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Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns struggling after breakout year

By The Sports Xchange
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns struggling after breakout year
Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Allen Hurns runs in a 42 yard touchdown in their match against the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium, London on October 02, 2016.Jaguars won the match by 30-27. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI. | License Photo

Has anyone seen Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns? Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles certainly hasn't. What was a lethal weapon for the Jaguars a year ago has become almost non-existent this season. For the third consecutive game, Hurns had less than three catches.

It started in Kansas City when for the first time in his career, Hurns did not have a reception. The following week against Houston, he had but two catches for 13 yards. Last Sunday, he couldn't even match those numbers as he caught one of the two passes in which he was targeted, for just a 9-yard gain.

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For the season, Hurns stands with 34 receptions good for 465 yards in 10 games. The 3.4 average receptions for 46.5 yards per game pales in comparison to last year's numbers. That's when - and this is with Allen Robinson having a breakout year with 80 catches for 1,400 yards - Hurns had 64 receptions for 1,051 yards, good for 4.3 and 68.7 marks respectively. The touchdown production is way down as well with only two scores thus far compared to 10 TDs in 15 games a year ago.

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Hurns has come through with some "explosive" plays this season, plays of at least 16 yards. He has 11 such receptions, nearly a third of all his grabs. His longest was a 42-yard touchdown grab against Indianapolis in a game played in London in early October.

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--The Jaguars' fourth quarter against Detroit last Sunday was a meltdown of huge proportions and resulted in the team's fifth consecutive loss and 20th in the last 22 road games. The offense could generate no yards. It had eight plays and kept the ball for just 3:32.

The defense was equally inept other than they got to play a lot longer. While Detroit scored 16 points, 13 of those points came when the defense wasn't on the field as the Jaguars' special teams and offensive unit each allowed a Detroit touchdown. But in the final 15 minutes, the defense also caved in. It allowed Detroit to retain possession for 11 minutes and 28 seconds, roll up 134 yards and score 10 points.

"That's unacceptable on our part especially because it felt like defensively we played well all game but at key time in the fourth quarter we have to be able to find a way to get off the field and give the ball back to our offense," linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "That's not the way we wanted to finish that game at all."

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Bortles said the blame belongs more with the Jaguars' offense, which could generate no offense whatsoever in the final 15 minutes.

"Got up three with however much time and weren't able to do anything with it and gave them (the Lions) the ball back," Bortles said. "I think you can sit there and say you hope that the defense stops them again and you get the ball back, but as an offense I don't think you can ever say we'll get another opportunity. Stafford's a good quarterback and they're good at closing out games and we knew that. We knew we had an opportunity up three to go put it away and we didn't do it so it's on us."

--It will be interesting to see what kind of reception that Jaguars assistant head coach and offensive line coach Doug Marrone receives on Sunday when Jacksonville plays at Orchard Park. Chances are, it won't be a warm welcome.

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Marrone served as head coach of the Bills in 2013 and 14 before walking away from the job at the end of the '14 season without a good explanation. It's likely the Bills fans will express their feelings in a bitter way when they see their former head coach come out on the field for the first time.

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Marrone's replacement said he wasn't sure what the reception would be like for the former Bills mentor.

"You know, I don't know," coach Rex Ryan said earlier this week to local media. "I know the team played hard when Doug was the head coach here. How things worked out, I don't know. Doug's not this team's coach anymore. I hope it's a miserable experience - for everybody. We want to win, man. Our fans, this is as loyal a fan base as there is, so we want to create that miserable day for people, and the fans are a big part of it."

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