Travis Etienne Carrying Heavy Workload

October 20, 2023

Athlete Studio

Throughout the first six weeks of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. However, amidst the turbulence, one player has emerged as a consistent force – running back Travis Etienne.

Etienne's impact on the field cannot be understated. With an astounding 113 carries, he leads the entire NFL in this category. His 451 rushing yards position him at sixth place in the league, while his five rushing touchdowns are tied for sixth as well. In fact, Etienne joins an elite group of just four players who have amassed over 450 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns, alongside Christian McCaffrey, De'Von Achane, and Kyren Williams.

Nevertheless, there remains a lingering question – can the 5-foot-10, 215-pound Etienne sustain this level of performance while shouldering such a heavy workload? Offensive coordinator Press Taylor expressed confidence in Etienne's ability to handle the pressure, stating, "Yeah, he hasn't shown us he can't at this point in time. Obviously, we like to spread the wealth and we like to continue with the hot hand, whatever that may be; pass game, run game. He's been a guy that is obviously a gamebreaker for us. He's been able to come through in those situations when we continue to give him the football. He has opportunities and he finds opportunities, he creates his own opportunities at times. We want to continue to give the ball to our best players at all times."

Etienne's impact has been particularly pronounced in the Jags' recent victories, where he recorded two rushing touchdowns in each game. This accomplishment has not been achieved by a Jacksonville player since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2009, and no player in the team's history has accomplished three consecutive games with two or more rushing touchdowns.

While quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the passing attack have experienced their share of inconsistencies, the Jaguars have found solace in Etienne's reliability. When the offense has faced adversity, they have turned to Etienne to bail them out. Against the formidable Saints defense, they will need to rely on him once again.

Next Gen Stats reveal Etienne's exceptional performance against stacked boxes (eight or more defenders). With a gain of +37 rushing yards over expected, he ranks fourth in the league in this category, trailing only McCaffrey, Zack Moss, and Isiah Pacheco. Notably, the Saints have significantly increased their usage of stacked boxes in the past three games, with a rate double that of the earlier weeks.

Etienne's speed has been a crucial asset, particularly on outside runs. He has excelled in this area, accumulating 217 yards on 52 carries, resulting in an impressive average of 4.2 yards per carry and three touchdowns. In contrast, his performance on inside runs has been slightly less effective, with 228 yards on 60 carries, averaging 3.8 yards per carry and two touchdowns.

As Thursday night approaches, and with Lawrence nursing a knee injury, Etienne will undoubtedly be entrusted with carrying the offensive load against the stout Saints defense. This formidable opponent ranks in the top 10 in yards allowed this season and has only conceded a single rushing touchdown.

Travis Etienne's remarkable contributions to the Jacksonville Jaguars cannot be denied. His consistent performance, ability to handle a heavy workload, and explosive plays make him a true game-changer. As the Jaguars face their upcoming challenge, they will lean on Etienne's skills and determination to propel them to victory.

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