Patrick Daugherty

The Morning After

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Allen Robinson's Season-Ender

Monday, September 11, 2017


Blake Bortles kept it in bounds. This time, it was Allen Robinson’s body that betrayed him. Making a catch he’s probably made 1,000 times before, Robinson’s leg gave way, untouched by anything except the ground. Unable to make it across the field to the Jaguars’ sideline, Robinson’s season — a contract year — ended on the NRG Stadium turf, one minute and 26 seconds after it began.


A torn ACL is a brutal blow for any player. For Robinson, it compounds questions he can no longer answer in 2017. Is he the 80/1,400/14 receiver he was in 2015 — someone who averages 17.5 yards per catch and scores a touchdown almost every week — or the more pedestrian talent who showed up in 2016? A bright young player who nevertheless needs Cadillac quarterback play to succeed and wears his frustration on his sleeve? By the time teams, including the Jaguars, are evaluating Robinson in free agency, it will have been over two years since he did anything truly notable on an NFL field.


There are also plenty of questions for the 2017 Jaguars, but perhaps a few more answers. Robinson is the best player on the offense, but his loss won’t fundamentally change it. The Jags are committed to their running game, something they proved by shoveling 29 touches into Leonard Fournette’s mitts against the Texans. The receiver corps has been thinned but not hollowed out. Marqise Lee is a former second-rounder coming off a breakout season. Allen Hurns is still only 25, and just one year removed from a 10-touchdown campaign. Impressive rookie Dede Westbrook (core, injured reserve) looms as a potential mid-season replacement.


The Jags are worse off than they were yesterday, but haven’t been knocked out. That’s cold comfort for Robinson, who has gone from a sure thing to another uncertainty. NFL life has come at him fast.  

 

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Five Week 1 Storylines  


David Johnson’s wrist injury. Not David Johnson. Anyone but David Johnson … this is where the Cardinals and fantasy owners are at with the summer’s consensus No. 1 overall player. Johnson is irreplaceable, someone the Cardinals have talked about leading the team in receiving in addition to rushing. The reports have been conflicting, but the takeaway is not: Arizona will be finished if Johnson misses anything more than 1-2 games. An offense formerly overflowing with impact talent now has precious little. Without Johnson, it has almost none. If Johnson is sidelined for Week 2, expect Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington to form a committee.  


The Seahawks’ no-show in Green Bay. By most measures, the Seahawks had the league’s worst offensive line last season. So it was concerning when their biggest offseason addition was mega-bust Luke Joeckel, a player they promptly stuck at guard, a position where he had made four career starts. The early results, both for Joeckel and the rest of the Seahawks’ line, were disastrous. Mike Daniels nearly singlehandedly torpedoed the Seahawks’ offense, breaking through at will. Good player though he is, Mike Daniels should not be a one-man wrecking crew. It was an ominous harbinger of things to come if the Seahawks can’t adjust up front. At this point, it’s hard to see what the adjustment could be. Russell Wilson has made his name with durability. Even last year, he managed to stay upright. That will be an impossibility if the rest of his starts go anything like Sunday’s.   


Ty Montgomery’s bell-cow day against the Seahawks. Maybe you didn’t have any questions about Montgomery’s projected Week 1 workload. I did. You could say they were answered. The Packers seemed hesitant to go all in on Montgomery, a former receiver dealing with sickle-cell issues, last season. There were no such qualms Sunday, as Montgomery was fed a new career-high 23 touches and played 74-of-82 snaps. It was very nearly 82-of-82, but Montgomery missed a few plays with an ankle tweak. Montgomery’s yardage wasn’t impressive, but he was facing one of the league’s premier run defenses. His upside is considerably higher for Sunday night’s battle with the Falcons. Montgomery’s workload and explosiveness have him squarely in the RB1 conversation.   


Joe Mixon finding his floor. Throughout the summer hype, there was acknowledgment of Mixon’s downside. Namely, getting off to a slow start as the Bengals made him “earn” starting duties. Well the slow start is here. Mixon actually led the backfield in touches, but his 11 looks were just three more than Giovani Bernard and four more than Jeremy Hill. Mixon found neither rhythm nor running lanes against the Ravens’ stout defense, generating nine yards on eight carries. Things may not brighten much against the Texans on Thursday, leaving the first two weeks of Mixon’s fantasy career as mostly a waste. Keep him stashed — there’s almost certainly a payoff coming — but the uncertainty is here along with the upside.  


Leonard Fournette’s usage against the Texans. We can’t say we didn’t see it coming. All summer, the Jags promised their offense would run through Fournette. All Sunday, it did. Fournette gobbled up 29 touches, turning them into 124 yards and a touchdown. He is who we thought he was, and officially on the RB1 map. He has a solid Week 2 matchup in a Titans defense that had to resort to gang tackling Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch for most of its Week 1 loss.   


Don't forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.

 


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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty



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