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Jags 20th: MJD Wins Rushing Title


On New Years' Day 2012, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew capped a season of upheaval and turmoil in Jacksonville with his best performance of the 2011 season.

Jones-Drew's battle for the rushing crown against Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy had become a week-to-week affair, but he put all doubt to rest with a powerful 25-carry, 165-yard afternoon.

Those 165 yards against Indianapolis at EverBank Field gave the three-time Pro Bowl runner a franchise-record 1,606 yards, surpassing Fred Taylor's 1,572 yards from the 2003 campaign. He also became the first Jaguars running back to lead the NFL is rushing yards.

Jones-Drew's 2011 season came in the midst of a coaching and ownership change, and came while playing in one of the least productive offenses in the NFL. What made his season even more remarkable was that he became the first running back since the 1970 merger to lead the NFL in rushing yards while playing on the leagues' worst passing offense.

Jones-Drew managed a 4.7 yard-per-carry average facing eight- and nine-man defensive fronts week in and week out. Opposing defenses simply were not concerned with a passing attack that averaged only 156 yards per game and whose leading receiver was Mike Thomas at only 9.4 yards per reception.

Jones-Drew carried the ball at least 20 times in 10 of 16 games and in the process established a new career high with 343 rushing attempts. He also broke the 100-yard mark six times and pushed his career total to 25 games with 100 or more rushing yards.

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