his fault. Way to throw your players under the bus Urb. These are grown men not kids and they are gonna tire of you quickly.

  12. The Jags will get it together. Their QB looked pretty good doing progressions, running the team, running. Their future looks bright. New coach, new players, its takes time.

  13. “Why draft Etienne?”

    That question makes Florio’s point crystal clear. Meyer’s choice to draft Etienne came *before* he figured out that Robinson was the best player on the team.

    But it’s a silly point to make, anyway. It’s spilt milk. And Robinson was productive before this game. Finally, Meyer’s alleged inability to figure out his talent isn’t why they’re losing. The injuries to the other backs made figuring that out a moot point.

    They’re losing because they don’t have enough talent.

    You need depth at RB, and

  14. A coach is only as good as his players, it’s a story as old as time and one I know very well

  15. Just as it takes college players time to adjust to the NFL it takes college coaches time to adjust as well. Some do, some don’t, we shall see…

  16. Meyer is in over his head. He didn’t need to think who should get the ball when at Florida or OSU and they were playing Toledo State Community College’s JV team.

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